Blog

I wanted to write today

I found myself wanting to write today. This is something that hasn’t happened in a while. The catalyst was I happened to be washing dishes and my mind started wandering. This is something I picked up from my father. He would wash, I would dry back when we lived together. I may or may not have stuck myself a bit with a knife, which reminded me of a story for another day about washing dishes with my dad. But I digress.

The past two days I had 9 freshmen move in and the 9 returners will be arriving soon. They come from all over the country and world. They come to WV to be part of the legacy we are building with our squad.

I got an email from a recruit last night that had been weighing on my mind. I get ones like this all the time, but the player asked me if I would be interested in recruiting them but understood if not because some coach/person/friend/family member at some point told them they couldn’t play at the next level because of their (insert nonprototypical trait here).

When I am asked about coaching influences, I usually don’t list my dad, but he is as deserving if not more deserving than any coach in my life.

Before we moved from small town Bloomsburg to the regular sized town of Mechanicsburg PA, my dad coached me in soccer. A sport that he really knew nothing about. When we moved, it was too late for him to be a rec league coach so in 3rd grade I found myself playing for the first coach not to be my dad. It was a bad enough experience that I almost gave up the sport permanently.

Going into 4th grade, my dad took up his coaching ways again. Later in life I would go with him to what I will refer to as ‘the draft’. It was where all the rec league coaches came together. Each coach was allowed a number of keepers from their previous roster and then all remaining players were given a skill level out of 10. The coaches then drafted their teams for the upcoming year. My father hated this process, and wanted me to see it so I could understand. Kids reduced to a number. Something I now see all the time in recruiting.

But stepping back to that 4th grade soccer season. My dad drafted a team that was almost exclusively the neighborhood I lived in so we could have the experience of playing with our friends. If he would have had a draft card score on that, it would probably have been an F-.

Some of us would later become solid athletes, but at that time none of us were anything above average. If memory serves only two of those players went on to even play at the high school level, and none at the college level.

We went undefeated that year. Which isn’t the part I care about 20ish years later. I can still look back and see my dad yelling out Greek Machine when my defender made a good stop. Or Elmer as our other goalie brought down a shot. Placing a season clinching penalty kick into the feet of one of the few nonneighborhood kids on the team. My father showed me the power of positive motivation as a coach. By truly investing and believing in each athlete on the field he was able to make us into something no one would have believed we could have been: A championship team.

So today’s lesson from my father is What can you do today to help someone else become their best?

Rich dad poor dad

Once upon a time I read Rich Dad Poor Dad which despite the financial advice being very outdated I recommend giving a read to if simply for one principal he talks about “pay yourself first”. Now being a poor writerly type I am that’s rarely applied to me in the money sense but I do try to put it to use each day in a different way.

While we are all stuck at home in whatever capacities we are I use this for taking care of myself. I pay myself first before working for others. This means I put my work out before all. It’s too easy for me to sit down at the computer and get lose at the rabbit hole of work, so first thing every day is a work out.

In these times I highly recommend it, you’ll be surprised how much working out can improve your stay at home experience.

Ten years

It’s been ten years since I first started working on The Primal Age Chronicles. That’s roughly 1/3 of my life. In two more years it could have a high school diploma. This chair has been with me since the beginning.

It’s weird at this moment. After a year away my characters are quiet. I don’t hear them and they aren’t speaking to me. I’m struggling to feel what they feel, and am mildly worried.

But I’ll keep putting words on the page and seeing how long it takes for them to return from their neglect.

Perspective

Remember to keep perspective in times like these. A year ago I wrecked my car and spent months laid up in bed. No tv. No reading. No computer. No working out.

This morning I went for a five mile jog on my treadmill while watching a movie followed by playing with my dog and now writing this on a screen.

I’m not trying to discredit what anyone else is going through at this time. I understand the worries of being without hourly income, or being stuck at home in a bad situation so I’m not trying to say this is all rainbows and sunshine.

Just keep in mind there are positives to every day, quarantine or not.

It’s okay to be afraid

I just wanted to remind everyone in times like these it is okay to be afraid. To be afraid for yourself and to be afraid for others is okay. But acting out of fear is not okay. Acting out of fear is panic and is far more dangerous than any situation. Take a moment, a deep breathe even, process that fear, then find a logical forward motion to commit to.

Coming together

It’s easy to watch the news or social media and see the bad in this situation. And I’m not talking about the obvious bad that Covid-19 is, but the bad in us as humans. Fist fights over toilet paper and what now. But the news always writes the negative and history will write the positive.

The positive is what I look for in all of this. I have haven’t ever seen the world galvanized like this in my life. I can remember 9/11 as a kid and how patriotic we were for a while after but I’ve never seen it on the global front.

History will remember that. It will remember the Chinese medical staff heading to help in Italy. It’ll remember the countless people who have been getting groceries for elderly relatives and neighbors. The amount of classes and content being given away for free to make this solitude a little more bearable. Even the amount of FaceTime hours logged between friends, families and even strangers to make this confinement better.

When you’re letting the news fill you with the negative remember the positive, and if you can’t remember the positive, then it’s time to be the positive.

I guess this means I’m back

So, here we are and here I am. Stay tuned.

So to clarify everyone keeps asking me about the Primal Age and Covid and I’ve reached my John Wick point. If you don’t get the reference here’s a link to help.

What this means is I’ll be returning to daily posts.