Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Quick (and probably strange) Football Post - A Thank You Note

Started coaching around 2002, 2003 or so, I really dont remember the year exactly, but my HS coach called me one day and asked if I was interested in "getting involved."
General rule: if Coach Nack calls, you say yes and show up.

I graduated from Wickliffe HS and played with a great, great group of guys for 2 years under a tremendous coaching staff.  A lot of people talk about their "guy," or their team or staff, but to this day, I've never met a group like them.  I then coached at Richmond Heights, Wickliffe, Ledgemont, NDCL and now Eastlake North.  And in every stop along the way, those young guys taught me more and gave me more than I could ever give them and I carry them all with me into every single season.  This one more than ever.

The older we get, we're able to bring up our own history and lessons learned to reintroduce them in a new manner to help get a point across or open communication along the path.  Things happen and I'll think "ah this reminds me _____," and think back to when I started 2 sophomores and a freshman at linebacker, and loved watching them attack with no fear.  They had nothing to lose.  I have a habit of plugging in young guys often to help get them Friday night ready for the future.  I'm not afraid to let guys grow a little under the lights.  Each group of guys had their story, had their personality, sweat all over the practice fields.  Some guys/teams needed a spark of intensity, others needed cooled down, some needed to appreciate the game within the game.  All different, yet very similar.

Every year, every season, delivered a new character, a new personality manifesting itself as a team.   Less than 24 hours away, I wonder who we'll grow to become.  I wont know that answer for another 10-13 weeks or so but I do know it will be good, honest, and I'm confident we will grow into something we'll remember.  We always do.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Go FAIL Yourself

At this moment that I sit down to write whatever pops in my head, I'm also playing 3 chumps at chess... 1 has already lost to me today, badly (requested a best out of 3), another is about to lose (it'll be over by the time I'm done writing) and the 3rd just began; watching ufc; washing laundry; and getting ready for Monday.


The past couple weeks or so, my landscaping has gotten my attention.   In the past, I never really noticed the yard much.  If grass was cut and nothing insane was out of place like a down branch or anything unsafe, it looked looked ok to me.
On my facebook time hop, a picture of my youngest daughter came up.  It was from about 3 years ago, with fish in hand, my yard in the background.  And I noticed how nice the bushes and perimeter of the pond looked.  So for about 4 hours on the weekends, I try to give it a little attention... until today.  I charged up as many batteries as I could find for the weed eater and hedge trimmer and anything else I could find.  Pulled out 150' of extension cord and my wheel barrow (one of those easy ones I ant spell... was it right?)

So I'm out there, having a nice time, sweating and pulling weeds, taking down dead branches and cleaning an area... no music or distractions.  Kinda hit me...    how fast things can get away from us if we don't give it attention.


I was visiting a business this past week and they invited me to wait while they finished a meeting.  Caught my attention because the conversation was about sales and prospecting and such, setting weekly/monthly goals.  So I paid close attention to the head of the meeting as he watched the staff talk about success numbers and to set goals of completing x sales per day.  This went on for about 10 minutes.  All about how many sales they needed for the week to hit the month goal, then ended with that.
I wanted to take it further... daily goals and then not just success goals but failure as well.  "I have to fail at least once today."  I literally have this goal for myself to fail at something everyday.
Before reading on, think about why I or anyone would want to fail.

If I'm setting out to do something outside of my range where failure is high probability, I'm going to grow from it.
If I'm just going about a care free day, doing what I can roll out of bed and do... A) its not very challenging and then B) because it's easy and not challenging, there's no movement or growth or opportunity.  Playing the safe, easy, care free day will always keep me in this exact same place.  And that can relate to business, or relationships or training or anything.
Came up for me twice recently.  As a real estate agent, we have to prospect a bit and reach out to "for sale by owners," and that kind of thing.  So its not easy and I'm not exactly Mr. Social.  I dont really ever just walk up to people and start talking.  So my goal wasnt "I'm going to get a fsbo to sign with me today."  Odds are greatly not in my favor.  Its just not something that happens like that (click your fingers).  So saying "I'm going to get one today," would be like "I'm going to run a marathon today."  The goal is the marathon, as the goal is letting the fsbo know I'm the man for the job.  So for the marathon, its "I need to run 3 miles today," and the FSBO its "I just need to knock on a door."  That's it.  You cant hit a grand slam with no one on the bases.
My other example was at football camp.   Summer camps and we install new ideas to see how things look and tweak it moving forward.  So we installed plays we needed and then set it into motion...
failed.  And failed.  Error after error.  I let them know "All good... we should be failing now and making mistakes... and then fail and error another 50 times... why?  Because it shows you're still working and then eventually you're going to have that AH-HA moment and it all comes together."
Ever fail on repping a max weight?  How did it feel the next day or moving fwd?  Providing you didn't tear a rotator cuff)  I have
Ever fail sprinting up a hill?  Just run and run and eventually thats it... legs are just jello and lungs burn so bad you wonder if anyone's around for CPR?   I have
Ever fail in competition?  I have
Ever fail in _____?  I have
And all those failures are so needed.  People that have it easy, and I mean easy.  I mean people who really never had to bust their butts to pay bills.  People who never recvd notice that electric was turning off.  People that didn't have to buy a car for $1000 just to get through the winter.  People that never didn't lose a house.   Some people were just born a little further ahead in class and didn't have to grind the way others did.  Those people, they just dont know failure the same way and because of that, they just dont have the armor that you do... they'll break and you wont.  They'll "tap out," and you'll keep pushing.  Because you've failed time after time after time and you continue to fight and push and find your way, because of that persistence, you are stronger, better and more equipped to handle every damn thing that comes your way.  You've already experienced the pain of failure and pushed forward.  Learned and grew stronger.  Now do it again.  Reach for the shelf that's just a bit too high and when you fail, call out that guy in practice thats a year older than you, put in one more hour at your craft, sign up for the class and finish the degree, take that side job you've been thinking about.  And swing away.  Fail and miss and come up short and then reload and do it again.

And when you succeed.... dont forget to take minute to yourself to sit in the backyard with your dogs... and just remember the actual important things in life.  


Chess news:
I tweet out "Free #POWERFUL to anyone who can beat me in chess."
So I whooped Brad, badly and moved on to take out Louie.  As this was going on, Brad requested "best of 3."  Sure.
Within 4 moves I thought 'This isnt Brad anymore."  So I text Louie during our game to ask who is playing Brads board.  Sure enough "His dad."  So then I had to turn my brain on, but it was too late.  Lost about 8 moves later.
Lesson learned. never underestimate an opponent.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Without A Dragon...

I was working out this am.... nothing major, just kinda moving in and out of some things, trying to loosen up and relax a little.  Stressing the body a bit physically, getting the blood pumping usually prods my brain to get cranking and my day is ok.

But its hard.  I have a mental distraction that I don't know when or if, I'll be able to shake it.

I've been a certified personal trainer for... 9 years, and active in high school weight rooms with strength and conditioning for more than 12.  So movement, nutrition, multiple elements of health and fitness, its always been close to me and a tool to help point some direction towards a search for answers and education.  If you've been around the last 6-8 years, you can see the entire picture of what my intent was while trying hard to hide behind a logo or business.  The nutrition talks and info, the yoga, outdoor boots, personal training, the podcasts/books/docs that are recommended on the site, its all pointing in the same direction... a place of self awareness and self education, to help you be a better leader, mother, father, brother, student, athlete, sister, manager, coach, on and on.  The more in tune you are, the more self awareness you have, the more you strive to learn new and old, the more honest you are, the better you're going to be for yourself and everyone you come in contact with.  It's just how it goes.  Because you cant dive into all of this and not emit positive, helpful energy.

So in my process and becoming obsessed with all of this and trying to funnel information, some hear it, some dont.  Some take it and run with it, some dont.  In the beginning, those that didn't, bothered me.  I'd spend hours and energy thinking about them.  Why dont they work out?  Why dont they enjoy this?  What am I doing wrong that they arent seeing the benefit and how this will lead to a healthier, happier life?  Like I referenced when speaking about teams I coached in the past, I blamed myself for losses.  I always said "I should've found a way to do more," and losses bothered me endlessly day after day.  So this field of work, is that times 20.  Because I'm not just working to win a game on a Friday night (trust me, that's still a goal), I'm working to make sure whoever is doing the grocery shopping at home, knows what theyre doing.  The goal is that whoever the leader is now plus the future leader, is equipped to think and research and also filter through the bullshit.  Its a job.  And thats the #1 problem.

I always felt home changed when mothers went to work.  As society shifted in the 80's to early 90's, more and more households went from single family income to a need for dual or even more.   So while there was once one person who oversaw the grocery shopping and meals for the  family, and that being a full time job in itself, that role was now minimized to barely a part time job.  Something that was handled in spare time and/or on the fly.  Meals were made in more bulk or quantity so that there was leftovers to save some time on baseball night or something along those lines.  This is where marketing tactics sunk their teeth in and went to work, selling products with nearly zero positive nutritional value.
Think about this and the things you know... when a slice of watermelon is left out for a few days, what does it do?  Rots, right?  Rots, grows mold, goes bad, within 2-4 days usually.  This is the case with most actual foods.  But when you go to the grocery store, there are aisles and aisles of food that doesn't go bad at all or if it does, its 60-90 days down the line... how can this be?

Over the last 35 years, same time frame I gave above (single income to dual), we have seen increases in breast cancer, prostate cancer, autism, obesity and earlier stages of puberty (among other things).
How and why?

One idea of the "how," is that the United States in one of the only countries that doesn't test chemicals independently (meaning not tested by the company that makes them) prior to usage.  So the tests are done, but only to make sure no one immediately dies.  That is a fact.  Our foods, our clothes, the air we breathe, chemicals all around.  We have products here in the US being sold to us, while the company that makes it, produces a non-toxic version for countries in Europe, where there are tougher, more diligent testings and laws.  How can this be?  Why is our own govt not protecting us?
Yes, we have agencies who are supposed to be overseeing safety levels of x, y, and z but....
...The "why?"  C'mon, you know this answer.

And this is the saddest thing ever... our health, our families health, kids health, has been hijacked, bought and sold, and you may choose to not believe that or even think about it, but it is 100% true.  When you start to watch documentaries, read or listen to podcasts, you'll find some things that might bother your thoughts on how you see society and this countries politics in regards to our health care system and the level of honesty in which information is shared.

You have to know and accept that you are responsible for the quality of life you will live and you're also in a great position to influence everyone you care about.  Understand the pros/cons of everything around us and dont be afraid to unplug from the norm.
Move your body.  Walk or jog or run.  Meditate or yoga or float tank.  Stress your body to grow a little, to strengthen yourself.  Eat as organic as possible.  Enjoy life with a free, clear mind.

The mental distraction I referenced above... its dark and menacing... the teams "losses" that kept me awake are nothing compared to this.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I want it to leave... I think I need it to keep me sharp and fighting... to keep me motivated and alive, on the mission... it's my dragon.

The number one person I had to teach, to help, to guide into new thoughts and a new way of seeing her health and a future, I couldn't do it.  There was something I was missing... and I should've been able to find a way to do more.

I'm not going to hide, I'm not going to keep quiet, I'm going to continuing pressing fwd and going after anyone or anything that endangers the health of our families.
We're better.  We deserve better.

This Is Blue Chip