Morning and Clean Sheets of Paper

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but mornings have become something I enjoy quite a bit.  I was never truly a late night party machine to begin withm as any friend of mine reading this will laugh loudly while saying, “Whoooaaaa… big breaking news there…”  I do enjoy quite a bit about the evening time, but for me it’s the winding down feeling I enjoy, not a time to getting buckwild crazy.  For instance, one of my favorite memories is when I used to live along the Connecticut shoreline, I would head down to the beach on a clear night and sit up in one of the lifeguard chairs for a while.  It was just incredibly peaceful to sit there in the darkness, maybe with some moonlight, and watch the waves lap the shore.

I think my fascination with mornings is due to the feeling that with a new day brings the chance for good, new things to happen.  There is always something inherently positive about that in my mind.  Are there mornings where I am decidedly unexcited about what lies in store for me that day?  Oh, hell yes.  Let’s not get ridiculous about this – I am not going to pretend I walk out the door each morning with the figurative bluebirds of happiness chirping upon each of my shoulders.

But there is just the fact that a new day is starting and I have the chance to make of it what I will.  This is the same feeling I have when I sit down in front of a nice, clean sheet of paper.  What will transpire with that paper is completely up to me.  It could be a mundane shopping list or a series of to-do projects requiring my attention.  It could also be a sketch or a frenetic set of ideas I am excited to get down on paper and organize for a blog post, a training program or just some insight that mysterious popped into my noggin.

It’s the promise of it all that fascinates me.  I have talked about potential before here and here, so I think it’s clear that leaving potential unrealized or without effort to achieve is something to avoid… but it still fires my imagination overall.

So as I write this very morning and think more about the good things in life, I am upbeat and ready to get moving a little bit.  OK, that could be the coffee, but it’s more likely the power of mornings.

Here’s to hoping for good things in store today for you.  That big, clean sheet of paper is in front of us all.  Give it something good.

Present Pain. Future Payoff.

A little slice of personal joy

A funny thing happened on the way to my soccer game this past Sunday.  Not like literally during the drive over, but in the time leading up to the game and it all happened without me specifically noticing it.

As I mentioned a little bit in my post yesterday on potential, my experience at Tough Mudder really opened my eyes a bit to what I can and cannot do.  Going through such an unbelievably challenging event like that (probably the hardest physical thing I have ever done) made me reflective in the weeks that followed.  If you asked “How so, you charming devil?”, well… then (1) thank you for the compliment you kind and observant soul; and (2) let me tell you.

Between work busy-ness and life busy-ness and all the lifting and physical training I do anyway, I’ve sometimes been concerned about overdoing it.  As Saint Mom Kuzia has always said about me, I tend to be either all-in or all-out.  I’m not terribly good at finding that smooth, even-keeled middle that some other people tend to have as they navigate the waves of life.  I’ve gotten a little better in this regard, but certainly not great.  So I have had times where I felt rundown or tired or unmotivated as I pushed through my training sessions.  I would chalk this up to life catching up with me and just being way, way, waaaaay too overstretched.

After Tough Mudder, I suddenly wasn’t so sure.  I certainly have more stress than I would care for, but was that really what was limiting me?  Or, as I wrote yesterday, had I created an artificial boundary around my own potential?  I decided to say “Screw it” and see if I couldn’t get a little more juice going for myself by pushing a little harder in each training session I had.

Lo and behold!  I play soccer this past Sunday, switch to more of a midfield position versus my typical backfield defender position… I need to run a ton more… and probably played the best game I have had in YEARS.  I am no by NO MEANS some kind of talented soccer wiz – quite the contrary.  I picked up the game seriously 10 years ago at 29 and have loved it ever since, but I will never be the guy to dazzle you with my deft footwork and majestic shots on goal.  I’m a worker.  A scrapper.  A hustler… and boy did I hustle this past week and had a ton of fun doing it.

None of this would have happened if I didn’t get myself out of that preconceived notion of my own boundaries.  That’s the beauty of finding moments to really get out of your own comfort zone – the time in that awkward experience is likely terribly unpleasant, but in many ways, you aren’t doing it for that moment, but for ones that follow.

Present pain.  Future payoff.  An excellent personal transaction.

The Size and Shape of Potential

After I did yesterday’s post, the topic of potential started knocking around a lot in my brain for the rest of the day.  You see, I find potential to be one of the more interesting concepts to think about because it has a lot of nuances to it, both good and bad.  I think this is why I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with potential.

The positive side of potential is fairly obvious: it’s about having the chance to do much, be much and achieve much.  It’s about that bright horizon of promise where so many good things await and you just want to sprint towards it with fervor.  WOO!  GET SOME!

On the other side of the ledger, I think about the quote from former NFL coach Brian Billick when he said, “Son, your potential is going to get me fired.”  The darker side of potential is that it means someone has gifts, talents and abilities… but without the realization of those innate qualities.  Hmm… that’s never good.  This is when all the promise and hope bumps up against the passage of time and people begin to ask, “Umm… soooo… do you plan on actually doing anything with all of your gifts?  Or are ya just gonna sit on them?”  Oof.  Not good.

Potential: cool and refreshing

It made me think about what analogy works best for potential. My initial thought was a glass of water.  There sits a nice, cold, refreshing glass of water representing all of your potential.  If it just sits there and is ignored, it’s just going to become room temperature and possibly taste a little funky after a while.  Instead, you want to get into and drink deeply of it to gain all of its great benefits.

But what happens when you start to get near the bottom of the glass?  When there is just sips left?  Sure, you have nearly maximized everything of that crisp, satisfying potential… umm… but then what?  It’s gone?  Empty?  Nothing left?  What do you look forward to now?  Is there some kind of problem with being incredibly efficient at bringing out the best of the glass of potential you have because one it’s all done… that’s it?

It was at this point I realized the problem was more with the structure of the analogy.  Sure, there is something keenly appealing about the idea of the cold glass of water and making use of it instead of letting it become lukewarm and bleah… but it really hit me that our potential is never going to be a finite container.  How could it be?

We can always develop and get a little better than before – mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.  There may be some outer boundaries at some point.  For instance, the window of opportunity for me to fulfill my lifelong dream of playing running back for the Dallas Cowboys is quickly closing… and shut your filthy mouths, you naysayers who say it was never open!  But you see what I mean – I probably will not develop 4.2 speed and the ability to hit an inside draw for a game winning touchdown in Dallas.  That’s OK.

But a lot of my other physical development?  I don’t see any outer limits right now.  It may all take a while, but it’s there because… why the hell not?  You and I are mostly limited by our own set boundaries in the end.

Or intellectual development – does anyone seriously believe they have capped out there?  Who couldn’t learn more and open up their mind to new and exciting possibilities until they draw their very last breath?  I will tell you who – those who decided it couldn’t be done and stunted their own growth in that area.  Them and them alone.

I think that was the most eye-opening part of doing the Tough Mudder a few weeks back.  In the middle of the race, several hours in and feeling tired and beaten all to hell, I realized one important thing – as banged up as I felt, I knew I would finish.  I simply knew it as sure as I was drawing breath (which was probably more like wheezing at that moment, but still a form of oxygen intake regardless).  If I could push through that, what else could I do?

Truthfully, all of my physical training since that time has been markedly improved because the 6 grueling hours of that race showed me where I had limited myself in the past.  It took that grind to break down my self-created walls and open up some squeaky-clean and shiny-new potential.

Flex those boundaries a bit today, my friends.  They will stretch more than you think… especially because you probably created 90% of them anyway.

Vlogging Abroad: Fierce and Mighty Goes to Shanghai

Traveling "Rough"
My idea of traveling "rough"

I got back into the good ol’ U. S. of A. yesterday evening after spending a nice chunk of the week in Shanghai, China.  It’s my second trip to China and first time Shanghai, a city which a friend of mine described as “China’s Paris”.  Now, while I didn’t get to see anything in the city that struck me as very Parisian, I did come away with an appreciation for a few things:

  1. Shanghai. Is. Massive.  At a population of 23 million, it’s the most populous city on the planet.
  2. The city has a fairly amazing skyline.  The vlog post has a shot from the roof deck of my hotel and that will give you a pretty good idea of what it looks like at night.  Pretty amazing – they love their lights on buildings in Shanghai.
  3. While not Shanghai specific, I like to travel “rough” in the sense that if I’m going to be on a plane, I will have on some combination of (a) baseball hat, (b) t-shirt, (c) sneakers and (d) pullover.  Oh and there is no possible way I am shaving either.  This photo is proof to all of the above as I sat in BusinessFirst on United.  If you thought for a second that traveling “rough” to China involved being crammed into an impossibly small seat… umm… no.  Not so much.

Anyhoo, today’s vlog is about perspective (surprised?), funkiness and living life active vs. passive.  Please do enjoy – this is my first attempt at an iPad-generated vlog.  Hoping this works out as planned.  Also, I was able to build up a few post ideas during the trip that I will be doing over the next few days.  Rejoice unto the heavens and cry hosannah!

Dissatisfaction and The Value of Your Life

I’ve never seen the movie “Network“, but I’ve seen the pivotal scene from the film more than a few times and I was drawn to finding it today on YouTube.  If you’ve never seen it, here it is:

But what was it that brought me to this?

This is seemingly the 3rd post that jumps to mind for me that deals with some kind of rage (see “Choking On Our Own Rage”) or being pissed off (see “Non-Stop, Full Tilt, Every Day Mayhem” with Ray Lewis’s speech on being “pissed off for greatness”) or today about being mad as hell.  Am I just some kind of bitter angry person?  One of those cranky old curmudgeons who shakes his fist on his front porch at the kids to gell off of his lawn?  The guy who finds nothing to be happy about, but more than a little to complain about?  Thankfully, no… I am none of these things… although who doesn’t enjoy a good moment of declaring how things were so much tougher/better when they were growing up and how kids have it SO easy these days?  It’s damn therapeutic, I tell ya.

Shake it up!
Determined to shake myself out of lethargy

However, the video came to mind for me as I thought about the power of never feeling too satisfied with the state of things.  We all get incredibly busy with work, family, friends and rushing around at a hectic pace.  I may be just imagining it and maybe its just my own life, but everything feels to be at an accelerated pace over the last year or so.  More to do and less time to do it.  Doing this for a few days or weeks is manageable, but over longer periods of time, it’s easy to forget about everything going on around you… because you haven’t really stopped to take a look.

And that’s why… every once in a while… we each need to feel truly dissatisfied and maybe get mad as hell.  Not angry in the sense of being pissed off at your fellow man or mindlessly shouting to the heavens for some kind of ephemeral justice.  No, it needs to be that dissatisfaction with our own lots, lives or situations where we get pissed and think, “No more senseless autopilot… there’s got to be something better out there…”  Or in the words of on-the-edge news anchor Howard Beale in the video above, you need to say “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”

Because when you get to that point of being dissatisfied, you suddenly improve the opportunity for a change to really occur.  Really and truly to happen.  The alternative is to just feel that nothing will ever improve and whatever you are experiencing at this moment is just as good as it’s going to get.  Is that what you want?  I don’t want that for me and I certainly don’t want that for you.

So the next time you feel that gnawing sense in your gut that you should be able to have something better… there should be more than what is immediately in front of you… don’t stifle it out as a kneejerk reaction and don’t feed it as anger for the sake of anger.  Both are senseless and can be destructive (or in Stars Wars, lead to the path of the dark side).  Instead, let’s make it that extra push to shake us from our complacency and get a little more for ourselves, our families, our friends and anyone else we care about.

The present may be tough, but since the only constant in life is change… why not make that work for us?  We’re human beings.  Our lives have value. And settling belittles all of us a little bit at a time.

Non-Stop, Full Tilt, Every Day Mayhem

It’s probably not surprising that I enjoy a very well-done inspiration speech.  Certain people who truly have the gift – whether by virtue of being blessed by the gods of Olympus from birth or through, careful, meticulous practice over time – really capture my attention.  The ability to move inspire people to do more and be more than they thought possible just fascinates me.

But something about Ray Lewis’s speech struck a slightly different chord with me when I watched it.  I still had the chills and felt fired up at the end… but a few minutes later, I found myself pausing to think about what he said from a slightly different vantage point.  Ray starts off with:

If tomorrow wasn’t promised, what would you give for today?  Forget everything else.  Forget everything else.  Forget that there was any sunlight left.  What would you spend today thinking about?

The reason this got me to thinking was twofold.  First, it’s about taking nothing for granted today and if tomorrow is never promised, how will you live today.  Second, it also got me thinking about the motto of this blog: Relentlessly push yourself forward.  These two ideas taken together basically add up to an idea of going non-stop, full tilt, every single day.  All good things, right?

The Road to Ribblesdale
Photo Credit: Luc B via Compfight

But can we really do that?  Should we expect ourselves to really and truly do that?  I don’t mean that in some absurdly constructed argument sense where someone says, “No one would live that way since they would make horrible choices, spend all their money and live like lunatics if they 100% committed to that day being their last on earth!”  But what I mean instead is… can you go 100% every single day?  Furthermore, should you even try?

The reason I got to thinking about this was not to say that embracing utter sloth is somehow a good idea, but to wonder how to pace this effort… how to handle the daily ebbs and flows of time, energy and desire.  No one is going to be “ON” 24/7 – not even the most dedicated and motivated.  Burn out would be inevitable with a blistering pace like that.

But hard effort every day?  The best attitude you can bring to the table every day?  Doable without a doubt.  Will your best on a rainy Monday with all-day meetings be as good as your best on a sunny Friday with bluebirds serenading your every step?  Probably not, but that’s fine.  It’s the daily practice that matters.

And that’s where the importance of finding inspiration – whether in a speech, book, song or conversation with a good friend – matters so much.  For in those moments, you can see the possibility of moving a few steps past what you thought was your upper limit.  And when you get past those sticking points to a new, brave place… then you have progress and you have moved yourself forward.

I can’t say how this day will turn out, but I am going to take Ray’s advice and be “pissed off for greatness”… for I can feel a little bit more mojo pushing me to that place beyond what I knew possible.  Time to hustle.

Many Steps Back

Hard Work

It’s a pretty common refrain to speak of taking a step back to make two steps forward.  It’s not a bad thought – every now and again we probably need to take stock, reset where we are on something in our lives and then let that step back lead to even better progress than when we started.  The tricky piece is that even when you logically know that you will be better off after the step back, it’s still sometimes a challenge to do that.  Why?  Because who doesn’t want to be advancing all the time.  We like progress – we fight against regression.

Today’s vlog is about how I am not taking one or two steps back, but perhaps many.  It’s not easy… not at all.  Personal pride is a very powerful force, but I think it’s going to be right for me in the end.

As an added bonus, you get to see me act like an utter lunatic for a few seconds. Sunday fun for the whole family!

Nor’easters and Forced Perspective

It’s a lovely day here in New England… well, I mean it’s lovely if you look past the massive power outages, electrical wires draped across road, trees smashing into cars and the prospect of no electricity for up to week.  But beyond all that, it’s a lovely day in… October.  I need to re-check my calendar… huh, it really is October?  Hmm.

Snowtober damage
You mean your Octobers aren't like this too?

This above photo is a taste of what awaited me when I sojourned out of my house to see how things were today.  As extreme as that looks, it was not terribly unusual during my travel of about 1.5 miles to the highway.  Seriously.

This is the second time in the last several months that severe weather has caused a power outage which is supposed to last days.  Yesterday I made the best of it as the power went out during my lifting session in my home gym.  As my previous post shows, it’s amazing how you can get in a darn fine workout by candlelight.

But what all of this also does is force perspective upon many people yet again.  Sure, there is the initial levels of outrage over events out of the control of we mere mortals – just look at Facebook for anyone you know in my area for proof of that.  But then at some level, you are immediately forced into thinking about what is truly essential: food, warmth, shelter and the well-being of those you love.  Those rise to the top of the list in an eyeblink.

It’s also an interesting lesson in how far removed we are as human beings from truly having to rely on our own wits on a daily basis. Hell, we are so far removed from that kind of pure self-reliance that we create reality game shows to mimic that experience so we can watch it unfold in the comfort of our own homes.

Believe me – I have bitched a bit about this power outage too.  I think it’s natural.  It’s a horrible inconvenience… but it will go away and I will return to First World living.  However, I am hoping to get myself to step back and appreciate what I have a little bit more because I am only experiencing a few days worth of what far too many people experiencing constantly.  If the worst thing that happens to me today is my inability to watch the NFL, then that’s a fairly high class problem to have.

And if you are wondering how I am able to even get this blog post up given the state of power in the glorious Constitution State… my place of work still has power… and I am completely unsurprised by that. Nothing seems to stop this place. Ever.

Welcome to Milquetoast Nation

I like a good commercial.  There is something great about taking an attempt to get you to buy something and transcending that medium to make you think, laugh, cry or just get plain pissed off.  Whether it was the famous Apple commercial from back in 1984 to signal their assault against the bland groupthink of personal computers or even last year’s Snickers commercials with Betty White.  I just enjoy something well-crafted and memorable.

A commercial I’ve seen recently and had a bit of a chuckle to was from Planet Fitness:

Now, Planet Fitness has a very particular business model for their “gyms”… and yes, I placed that in quotes and you’ll soon see why.  They have really low monthly rates and are incredibly proud of their “Judgment Free Zone®”.  If you’ve never been there, this is how they describe it on their Web site:

As the most innovative health club brand in the United States, Planet Fitness is known for a lot of things – our absurdly low prices, our Lunk™ Alarm, and most of all perhaps, for our Judgement Free Zone® philosophy, which means members can relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms.

What does this mean in practice?  Well, for starters, their dumbbells only go up to a certain weight because having more than that would attract the “lunks” in Planet Fitness-speak.  They also don’t allow any grunting, dropping of weights or… apparently… “judgment”.  And for that matter, they don’t seem to allow anyone who really and truly gives a damn either.  Let me explain.

While no one really wants to train in a gym with guys (and let’s face it… the biggest maroons I’ve seen acting like complete fools in gyms are 99.9999% of the time guys) who are there to call attention to themselves by needlessly dropping weights, hogging up sections of the gym floor and just being a general jackass.  However, what Planet Fitness is also driving out with their overly broad and… surprise!… completely judgmental approach is anyone who actually gives a damn about their training and is looking to improve.  The guy in that video might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you don’t end up looking like he does without a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

Don’t believe me that some of these gyms are not for people who actually care?  OK, let me throw this out to you then.  Which environment do you think is better for improving yourself in?  A place where you are surrounded by others that strive for excellence and consistently push themselves to be better?  Or a place where we don’t want people to be TOO good because… gosh… then others may feel bad about themselves?  The latter is what you get at a place like Planet Fitness.  Me?  I would rather lift completely by myself as I have done the last few years or find a group of likeminded people to surround myself with to push me each and every day I train.  I couldn’t do this at Planet Fitness because if I suddenly let out any noise while lifting, I risk being kicked out.  Instead, I would have to sit there quietly and never do anything that could possibly offend my purple and yellow overlords.

Are there people who are serious at Planet Fitness?  Of course there are… just not as many as there ever COULD be.  I’ve had the dubious pleasure of training in a few Planet Fitness locations before and I can never imagine going back there again.  If you want to be surrounded by people who think the check-in-the-box of just showing up at the gym is good enough, then feel free.  Have a ball.  If you are only spending $10 or $15 a month, that might be fine for you and, in truth, some exercise is better than none at all.

But if you want to get results?  Something tangible to show for devoting your time and energy to being fit, strong and healthy?  Go elsewhere.  Find a smaller training studio with a well-certified strength coach or trainer.  Put the money down to get yourself to truly commit to making positive changes instead of just checking the box.  Find a place that won’t set off alarm bells if you did a deadlift.

Reject the Milquetoast, my friends, and embrace the chance to be good or even great… not by anyone else’s standards… but by your own.  Give yourself the chance to know the deeply incredible feeling of pushing yourself through a difficult training session and knowing when you’re done, that you weren’t content to just be average and passive.  It’s not just good for your body, but it’s good for your soul.

Alternatively, you could just join a gym where you can ring their alarm every time someone who cares and might have a few muscles comes along:

Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm

Because why should anyone dare to aspire to be their best?  It might just hurt someone’s feelings…

Reject the Milquetoast.  Save your soul.

Analysis and Attitude – Coaching Through the Tricky Parts

While I cannot speak for all other bloggers, I know one of my complete obsessions with my own blog is checking out Google Analytics to see how my blog is performing: how many visitors I am getting, what sites they are coming from, how long they spend on the site and what keywords they have used to reach the site.  It’s pretty cool how you can slice the data a bunch of different ways to see what in the world made someone: (a) come to your site; (b) stick around and (c) look at some particular pieces of content.

Outside of the sheer numbers piece of total unique visitors (I love this one and just want it to go up all the time), I really love the keywords.  It never ceases to amaze me the searches someone used on a search site like Google to find humble little Fierce and Mighty.  For instance, for the time period between May 26 and May 31, I’ve had people come to my blog for “dealing with toxic people”, the “prowler” and a variety of connections for people looking for guides on handling youth baseball.  I think my favorite youth baseball one is “youth baseball moms how to deal with crappy coaches”.  Umm… I’m hoping that wasn’t a parent of one of my players… but then again, ya gotta admit it would be pretty funny if parents of some of my players came to my own site for advice on how to deal with my (ALLEGEDLY) crappy coaching.

IMG_1213_2.JPGSo let’s get back into the coaching piece for a bit, mostly since I am really enjoying doing posts on my thoughts on being a youth baseball coach.

I think if there is one huge challenge any youth coach faces, more than teaching skills, setting rosters, structuring drills or managing an actual game is setting the proper tone and attitude of the team.  You really need to get to the kids early and stay utterly consistent in your message to them from the first practice to the last moment of your final game.  But how exactly does one do this?  I think I’m finally seeing what it takes to pull this off after a lengthy period of trial and error… and this is probably something that applies more generally to teams than just kids… but for now, I will focus on our getting our precious little angels to stop yammering for 10 seconds to pay attention to the baseball game.

  1. A common theme, shared among all. The coaches really need to be on the same page with what the approach they want to take with the kids.  My brother and I have a pretty good idea of how we want to approach our team, so that does help.  We want them to improve and play well and have fun.  Do we want them to win?  Of course, but only towards the bigger goal that they will get more excited about the game when they are doing well as a team.  The pure accolades associated with winning a “title” or something at this age is not our real goal.  Sure, it would be nice, but I will take the kids having fun over that any day without even a 2nd thought.  To some nutjob coaches out there, that makes me a loser.  To all those nutjob coaches out there, I would simply respond… with nothing.  Y’all ain’t it even worth the effort of my fingers to type something.
  2. The more, the merrier. This is one I almost cannot stress enough: the younger the kids, the more coaches you need.  Period.  I will not debate this.  If you are dealing with all teenagers, 2 coaches can probably be sufficient because, at that age, the kids can actually stay semi-focused at practices and in games.  But coaching 14 or so 8 and 9 year olds?  You need to have at least 4 coaches to make things close to workable.  The reason for this is simple: they have incredibly short attention spans and are always looking to act like goofy little lunatics with their buddies.  While this is sometimes kind of funny, if you don’t keep it on a short leash, things become unworkable for the whole team VERY quickly.

    With a group of coaches, it’s easier to divide kids into groups and minimize the amount of standing around time or “SAT”… ok, there isn’t really a true acronym for that, but I made it up… umm… and may never use it again.  I just felt like doing it.  Cut me some slack.  But as coaches, you simply need to be proactive about getting other parents involved as either coaches for practices or just to help monitor the kids on the bench during games when you are trying to focus on the actual in-game coaching.  The alternative is spending all your time telling  Reggie to take the gum off his nose, Charlie to stop kicking the dugout gravel into coach’s glove and Thomas that throwing the empty gum wrappers behind the bench was not what you meant when you said you didn’t want trash in the dugout.  I want to point out that while the names were changed to protect the… *ahem*… innocent, all of these things happened last game.  I kid you not.

  3. Getting it back when you start late. This is one I feel like my brother and I seem to focus on too much in that we don’t get the attitude set the way we want early and consistently and then struggle a bit to bring the boys back to the task at hand.  Now believe me, it is not that hard to lose the kids if you are not following the first 2 tips, but that being said, I am not making excuses.  Just an observation.  So what do you do when you find yourself 5 games into the season and your exquisitely crafted plan of 9 year old baseball domination falling apart before your very eyes?

    I’d like to say I have an easy answer for this one… but I don’t.  It really is a matter of acknowledging that at any point in the season, you can say “OK, enough is enough” if you really and truly mean it.  Our teams have always tended to bloom a little late because it took my brother and I a little while to get everyone back on board.  The funny thing about that is that even if it happens late in the season, it’s very cool when it happens… not because your exceedingly fragile coaching ego has been saved from further bruising, but when the kids finally do “get it”, they begin to play well and have fun.  We actually had a bit of this happen in our last game.  The opposing team came out swinging against us and knocked the ball all around the top of the 1st inning.  How did we respond?  Hell, we came out and knocked the ball all over the place in the bottom of the 1st.  Was this because they saw it was possible?  Was it some secret bit of magical coaching pixie dust that got us back into the positive end of things?  Damned if I know… but it was fun… and the fun is what counts… keep reminding yourself of that.

OK, that’s enough for now.  I started this post at JFK yesterday before my redeye flight to London, got less than 2 hours sleep, rolled right into my conference, finished that up for the day, had dinner and I am now attempting to finish this post with a semblance of rational thought.  I have no idea how that went – you be the judge.  I gotta get to sleep… but I do have a few thoughts I plan to share soon on this trip to London and also on my non-baseball playing nephew.  He needs some blog love too.

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