Blogpost, self-reliance

Can You Dig It?

It definitely didn’t win an Oscar! The Warriors is not that type of movie. It’s a cult classic that was banned for a while. The premise is that all of the gangs in New York City are going to unite in order to take control. This plan is hatched by the leader of the biggest gang, Cyrus. His speech outlining the plan is ended with several repetitions of the question, “Can you dig it?” It’s very late 70’s! Almost everyone in attendance seems like they’re along for the ride except the leader of the Rogues who shoots Cyrus and blames the Warriors. Cyrus had a vision but never got to see it through because he was shot down by a coward with personal agenda. It happens all the time!

Each of us has our own causes to move forward. It’s not usually a gang insurrection of a city. More than likely it’s a smaller scale mission but that doesn’t make it unimportant. Regardless, most of have people taking shots at us anyway. It’s usually not about us or our plans, they just “like doing things like that” as Luther puts it near the end of the film. Killing Cyrus, undermining others and poking holes in plans are much easier than doing something of note. Standing up and putting yourself in the crosshairs of others is not a comfortable place to be but if you believe in what you’re doing, that’s where you need to stand. On a scaffold, yelling “Can you dig it?” Maybe no one else will at first. Perhaps it’s all going to rest on your shoulders because nobody “digs it.” That’s alright! Can you dig it? Enough to be shot at, laughed at, rejected and humiliated because often that’s what it takes. Can you dig it?

If you can, then today is the day to start executing your plan. You don’t need every gang in the city to buy in at first. It needs to start with you! Can you dig it? Don’t try to do it all at once, even Cyrus was going one borough at a time. Can you dig it? Think of a plan that might work and then work that plan! CAN YOU DIG IT? If the answer is no, then no one else will either. So you’d better believe enough for a dozen people or more. Otherwise, no one is showing up to the conclave!

Come out to play-ay!


Blogpost, self-reliance

The Relative Feeling of Heat and Hard

It’s the middle of summer and a heat wave recently passed through. If the temperature dropped to 60 degrees, people would be throwing on sweatshirts and jackets because of “the cold”. In the middle of the winter, that same 60 degree weather would prompt t-shirts and comments on “the heat”. The 60 degrees is objective but our experience of it is not. We place our subjective observation onto the situation based on our recent past. It’s our relation to the facts, not the facts themselves.

Since my recent weeks have been filled with summer preparations for the upcoming season, I’ve seen this same phenomena with hard. Something is only hard in comparison to the recent activity of the individual or group. A mile is nothing when you’re used to running 5 or more. Humans have an amazing ability to endure great difficulty. We can make the hard, easy with the right amount of time and effort. Unfortunately the flip side to that coin also exists! We can make easy, hard with a lack of effort over time.

We all think that we want an “easy” life. The thing that we tend not to realize is that the easy is all based on our perspective from what we’ve done recently. There is no objectivity here! We’re playing the game of life from exactly one perspective that no one else can have. So whether it’s easy or hard, mostly that choice is up to you but it’s made through your actions over time. If you choose to take it easy, just remember that hard is waiting around the corner!

Have a hard day!


Blogpost, self-reliance

Show Up or Blow Up

This year I’ve been focused on my fitness in a different way. I’ve been training for and racing in sprint triathlons. For the most part, I changed to triathlons because 2/3 of the training/event is non-impact. My knees were in need of a rest from all of the running and soccer playing. The swimming was by far my weakest portion. Much to my surprise, during the races, people were asking for helping or tapping out of the swim within 200 meters. As someone who thought I was a bad swimmer, the training that I’d done carried me through. Consistency over the months prior to the race had kept me from “blowing up”.

Training montages from the Rocky movies and advertisements for quick fix workout solutions have far too many people convinced that they’re 15 minutes away from their goals. As if one huge effort over a short period of time will produce grandiose results. Usually that formula doesn’t work. The prescription that I set out for myself was to show up every day and do something. Not everything. Slowly but surely, something turned into more and more. Showing up is key.

The difficulty of showing up for the long haul isn’t the work, effort or time. It’s the fact that results are invisible for so long that people lose interest. The paycheck is so far out in the future that it makes an easy job seem difficult. The frustration that comes from lower level consistent effort is seemingly worse than the roller coaster of variable returns.

So my hope for you today, tomorrow and all of the days that are coming, that you show up! It’s most likely not going to be sexy or get you a standing ovation but it will get the job done if you stick with it!



Blogpost, self-reliance

Potential Is My Currency… Kind Of

Through the years on this blog, I’ve talked about the different currencies that we use in life. There are so many but love, time, actual money are some that I’ve discussed here before. Sometimes we exchange them for like, other times we seek another in exchange. Regardless, we’re all wheeling and dealing throughout the day. As an optimist, one of the currencies that I deal with is POTENTIAL. I see it all around! From that dilapidated house that could be refurbished to the D student with a winning personality that’s just waiting to come out; I notice it all around.

The problem with potential is that it’s not truly a currency. At some point reality sets in the potential is either met or it isn’t. It’s almost impossible to know which potentials will become reality and which will come up short. Many are going to be disappointments and that makes it easy to become discouraged. It’s easy to do the analysis, know the low rate of return and hedge your bets. That’s the safe play and I get it! It doesn’t really excite though.

We live in a world that is becoming more analytical and skeptical. So potential is not something people have time for. They want results! Or else! Leaving yourself open to the possibilities that come with potential, also leaves you open to possible ridicule. Believing in the long shots and slim odds is what fools do. And I’m willing to take that moniker. Being branded a fool for believing is far better than never being wrong but feeling empty because there wasn’t any emotion behind it.

Smells like potential!


Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

Do You Want to Play?

Recently I had a conversation with a player. My compliment to him that he really looked like he wanted to play in our recent sessions. The recognition and statement were actually a culmination of work that he’d done over the past few months. Regardless it was obvious that he WANTS to play!

This statement may seem almost ridiculous. Everyone wants to play! That may be true that they would rather be on the field than on the bench. However many people are not willing to do the work to get there. They hope that whatever effort they put in will be good enough and get frustrated when it’s not. They act as if playing time were a divine right (lower levels, I get it). At the more competitive levels, practice is the player’s job and playing time is their bonus. Some people want the bonus and others don’t.

Everything that we want in life comes with some form of price. Perhaps it’s just time and attention. It’s not enough to want to something! The price for that thing needs to be paid. Bringing enough desire to the table is crucial to getting past the price. Everyone wants something. What do you want and are you willing to do what it takes to get it?

Put me in coach!


Salisbury 1994
Blogpost, self-reliance

A, AN, THE and getting what you want!

In our hyperactive world, the articles that we put in front of nouns may not seem to matter much. We’re concerned with the BIG things! So the difference between a one letter and three letter words doesn’t amount to much. That might be accurate in the majority of cases. However there are definitely times that A little thing can make all THE difference!

There are definitely times in our lives where we need a pen, an eraser, a word of encouragement or a little help. These indefinite articles that proceed the words tell the tale of intention. They are “indefinite”! There’s no thought put behind them. Any pen will do! The encouragement doesn’t need to be life changing! Just encouraging. Whatever it is, it’s good enough to do the job.

Definite articles on the other hand require more scrutiny and intent. Not just any pen will do! I want THE pen. There is a difference between the one that I want and all of the other pens in the world. Perhaps it’s the color, style, grip, cost, proximity or any other number of criteria. Regardless, there’s a separating factor or factors that make THE important!

Your job in this moment of so many choices is discerning when THE matters. I’ll admit it! In most situations, A/An is completely fine. The difference is not life altering. However there are times when settling for A/An is going to be something that you regret. A life partner, a job, a college, and so many other big A/AN’s are signing up for a world of hurt and disappointment. For sure, it’s possible to stumble into THE thing that you’ve always wanted when looking for just anything. However it’s probably good to have an idea of what you’re looking for! So that you know when you’ve found it!

Aim for the target, not a target!