XXXI: Speak Easy

Finally a chance to breathe this week…
It all started with something like this from an 8th grade ELA instructor:

Your name was suggested as someone who once talked in front of people using persuasion. Would you be interested in taking that up again?

Yesterday I was given a very unique opportunity as school. Talk to a group of students…about talking. To assist with a unit about persuasion, TedxTalks, and rants an instructor asked me to make a persuasive speech, 3-5 minutes long, and present it to her classes.
The exact words,

They need to see what a solid, good example looks like.

I asked if there was a specific topic. I was informed to pick whatever I’m passionate about.
The outline was made yesterday afternoon. I have three weeks to make this speech, and I learned today that the school’s “Teaching and Learning Coach” will be sitting in as well.
Can I be 100% honest with you?
The audience, the freedom, the pressure, everything I love being wrapped up together. I’m so excited that I get to enlighten, excite, and build momentum for four classes of 8th grade students.
Not to mention I can try to show instructors that I do have some sort of talent that could be used in a classroom. This is truly a dream for me. It makes me fall in love with this school that much more. Being asked to give a speech? Epic.
God is so good, allowing me to have these opportunities, it’s almost frightening.



What a glorious way to end the weekend.
Interestingly enough Darco and I are on opposite sides of the state today with our own adventures.

I’m spending the evening enjoying dinner with MC at the local brewery. We were able to talk about work, family, and teaching. What a great night catching up.


She had the special. I had the salmon.

Darco in her own right was a having an amazing day as well…


Darco (left) alongside her "employer". You may know him as the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Shultz.

I’m so crazy proud of her. She’s doing so well in the company, and totally deserved this opportunity.

It’s amazing the opportunities God gives us throughout our lives.


Mobile Minutes: School Day Nerves

I head back to school tomorrow, the holiday being over and all.
Can I be honest? I’m nervous. I get nervous, the butterflies in the stomach, everything when I think about tomorrow.
I don’t want to make mistakes, I want the kids to be successful, and I frankly, I don’t want to stop having fun.
Maybe I’m naive and weird for thinking that, but it’s interesting getting nervous about going to work.
And I’m not even a teacher!


XXXI: Being the last American runner

I’ve been staring at this screen throughout the past week, trying to formulate thought while also motivating myself to type something up. It’s been a challenge because I know what I’ve wanted to type about, but for some reason the topic continues to bring up a ‘brick wall’ or ‘writers block’. I’m not overly sure why, but I’m going to try the age of trick of writing until the block clears itself up. For the record, ‘writers block’ is truly one of the few things that I’ve come to absolutely despise as a human. The reason why FilingThePapers has been  quiet is due to this recent struggle.

Not that any of you are too worried about it, but I figured I’d at least clue you in on the random array of thoughts and ideas that cross my mental cortex.

As for the topic…

For around six months now I’ve been trying to culminate my passion of running into words, and in all honesty there’s a bit of a business itch that I’ve been wanting to scratch. Nothing insane or huge, but something that I’ve come to really enjoy over the past year. Truth is, I like designing clothes. Again, nothing serious, but your standard t-shirts and sweatshirts. It’s very simple and basic, but it’s something that I’ve found joy in. I suppose my overall goal is taking my passion of running and sharing it to the world in form of articles of clothing for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Looking at the running world, along with any specific sports culture, the clothing that’s primarily made is made for runners who are doing just that…running. However, what you don’t see a lot of is clothes that promote the joy, but are designed for everyday attire. Let’s be real; there’s nothing more comfortable in this world compared to sweats, a hoodie, and perhaps your favorite, tight stitched, high thread count t-shirt (some of you will vouch for leggings as well for comfort, but please note…I’m a dude…). It’s the casual wear that I’ve really wanted to experiment with. There’s nothing wrong with being able to wear your passion, even when you’re not necessarily partaking in the passion at the given time.

This is kind of the origins of the “Last American Runner”. It’s a personal journey, but I don’t think it’s just an individual’s story. I believe that for whatever the reason is, people throughout our culture desire to be great at something, anything, but they don’t necessarily know how to take the first step. So many times, especially in the world of running, we view specific people who are trained, groomed, and designed to be great at a specific event. However, that only makes up maybe 5% of our population (complete guess)? The rest of us are just trying to move by the means of our own motivation, and hoping to catch glimpses of anything that could be inspiration. In many ways that’s what I want “Last American Runner” to be. Sure, the forefront is all about the running, but the backstory is more about helping people find their inspiration to live and motivation to succeed.

How does one do that? I’m not really sure. I’m not famous (though in some places I am infamous), I’m not really an athlete, and I don’t necessarily ooze success. I’m in many ways just your average Joe. My prayer is that recognizing that identity can be the catalyst for “Last American Runner”. A brand, a thought, an organization that is very truly for the people, by the people. No strings attached.

I’m not an advocate of New Year’s Resolutions, I think they are truly one of the biggest wastes of our lives. We set ourselves up for failure by lying to ourselves and not recognizing the truth of our real, inherent identity. I want “Last American Runner” to inspire others to accept themselves, and just try at succeeding in their own world. That could be in the form of running, health, and other aspects upfront, or it could be deeper acceptances of self-image, self-discipline, and personal identity. I’m not really sure because everyone will have their own story. I plan to continue to use Facebook, Twitter, and the blog to move content, but I’m also recognizing that I have to start with just one person in order to move this idea…I have to start with me.

Eventually, someday, when the planets align I’ll be able to start the prints for the shirts. Praise God I’ve had training on Adobe products, and someone was kind enough to give me a iMac because both elements have been key to some design. I have a few base sketches/designs I’ve made, and I’d like to share them with those who have rocked with me over the past 3 1/2 years here at FilingThePapers.

So…I guess, enjoy?

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