Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Take a gander at the guy on the right. Does he look like a guy that says to you "I want to fight". No? me neither. So what made a decent amount of people in in my school yard life think "lets fight this guy". It's true, throughout my middle school/high school life I must have stared down the barrel of a fight more than the lunch ladies got hair in the pizza. Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Besides getting a day off work we get to remember one the greatest men involved in the civil rights movement. He preached non-violent protests, no matter what do not resort to violence. He even knew the reason for their violence was so far off the mental rocker that he would be justified to swinging a fist or two.

So what made the guys in my education world want to throw fistacuffs with me? After all, I'm not that tough. I chose the one position in football that gets protected during practice. But I am here to tell you that I got stuck in a lot of situations where it was me looking at this clown mouthing off, daring me to swing. I always laughed to myself at that point because I knew I would never swing...come on, I am a guy that plays the odds. I swing, chances are I'm getting leveled by this kid that has nothing to lose. One time I didn't swing at this kid so do you know what he did? He got his older brother, that was a senior at the time, to track me down after school and level me in the face on the way to football practice. I was in 8th grade.

The catholic high school in town might as well had my face on a milk carton with a bold header "REWARD". Those uniform touters hated me. No clue why, they just did. Many a times we would attend a dance after the football games when we were freshman, the uniforms were there too. It was a good bet that I was going to get stuck standing in a circle with one of them, people chanting fight. Me, giving that clown a shit-eating grin, Him, weighing the options in his head. By then a parent stepped in and I saved face. This must of happened a dozen times over the next few years.

In high school there were a few wreckless guys that wanted nothing more than to just deck me in the hallways. Instead of being smart, I would walk by these guys and ask them how their day was going and if I could help them with anything. I probably deserved at least one pop from them.

Call it pure hatred, jealousy, or boredom but I was their target. I never once fought. Never once threw a punch. I was the Mike Tyson of talking. I could get out of any situation and diffuse their anger if I knew there wasn't an out. I could also stoke their anger for me if I saw another way out. What did I learn from all this? I'm not sure to be honest, but I know maybe something my history teacher said about MLK when I was in class stuck in my mind...or I'm just a giant wuss.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

White Snow Challenge

Why did Rocky choose to go to Russia and train outdoors? Was it because he was broke and couldn't afford to work out in the USA? No. It wasn't because he couldn't work out indoors at Russia, did you see the crazy cyber junk Drago was working with? It wasn't because he wanted to grow that manly beard. He chose to run through the snow because snow makes natural things harder. The snow made his lance like trek's up a mountain harder. Snow made his pulling the sled with Pauley sitting on it that much harder. This past weekend I started to think about how snow makes almost everything harder. Driving? Harder. School Going? Harder. Sporting Events? Harder. Sun Bathing? Harder. You get my point. Snow really makes the average task difficult. This started my brain fibers to start sparking. Can they even spark? Is that what fibers do? anywho.... follow me here.

Snow is typically forecasted but we never know the amount we are going to get, or the exact time we will get it. We never know how long it will stay or if it will stop. Isn't this like all things in life that make our average tasks more difficult? Snow is like stress. Snow is like a broken furnace in an apartment that feels like the Arctic. Snow is like anything in your life right now that is making your daily activities more difficult. You didn't know this "snow" was going to pop up in your life, chances are you don't how long it will last, and you are pretty sure you would love to have someone come plow it all away.

I have good news. Just like real snow, this proverbial snow will get shoveled away by a kind neighbor or friend, or over time it will melt. Next time it snows in your life don't grip the wheel real tight and drive slower and slower panicking, rather find the courage to train in it to make yourself stronger.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Evolution of Friends

I've written before about how much I loved my childhood. A major reason for that joy were the friends I had. We lived in a horseshoe neighborhood that was like a frat house for little kids. They were everywhere. I had a friend Andrew that lived two doors down, we were brothers separated by birth that united only years later. Andrew and I had a pack of friends we ran with that lived close. We were inseparable and vowed to be best friends for life. Then the first round of evolution began. High School came along and Andrew and I started getting interested in opposite things. That pack we ran with started to choose sides to align with and thus new groups were formed and best friends were made again.

High School marked the time of my buddy Brad and Greg becoming my brothers from another mother. We ran around together, played football together, and we thought we would be friends forever. We even decided to go to College together and live with one another for four years. That is when Evolution part two came.

College brought about more and more friends. Every class you went to and party attended you discovered a new friend, this is when Drew became my best friend. We did everything together. We both coached football, loved watching movies, and shared a mutual respect for one another in all areas. We pushed eachother in ways college buddies should and we thought we would be best friends forever. That is when Evolution part three came.

Teaching/Professional life. When I moved to Delaware and started teaching I lost touch with Drew, Brad, and Greg. We tried to keep in touch but we all went in our separate ways that didn't match up. I met a new group of friends. The social studies guys and Bill. I taught with all these guys and we ran around Delaware as the young group of guys and had a blast. Later we added a young buck Scott to the mix and the funniest guy we've ever met, Mcdonough. We all coached together or taught with eachother and it was great. That is when Evolution four came.

New Jobs/Dreams. People started leaving looking for new jobs, dreams, etc... that is when I left, pursuing a new job. We started to lose touch, besides the occasional email but for the most part the group was disbanded. There are a few friends that I still see but this is when Evolution five happens.

Baby. This summer we'll have a baby. This is going to start another evolution of friends. We'll see what comes from this, some might drop off, some might emerge but an evolution will surely happen. A kid changes everything, some people will be ok with that, some will not. Those that are will be a part of the next period in my life.

Over the past 28 years I have really had three friends that have crossed the evolutionary lines. My brother, Max, and Matt. I don't really see my brother that often, nor Max for that matter but we remain close. Matt has been one friend that I have had and still see at least a couple times a month. For starting out not even liking eachother Matt and I have become great friends.

It's funny to think about the evolution of friends. If you think about your own life I'm sure you can come up with your own evolutionary steps. I used to be perplexed by this but I realize it's part of life. Most people move away from their childhood friends, most people head in different directions, and most people start families or get different jobs at different times. It's the friends that you look back upon that make you who you are today. Whether you still talk to them or not you will always have a fond memory or moment you spent with them.