#getyourpraiseon


Try to understand my taste in music…

I know; it isn’t easy.

Check this out:
I’m the only one in the office tomorrow. Everyone else is quite literally out of town. So that’s 10,000 square feet, a lake, and myself for the entire day.
On top of that, Darco and I get to rock out at Bible study again tomorrow evening. Something that we’re both pretty pumped about.
Finally, by doing my favorite thing in the world [retweeting random things] I just nailed two free tickets to the band that is embedded above for tomorrow night in town at 9:00 PM!

Boom! Bam! Thank you ma’am!

That’s a day that hasn’t even started worthy of getting some praise action on!

-D-

XO: So Long


So long…
And thanks for all the fish…

It only seems natural to use that quotation to define what this post was going to be about. I’ve known this day was coming, at first I tried to deny it, but in the end it became about acceptance and moving on to new adventures with life.

The Kansas City Shock is no more. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: #Shock2Philly Part V


I have found Kansas City “East”…

It is called Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The similarities between the downtown sectors of each two cities are uncanny in similarity. Recent redevelopment, cleaning, etc…

Now, what were we doing there to begin with?

First, it’s on our way home from Philadelphia. Secondly, the couple that I flew to Baltimore, Maryland two years to watch get married live in Pittsburgh.

They invited us to stay the night, see the city, and rest before our adventure home.

A few thoughts from this experience:

1. Order a sandwich? You’re getting fries…on the sandwich.
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2. Clear outside? It’s going to snow.
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3. Trying to get into Pittsburgh? Enjoy the five million tunnels and ten dozen bridges.
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4. Square Cafe is the place to be for breakfast. Just trust me on this. I had key lime pancakes and my life has changed.
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5. You can get a Mazda3 stuck…
6. There is nothing strange about roaming downtown Pittsburgh in a F-350 diesel truck listen to electronic dance music.
7. One word: Sheetz
8. It’s always a good time when you line up for a photo and the height of the people have the following range: 6’8, 6’2, 6’5, 5’2.
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9. Be ready for amazing quotes at all times:

I have a question about your two specials today.
Yes?
What is their portion?
Like this.
Alright. I’ll take both please.

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10. Lifelong friendships are the best things next to marriage.

Also, they asked me to remind them why I was in such a rush to get home after their wedding. It was a blessing to show them, sitting to my right, why I had to leave their celebration two years ago.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Recharged


These past two days have been a true test for me.

Those just joining the conversation I had a two day event of management testing and training down south. Involving a lot of accounting. It went from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Thursday and 8:00 am to 2:00 PM yesterday. Factor in six hundred miles of driving with this, and I can say that I was absolutely exhausted by last night [two more courses Monday and Tuesday...including the five hour exam], and plenty of homework over the weekend.

On top of that I’ve got the 1 Million Cups presentation that I’m working on [and pumped out of my mind], and today the Easter egg launch is at 2:00 PM and I need to be there in an hour. Afterwards it’s a night at Sporting Park to watch Sporting play along side of several friends.

Easter service with my parents at 6:15 AM tomorrow, breakfast at 9:30 AM at MoVal, then service there. By noon I should be toasted again.

I did sleep in today, and I do not regret that. With the rain falling, thunder clapping, slight breeze, and comfortable temperatures…the place was primed for some great sleeping.

O: Delegating Drive


It’s just before 11:00 PM and I have a few minutes to throw on some music, and just get some thoughts on the computer.

Today, similar to the past two weeks, has been everything all but short of insane.

Subway during the day, soccer at night. Meetings tonight, talking to new members of our program, scheduling meeting with not-for-profit organizational presidents, still killed the tablet; life is just moving 100 mph, the amazing crew at the Kansas City Shock knew it.

Last night, as I sat at my parents house with MC watching the USA vs Guatemala match, completely removed from the rest of society; my phone continued to go off with texts. We’re not talking like three or four, but more like ten at a time…multiple times. It was my general manager, Bryan, who was sending these monsters to me. I’m assuming he found himself over here where I was talking about just being exhausted, and he stated, very bluntly; that I wasn’t delegating like I should be.

He was absolutely right.

The trigger behind that had nothing to do with the staff or the program itself, it had everything to do with my pride. I’ve spent so long listening to people speak of this ‘hobby’, idea, and passion and basically treat the Kansas City Shock like a little kids lemonade stand.

Let me clue the skeptics in on something; players don’t travel from Australia to the United States for a glass of lemonade.

Because of my arrogance and pride [that's a confession] I struggled with trying to do everything myself because had to prove to the doubters that could get the job done and would be the victorious one  in the end.

Anyone else see how fast pride can just crush an individual?

Tonight, while at our bi-weekly staff meeting, the rest of the team voiced the similar concern [in its roundabout way among the burritos, beer, and Pepsi with Lime at our local eatery].

Because of all of this, myself along with the rest of the staff, now have homework due on Saturday. Who would have thought I’d be so fortunate to revisit this task of my childhood?

The homework is simple; just to outline what your job is with the company; the company being Kansas City Shock, L.L.C. It’s for all people associated with the brand, from the owner to the coaches to the staff in between. The true purpose to is to make sure that there are no gaps of responsibility and delegation.

More so for myself, it’s a reminder of my responsibility. In order for the Kansas City Shock to work, it must become less about me, and more about the program, the goal, the future, the legacy.

However, like any good post-grad individual; I shall not learn from the childhood lessons of schoolwork…

I’ll work on the assignment tomorrow…

-D-

#getyourpraiseon


I’m just more then thrilled to share this wonderful adventure that has quickly panned out.

First though, I’d love to share this:

I’ll be moving into my new apartment September 1st, 2012. To those of you who have been positive, prayerful, and motivating; thank you. To those who have been arrogant, resentful, and all around in poor taste towards me moving; I politely bite my thumb at you [it's call literature, look it up sometime].

Now, onto the fun part:

I learned last night that the US Women’s National Team will be playing Australia in Los Angeles, California in September. Like any other time that I learn about a game I’d be interested in, I head to kayak.com and investigate airline pricing. I was shocked, and I mean shocked, to learn that the price for tickets to Los Angeles from Kansas City were not outrageous. Suddenly, upon learning this, I got very excited and noted on Twitter that I was considering the idea of going to Los Angeles.

That’s when the excitement really began.

A soccer grower, similar to myself, but out in Nevada, is from Australia and we’ve been in dialogue for some time now as she grows her program out west. She contacts me through a direct message, starts talking about tickets being taken care and the possibility of meeting the Australian Women’s National Team, and anyone who knows me, knows that I have a very, very large soft spot for the Aussie’s. At this point I was quickly becoming more and more excited. That’s when I told them that I’d never been west of Colorado [this is a fact]. This brought about a tour of LA and some time on the beach [surfing?]. So in less then 24 hours I went from hearing about the game in LA, to being informed the tickets were being addressed, I may meet the Aussie National Team, a tour of LA, and time spent on the beach.

I’m sorry, what?!?!

With that said, prior to typing this I just finalized my airline ticket purchase.

*deep breath*

It’s Maryland all over again, it is Washington, D.C. all over again, it’s traveling, it’s soccer, and it is exactly where I need to be. I woke up this morning swearing that it was all a dream. How absolutely blessed I’ve been to be able to partake in this exciting moment in 43 days.

I know the soccer haters are still out there, and the ‘grow up and get a real job’ folks are as well, but I’ll challenge you to this: if you’re a Christian and you’re all about ‘open doors’, I’d love to see you rationalize how God does not continue to open doors into this soccer endeavor.

How can I not give praise about this?

-D-

RECOVERY: cONNECT


con·nect

   [kuh-nekt]  

verb (used with object)

1. to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind: to connect the

two cities by a bridge; Communication satellites connect the

local stations into a network.

2. to establish communication between; put in communication:

Operator, will you please connect me with Mr. Jones?

3. to have as an accompanying or associated feature:

pleasures connected with music.

4. to cause to be associated, as in a personal or business relationship: 

to connect oneself with a group of like-minded persons; 
Our bank is connected with major foreign banks.

5. to associate mentally or emotionally: She connects all telegrams with bad news.

I am one very arrogant individual [I can hear you nodding your head in agreement to this stated fact]. It isn’t very useful, this arrogance issue, not even in being the owner of a company [a myth that has now been debunked], but it is a haunting feature that follows me throughout my life. Part of the arrogance issue it the mind block that you can do anything and everything on your own, that you don’t need anyone else to assist you…

I’ve got this…

I cannot explain to you how many times, in between making sandwiches and stirring tea pots that during the month of June last year I would walk into the backroom of my little Subway, shaking, and just whisper through the whimpers of my voice,

I’ve got this…

Of course the harsh reality is that I didn’t have it, in fact; I didn’t even have a clue on what was going on, let alone what I was going to do with my life as the roof collapsed and the heart dried up.

History tells us that I wound up moving, relocating to my ‘roots’ after a six year exile. I had to start over, and I started over by doing the one thing that I refused to do while living down south; I connected.

I started to check out businesses, stopping in as a ‘usual’ customer at several stops; most notably the Starbucks in town. I started attending and began to pour time into MoVal, and the byproduct of that was coaching the U-8 Peeps soccer program, in turn being partly what spurned the development of the Kansas City Shock. I didn’t refuse a single opportunity that came my way; I watched soccer games in Columbia, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas. Met Hope Solo, and wrote reports after reports. I spent hours in Subway’s [still do], and I limit how much time I spend in my own home.

If I connect to as many people as I do via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; then why can’t I do the same in real life? What’s more powerful? Technology is always on the hinge of the next great thing, but truthfully it’ll never be as great as communication and connection through ways of the human face. I spent time and money going to the movies, out to eat with friends, and while it wasn’t always the smartest financial choice; I started to fall back in love with the human element.

I was bitter, angry, and spiteful towards humanity; far before the divorce. Bluntly, I had placed myself on a thrown above the rest of humanity [go ahead and laugh], trying to convince myself that I was smarter, more charming, and just overall better than anyone else. I find this mindset ironic considering how much I claimed to be a Christian [Jesus said something about humbling yourself and being last...just saying...]. I was a mess, and I removed myself from humanity.

How can I call myself a follower of Christ, one who can love, one who can demonstrate compassion; if I don’t even interact with God’s creature?

In the past year it’s become evident of how important it is to continue to interact with everyone I come in contact with. Whether that be wisdom from Texas with K8 down south, or flying in from Maryland to take Darco to church, or humoring Dur over a cup of coffee. When you connect, similar to eliminating yourself, you instantly deny yourself of importance. When I’m meeting with anyone, for whatever reason, my life, my excitement, my “story” is all on the back burner. Let’s face it, I know my story, and I’m kind of bored of having only that story in my mind. I want to know the other stories. I want to know about the couple who built a house together, nail by nail. The kid who grew up paying the bills because her parents wouldn’t, and the orphanage in Guatemala that started as a vision in the mind and soul of one man in the sticks of the Great Plains.

Those stories would never be known if I had refused the concept of connecting to the world around me. Furthermore, anyone knows that this past year hasn’t been easy street at all times, there have been several demons that have crept up to mess with me throughout the months, and the true test has been, when the chips are down, when the wallet is empty, do I have the humbleness to lean on those I have connected to? Am I mellow enough to place my pride aside and just say, “I need help?” My record isn’t perfect, and I haven’t scored 100%, but it is getting better.

Throughout this painful, fascinating recovery; without connecting to those around me, discovering a new world untouched, I would have left myself to rot in my own quickly degrading grave.

How beautiful are those who cling onto hope, stretch out their hand, and dare to believe in the impossible.

-D-