my excuse(s) for not blogging much these days seat themselves squarely on Lacrosse.
yes… I still coach my Shockers (although Haley Anne is actually a Breaker). But, both Haley Anne and Emma Jo find themselves on undefeated Soccer teams this season (despite the coach), and these days are rich indeed.
Joanne often resents the time I spend blogging. but, I completely understand. blogging is genuinely a great exercise in self-absorption. but, I really do try and use myself as an example, most of the time, regardless if the result paints me in a good or poor light. I want it to be a worthy and noble effort through a life well-lived; an authentic life.
how many of you know that Haley Anne is named after my Mom, Barbara Anne, and Joanne? And, that Emma Jo is also meant to honor my wife? I look at my daughters and I see the women that both were, and remain, forces of nature and incredible influencers through my existence.
in any event, I still play Lacrosse. and, I hope to play a lot of it this summer for a couple of teams. however, I’m a bit frustrated by my achilles again. so, we’ll see. but, through all of that I have “my guys”. Coaching boys in Lacrosse is am amazing experience. …more on that later, though. this is about almost everything else; a bigger picture, if you will. I must.
coaching (sports and in business, for that matter), of any sort, is another form of self-absorption. back when I was a volunteer fire fighter in Lousiville, Colorado, I found myself being interviewed by the local paper over some harrowing event. and, the reporter asked me,
“why do you put yourself in harms way when you don’t even get paid?”.
I looked at her, and probably a bit askance, and I offered, “are you kidding? I get to wear cool gear, ride backwards on fire trucks – and, I’m a FIRE MAN!”. I actually feel selfish and self-absorbed that I get to do this”. I told her how, that morning after the fire, as we rolled-out, there was a small group of young boys watching us from a street corner. there was awe in their faces. awe, and admiration. I gave them a wink and a thumbs-up, and I really did feel like a hero.
Lacrosse makes me feel that way. so, another possible post is around the concept of Braveheart.
but, it was the events of that life-changing day (a cool Colorado evening with the great promise of a rich and full life, and the leering wake-up call of an ugly death) that led me to my current career, in fact. but, that’s another story. certainly for another time (but, I need to make a note of it. hopefully one of you will remind me).
mind you, I get similar questions from the parents of kids I coach. such as, “why do you give these kids so much time?”, and, “how do you do this?”
I’m going to discuss that in the next couple of weeks. because there is a lot of good-and-bad, trials-and-tribulations mixed with that – balanced by an incredible sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
I love Lacrosse. I love my family. I love life. I love giving of myself. and, everything I’ve done with my life has brought me to a point where I feel I can make a great difference in the lives of the people God surrounds me with. okay… that strikes me as another blog post idea.
are you beginning to wonder what the hell this has to do with a squirrel?
well… this might come as a shock to some, but not necessarily others. Joanne will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that I am not often as sympathetic or compassionate as she feels I ought to be. I believe that trait in myself is valid and that comes from being raised by a military officer (my Dad) and also a Mom (the ideal officers wife and Mother) that were both convinced that doing anything is worth giving it everything you can. that’s something I teach all of my players, and it’s a driving philosophy in terms of how I manage myself by the hour with a higher sense of purpose and accompanying standards. but, sometimes… okay, often… really ALWAYS… I come across as exacting, uncompromising, certainly demanding, and clearly seemingly unsympathetic.
that was until I faced the squirrel.
I’m that guy that finds himself driving down a road and unconcerned if a squirrel frantically tries to evade tires. that’s an ugly image. but, it’s an obvious and practical reality. Joanne, on the other hand, will throw her car into another lane to save a squirrel, duck, dog, or deer.
but, about two weeks ago, as I was driving home from Lacrosse practice, as providence would have it, a hapless squirrel skittered across my path. I steeled myself and surprisingly managed to evade him, and found myself pleased by the result as I took a peak in my rear view mirror. “off to home and hearth, little fellow”, thought I.
not but a few days later was I facing the same challenge. and, the thought did, indeed, cross my mind that this could well be that same damn squirrel. I really did try to avoid the critter, but I felt the awful and final “thump” under my truck tire. instantly I was, myself, genuinely distraught. as I looked in the rear view mirror, to my horror I saw the squirrel flailing in the street. with my heart in my throat and a cold sweat on the back of my neck I slowed down. numbly I backed-up knowing I had to put the stricken creature out of it’s misery. and, the horror I experienced was comparable to Sarajevo.
when I got home Joanne and Haley Anne were in the midst of a fifteen-year-old-girl-issue. and, evidently Joanne was having a rowe with her own Mom and one of her sisters. as I listened to to the details of all that I found myself uncharacteristically engaged with a softening heart. there is a lot more going-on in my head and heart relative to all manner of venture, adventures and efforts. but, four days ago I told Joanne that a lens I wanted to start looking through life with in terms of how I related to people, ironically, would going to be about “honoring the squirrel”.
so, God has a whacky sense of humor, to be sure. he gave me and all my Southern California, Lacrosse-playing buddies daughters, for one thing. and, he throws us a curve-ball (some times they may look like a squirrel), to change-up our view(s) of the world. but, I don’t want to look back on my life and miss an opportunity to make sure that everyone I meet and know; that’s in my life, feels loved, valued – and there is compassion, possibly the option for compromise.
that’s it. you, collectively know, even the simplest of maxims’s must needs have its vociferous story attached (or affixed?) to it.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork