Tag Archives: Coaching

Excuses, excuses, excuses

This is the part of a blog where the writer tells you all the reasons he hasn’t been writing.

Fill in the blank _______________________________________________________________ is why I haven’t been blogging.

More than anything else, I just haven’t taken the time and sat down and wrote.  Writing is like running for me.  I love to do them both, but I have to schedule time for both activities and sometimes I just get lazy and stop.  Luckily I always come back because I love them both so.  Usually It takes a little bit of motivation for me to get on board and come back and today is no different.

Now for those of you interested in juice stuff, I have been actually writing down recipes and I will be creating a separate section on the blog for juicing and juice fast type things.  I’m not going to commit to when I’ll get it up, but hopefully before my next fast (January 5 if any of you want to start planning now).

This fitness journey for me really start with Carlos Whitaker and his #fitbyfourth initiative he started back in the summer.  That got me moving, fasting got some weight off and changed habits, and I’ve just kept at it.  Well ‘Los is back at it again with #fitbyfirst coming at us right now.  31 days to get a jump-start on a healthier me.  I’ve really done well watching what I eat, exercising, and continuing to lose weight, but everyone likes a little motivation from time to time.  One of the keys to the Journey with ‘Los is to journal.  I have terrible handwriting, so one again I’ll be bringing my journal here to share with you guys.

The first couple of days are easy…Take a before picture, make a video to yourself from yourself, and do the fitness test.  All items are complete and I’m ready to get after it.  2015 will be my year to get back into the under 200 lb club.  I also have plans for a half marathon and wait for it…muscles!!!!  I also have a pile of personal and financial things that I have been working on and improving that will continue to move forward for me.

So I’m back…again…don’t hate me because I’m wishy-washy, just love me because…well…just because I need love darnit.

 

Ciao

 

SK

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Looking back-Part 1

It is Saturday morning and rather than talking about day 4, which was basically just like day 3, I figured I’d look back on this process and journey and what I’ve learned about myself and food.

I’ve had a running joke the last few years that I only eat 12 things.  That really isn’t that far from the truth.  My family grew up lower middle class.  My parents were never married and I was raised primarily by my grandparents and my Aunt.  We had welfare food and from an early age I remember just not like very much because most of it tasted like sand.  I was a skinny kid and it was always a challenge when I was somewhere that wasn’t home, to find things to eat.  As a teenager I started to like and consume in mass quantities fast food and easy food, because it was easy and it actually tasted good to me.  I had a therapist once talk about how I learned the majority of my relationship skills as a child and they would be tough to “unlearn”.  I guess my bad relationship with food started there too.

Over the years my palate has improved but my eating habits really have not.  Lots of starch, lots of carbs, and lots of sugar…then you sprinkle in a pile of caffeine on top of it and you have a molotov cocktail of fat and sloppy at age 40.  I’ve always said I didn’t really like the gym and I don’t stick to running plans unless there is a race.  I think some of the problem might be that I was trying to fly a jet plan with 87 octane fuel.

EATING IS FUN

People love to sit around the table with friends and family and eat.  It is an event.  People buy houses because of the cool kitchen or the way you can entertain your friends and family.  People have date night at restaurants and have family events with cookouts and pot luck dinners.  People grab hot dogs and pizza at ballparks because it is a habit and its part of what makes it fun.  And it should be fun, but I think that some of the convenience and fun of eating has slanted my personal relationship with food.

I’m far from an anatomy and physiology scholar or a biologist, but I have learned a little over the past few weeks about how the body works.  The reality is that I have done a terrible job of taking care of myself.  It shows on the scale, it shows in my complexion, and it shows in my energy level.  Now I’m not saying that I’ve done it all wrong my whole life, because for the most part I’m a pretty happy dude.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ve been off in my food relationship as well.

I’ve got a pile of relationship theories that I have used to help advise friends over the years (and yes Doctors make the worse patients).  One of the things I’ve always believed is that, just like in sales, you must negotiate from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness.  Successful relationships are a win-win for both parties.  You give and you take but both parties have something to gain from the interaction.  The relationship I’ve had with food has not been from a position of strength.  I have eaten convenient, easy, processed meals that make me happy but really aren’t giving my body what it craves.  I truly think that because that is what I ate, it is what I’ve continued to eat.  I think that I’ve taught my body, over the years, that when I’m hungry to eat some junk.

I guess I didn’t realize I had this much to say.  So I guess I will break this thing up into parts so people can actually digest it.

 

Ciao

 

SK

Mustard juice, ewwwwww!

So tonight for dinner I made a patty melt.  Anyone that knows me in real life realizes that I am a horrible cook.  I try to keep it really simple.  So how difficult can a cheeseburger with onions really be.  Another one of my food issues is that I take a lot of care in place my condiments.  They need to go in a specific order and look a specific way (I know, I hear the OCD phone ringing).  So as I was preparing my sandwich I reached for some spicy brown mustard and as I squeezed I got the worst thing ever…

MUSTARD JUICE 😦

That yucky mustard water substance that does nothing but make the bread wet.  It took me a moment to regroup, shake the bottle, brush the water off, and continue my dinner.  A perfectly good sandwich was almost ruined by a little wet surprise.  I hate it when that happens.

I guess this isn’t really about the mustard or the mustard juice or the meal at all.  Really it is just a metaphor of disappointment.  I was so excited to bite into my patty melt.  It looked good and I was hungry and then all of a sudden it wasn’t quite as good anymore because it was wet instead of properly condimented.  Now I did eat it and it was good but for that snapshot in time, I was down.

I think we all have those snapshots a lot more often than we choose to recognize.  Whether it is when your team looses (and lately that has been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much) or actually something serious concerning a family member or your job, we face these disappointments all the time.  Now most of us don’t really have time to reflect and deal with them.  When you are sad you missed a two-day sale at Kohl’s and your shirt just went up five dollars you still have to get the groceries, clean the bathroom, and get to the lunch appointment on time.  Dwelling on the missed sale is probably inappropriate and a waste of time.  But are we desensitizing ourselves to being down and sad.

I know that I hate sad.  A big part of my personal struggles revolve around covering up my sadness.  I have drowned myself in partying, work, and fantasy sports over the years to help “medicate” my sad.  I have heard more than a few times in life “why can’t you just sit in it?”.  It is very hard for me to just be in a funk.  So rather than be funky, there are so many times in my life that I have chosen to gloss over the emotion.  This is a great way to deal with things except for the fact that I’m not really dealing with things.  And not dealing with things has a way of a) making them get bigger and b) having them continue to occur.  So instead of making things better a lot of times I make things worse.

When I was younger a UGA football loss would be devastating.  I would be sad, mad, frustrated, and upset.  For some reason I thought the best way to deal with this disappointment was to find my way to the bottom of a bottle many times and drown my sorrows.  As info, it doesn’t work.  The first problem is that I had absolutely nothing to do with the game outcome and was taking it as if I made the fumble.  The second problem was that my team will always loose again at some point.  My process for dealing with the pain was quite flawed.

Now I don’t think that the losses bother me less now that I’m older, but with a little wisdom and perspective I no longer fish for victories in the bottom of a pitcher of beer.  I make Facebook posts and call the sports talk radio station and vent with friends.  Small steps but steps that allow me to get out of me that which drives me to make bad decisions in response to college kids missing a field goal.

This is a small and somewhat silly example but it is similar to how I have dealt with many things in my life.  I have also noticed many of my friends and family coping with things in their own ways to get over the hurt.  Some drink, some smoke, some run, some surf the web, and some read.  Non of these items by themselves are bad but so many of us do them rather than “just sit in it”.

So how about this for an open forum…

If you are sitting in something, feel free to post it.  You can go anonymous if you like, but feel free to put it out there.  It may just be the first step in easing the pain.  And I’ll go first (but you will have to read the comments to see what I said).

Ciao

SK

Black Wednesday

So I am sure it doesn’t mean much to a lot of you, but this week was black Wednesday.  This is not really an official day, but it is a garbage day for those of us that are sports fans.  There is NOTHING was going on in the sports world.  When I say nothing, I mean NOTHING.  The best I could find was the ESPY’s and some garbage WNBA basketball.  But the good thing about black Wednesday is that I know that the summer is almost over and the 2010-2011 sports calendar is on the way.  So I pulled out my whistle and started thinking about my kids…

Let's get ready to rumble!

I have the privilege of being a youth sports coach.  The first year that my son played little league I was lucky enough to get paired up with a couple of great guys and I quickly fell in love with being out there with young kids.  I really love baseball, it was my sport growing up.  I love watching him get better every year.  But it was football that really got coaching into my blood.

Seaver’s first year he was one of the young ones on the team and one of the little ones.  We had an amazing group of kids and parents that year.  And watching my baby boy grow up before my eyes was awesome.  I was able to help with practices and substitutions during games and I discovered it was almost as fulfilling watching ALL the kids get better.  Last season I was lucky enough to be the head coach for our 5 & 6 yr old team.  Those kids were awesome!

So here we are on the eve of packer football 2010.  It should be a fun year, I’ll be an assistant this year, helping with personnel, special teams, and the second teamer’s.  We should be pretty doggone good-by the end of the year, but it really isn’t about how good we are but rather how great those boys and families are.

The 3 Amigos

The two guys I’ve had the pleasure of coaching baseball with are awesome.  It is the friendship that our boys have formed that really makes these three years extra special.  One of the best things about playing team sports is the friends that the kids make.  I just couldn’t imagine what it would have been like without watching him grow up with two kids that aren’t just good ball players, but wonderful, respectful, loving boys.

So even though Wednesday was dead, it signals the beginning of what I am certain will be another great sports year.  We may win some trophies or lose them all.  But I am sure that the kids will be great, friendships will be built, and families will join together and cheer.  That’s why I love it!

Ciao

SK

I love this stuff!

Off the cuff

Our terminology in Toastmasters is “Table Topics”.  You may call extemporaneous speaking, off the cuff responses, thinking on your feet, or just plan talking.  In my time with Toastmasters I have come to believe that it is the most critical skill that we can give our new members because we all use it and we use it every day.  It is also a skill that I would consider myself an expert at in the context of Toastmasters and would like to share some of my “how to do its”.

Now first, let me separate how I deliver a table topics into a couple of categories…

Fun

Pointed

Contest

Fun

I love to laugh.  It is a lot of work to support a frown and a down attitude.  Many times when we are offered a question that is a little silly, is so far out of your realm of understanding, or is something that requires a comical answer.

“Tell me about a time you were embarrassed.”

“What is the best way to frost a cake?”

“What is the funniest movie you have seen and why?”

The key with a fun response is no different from any other response, you have to think.  The key to delivering an effective response in any situation is to think.  People are scared to death of “the quiet game”.  That is that mythical time between when the question is asked and when you craft your answer.  Awkward silence is very uncomfortable and five seconds feels like five hours to most of us.  It is though, the key to gathering your thoughts and preparing a response.  When you have a “fun” question or you want to craft a “fun” response, your time in the quiet game is not to be spent on structure, organization, transitions, or rousing summary statements.  In your moments of preparation you are simply searching for the ONE story that you can relay that is easy to tell, has characters, and has a definite and natural ending.  The hardest part of this process is taking enough time to find that story and not allowing the uncomfortable silence to cripple you.

Pointed

These are fun moments and ones that are more like interview questions.  These are topics that you have an opportunity to share a belief, point of view, or message that means something to you and your being or soul.

“Who was the biggest influence on your life?”

“Define a role model.”

“How would you advise the President?”

In an interview the potential employer may ask you about how you handled certain situations or why you are right for this job.  In the same way that you play the quiet game for fun topics and questions, that is that same place you need to start for pointed topics and questions.  In that time you are sitting and thinking you are now searching for an emotion and not just a story.  These responses have to be delivered from the heart and are not simply a matter of retelling a situation.  Adding to the quiet game you must now add emotion.  Even in an interview situation, there is an emotion you need to convey in order to show an employer what is truly inside you.  So now we add find the emotion to think to give a pointed response to a question.

Contest

I’m a competitor.  I had a great run last year in the speaking contest but along the way I also finished second in the state in Table Topics.  I’ve actually won our club contest every time I have entered not to mention the several times I have won the best table topic of the day.  It is something I’m pretty good at.  Contest speaking is fun but it is different from a regular table topic.

“What is toastmasters?”

“What does the Superbowl have to say about our culture?”

“Which is more important listening or being heard?”

Theses are all questions that I have had in contests.  Now the process to answer these is still built off the same foundation.

  • Think
  • Emotion

Now we have to add in the last piece…

**********Find a ledge**********

This is my term for looking for the place to put your foot to build your speech.  In that 5-10 seconds where I am preparing for my response I am replaying the question in my head and looking for my ledge, that anchor I will tie my two minutes to.  From that ledge, I then try to find 2 stories that can be told and that I have some emotions for.  I know that seems like a lot to do, but that is where my mind is going.  I’m also trying to find an amazing opening sentence and I’m thinking about how I may be able to tie it all together.  You can do a lot in 7.7 seconds.

So the next time you are asked a question and you have to respond off the hip.  Are you just going to start spewing data and opinions?  Are you going to give a canned answer that is safe and uncreative?  Or are you going stop, think, find a story, deliver some emotion, and find a ledge?  If you do nothing more than stop and think, you are well on your way to not only winning the quiet game and table topics, but to improving your skills in speaking!

Ciao

SK

What do you love?

Let’s assume the obvious.   We all love:

Family

Friends

Puppies

Vacation

Babies

and

Big Macs

Now that we have pulled back the obvious list, what’s left?

What really gets inside your heart and moves you to action?

What makes you smile?

For me, one of the things I really love is being a youth coach.  And when my son started playing sports I had no desire to coach.  I wanted to be involved.  I wanted to be at every practice but I never wanted to be the guy.  It started with helping with baseball.

I grew up playing baseball and Seaver seemed to have some natural ability in the sport and t-ball is like cat herding, you need a lot of hands to keep them under control.  Somewhere in the middle of that season, I fell in love with those kids.  I loved watching them get better, I loved being there when they did something new,  and I just loved being a big kid with them.  It was awesome.

As fun as baseball was, is, and will continue to be; for me it pails in comparison to football.

Last summer Seaver mentioned that he wanted to play football and I was concerned.  I thought he was too little and too young.  We knew he had an opportunity to play football with some of his friends and decided to give it a shot.  The first few weeks was very difficult.  But about a week before the first game, it started to get fun.  And the more fun it got for him, the more involved I became.  I never really was a formal “coach” last season, but I was at almost every practice, was on the sidelines, and got to know all those kids and watch them grow and get better.

This year I was much more involved with baseball and I have the pleasure of being the head coach for our football team this year.  And it is far from an easy task.  One parent sent me an email recently thanking me for my involvement and dedication to the kids.  As I was reading it all I could think about was, “What else would I be doing?”.  Most of my great male role models growing up were my coaches.  I am lucky that all my kids have fathers involved in their lives but I learned first hand last year how influential a coach can be on a  young child and I take that responsibility seriously.

As much as I want to win, that is not what is important.  I get the privilege of teaching these young men a great game and watching them grow up before my eyes.  They learn respect, teamwork, discipline, and how to deal with adversity.  Football teaches so many life lessons for both them and me.

Find something you love.  Coaching, needlepoint, serving the homeless, landscaping, or surfing.

Find something that lights your fire and that you can’t wait for the next time you can do it

Find something that you can tell your friends and family about and it lights you up every time you talk about it.

Find something you love and pour your heart into it.

And don’t forget when you find that something, you also need to pour that same kind of love into the list of things that we all love.

Ciao

SK