XO: @godsnotfat


Thank you divorce!
Not something I’d ever think to say in real life, but in this case…true.
When my ex-wife departed it kick started a sensation in me that I had hidden in a closet for years. A dark secret that I was fearful of letting anyone, even my parents, know about.

I love running.

One mile, two miles, five miles, more? It’s the pace, the muscles, the tempo, the fluid movements of the body working in harmony for one purpose; to run.

Soccer took its toll, I gained weight and backed off running a lot. Moving into the city didn’t help as I hate running with traffic.

However, over the past few months I’ve stopped at MC and Jim’s house after work, throw some shorts on, and take off through the cornfields. I just really like to run, it’s a hobby that’s desirable to me.

A few weeks ago Darco and I even did back-to-back 5K races in Missouri and Kansas (she broke her personal record). That, mixed with a supply box from ALO drink, got us thinking on a new family project:

God’s Not Fat.

The context is simple.

Faith, fitness, and food: Living the way God designed.

Through our personal journeys, along with others, we are striving to show Christians that God expects us to take care of what He’s given us. From Darco and her gluten free meals, to myself on the open road, we just want to be real people working on a well known topic.

I’m excited, Darco is also, for this new adventure. Follow God’s Not Fat on WordPress, Twitter, and Instagram.

More information at a later date!

-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: Reckless Wanderings


I’ve got fifteen minutes before I have to head back to class. For the sake of enjoyment I’ve allowed my taco induced cranium to crank away on a pretty cool daydream:

Waking up on a warm May morning. My wife is already at work, and I’m done in the classroom until August. I step into the bathroom attached to our bedroom, it’s been four years since we moved here. It’s a beautiful single floor home in the northern Kansas City area. After a relaxing shower, I walk into the kitchen and pick from the multitudes of coffees in the room; perks of having a wife with Starbucks. I step through our sliding back door and feel my feet on the freshly cut grass. Our yard isn’t huge, but it is a yard.
As I step back into the house the orange “dark one”, our cat, has awoken from wherever it sleeps. My morning is just getting started as I walk down the hall into the other bedroom. There, still asleep, lays our little girl. Silently asleep, her mom’s hair…and with the ‘pop’ of her eyes, my obvious sleeping habits. I carefully pick her up and welcome her back to reality. After getting her ready, and breakfast taken care of we hop in the truck and head north. She calls it “daddy date”, I quietly call it work. Through the new developments, passed the finished parkway, and semi-new mall we drive for another fifteen minutes. We arrive to ‘work’, a group of players are warming up, and their coach is speaking with the assistant over today’s training session. The turf is warm to the touch, but not hot. We walk over to the coaches, the players steal my daughter, and we prepare to watch another training session with the Kansas City Shock. The program has continued to grow, the complex is near completion, and our season is starting soon. It’s sitting, watching the ball streak across the sky, that I think back to when nothing seemed possible. Ideas and problems plagued life, and through a few big moments, life was forever changed.

…back to work.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Unexpected


Had quite the little surprise yesterday while substitute teaching.

Upcoming classroom opening.
In that specific school.
In my specific content field.
In the specific section that I enjoy within the school.

The most unexpected part of this?

I’m their top candidate, and the assistant principal is seeking a way to “talk to me” about coming back to the education field.

Strange times indeed.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Full Circle


I’m heading home to do research. Using key words like DESE, GLE, and Praxis…

Be fearful world. I made a quick note about a long term substitute position I’ve grabbed. What I didn’t know was how long, long term meant. It started with three days, then eight days, then I heard the rumor…semester…Christmas Break.

Then the question came up:

Do you have any certification?
Oh you do?
What do you think about the Praxis?

I have no idea what I’m doing, but it sure is entertaining.

Seating charts and classroom arrangements begin.

-D-

XO: Redemption


Divorce.

As of today, the word is gone. It’s not even a hashtag worth utilizing in this site. In about six hours [give or take] I’ll be married, and the concept will be merely a thing of the past.

I suppose when looking at today, personally, it just sits in the concept of redemption. I can firmly say that life has gone full circle. From the despair and heartache of 2011 to this very moment. I mean, come on, I get to marry my best friend today and I’m so down with that. While I’m thrilled to say that I’ll never be a marriage expert; I can give you a few tips that I’ve learned in the past two years of a strange, bizarre exile.

  1. Marry your best friend: Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Imaginative Cities


I’m having a dreaming problem. I’m dreaming too much, I’m having dreams while dreaming over cities that I’ve never seen.

Does that make sense?

Doesn’t to me either.

For several months the city I’ve been dreaming of is one that isn’t real. It’s along a river side, but the structures of concrete and steel. A image of power and security beckons with the hourly bell. I walk along the streets at day, studying the roads of this holistic shell. I never see the people; suits, ties, or jeans. I just spend hours, eternity, in the city of my dreams. Along a single road, paired into two even lanes, I find myself on the edge of the community, on the edge of the plains. On one side stands the structures, glass, crystal, and light. On the other lies the prairie winds; blowing through day and night. The world is split evenly between the two paths, one of concrete paradise, one covered in lush grass.

That city stood in my sleep, for hours, days, and weeks. However, while resting last night, I found a new city of technology, future, and light. Along this red canyon, sandstone speaking of its age. I stumbled into this growing area, surrounded by red dirt and sage. At first you have to travel down the canyon, a freeway to the west. Afterwards through quick decent, you’ve arrived with the rest. On each side towers these red layers of rock, each telling a story of their life within the clock. However, through the walls, and down the road the new concrete earth rose. Lights, cars, and boutiques dotted freshly along the streets. Again no people visible, at least until you reached the mall. Outdoor, indoor, a mix of architecture and natures law. The people walked along this world, talking through each random hall. An overwhelming notion of life took over the sense of my mind, this new world was unspoken of, no one knew where it was located along the maps creases and lines. I never knew the road numbers, I can never get there on foot. When I finally awoke this morning I knew I had to get this into my book.

Worlds never seen, cities never heard, at night I walk along these places planted in my mind, my quiet, slumber sight. I’m not sure if I’ll ever see these places, what a site they must be. Until that moment comes though, I’ll just visit them in my sleep.

Mobile Minutes: Wrapped Up In Work


I truly am my father’s son; once I get a project started, I never want to stop. I’m a builder, that’s what I do [let me loose with some Lego's and be prepared to be amazed].

I would go far enough to say that my current project; the Kansas City Shock is one of the most daunting tasks that I’ve ever been a part of. Easily it surpasses four years of college, and narrowly passes the awkwardness of high school.

However, it’s still just a project, an idea, a worldly creation that is bent to…to what?

It’s been a quiet Saturday today; I woke up still fuzzy from the recent illness I’ve had this week. Didn’t even fully get out of bed until around 2:00 PM, spent time sipping coffee, messing around with the Kansas City Shock, and watching cartoons. I’m serious; I didn’t really do much today.

That was the plan. I told myself after the past two days, mixed with Christmas, mixed with tryouts, and everything else in between, and before a psychotically busy January, I was doing a whole lot of nothing this weekend.

I forgot what it was like to sit back, with nothing on the agenda, and let your brain just wander around. Pushing the envelop past soccer, business, and what is on the forefront of mind. What lies deeper?

I just became a member of Missouri Valley, I’m dating a woman that is approaching eight months [officially], and there is a lot of changes in my life that aren’t reflective directly of my involvement in the soccer world. There is more then what lies within the lines on the field.

In the end tonight was just a night to reflect I suppose. Life has changed in directions that I can’t even believe. Realistically, the life that is my past seems unreal, only a rumor of what I once lived. I’m only 25, but I still can’t get over the journey so far.

-D-

O: Blanc


Several years ago I watched a documentary on the New York City nightlife for post-teenage/pre-adult mindsets; in other words at the time; the future me.

It passed up all the nightclubs, and dub step houses. Slid past the bars and vacant ally lots. I don’t remember much about the show, except for one insert. Some fancy hamburger joint.

Now, from MC to Darco, the world knows my weakness of a good burger; see what I mean here and here for great examples. What the show had on display was some sort of chic display of modern art, electric lights, and round burgers on rectangle plates that made absolutely no sense. I was entranced. It was a burger joint that wasn’t about fast food, but about good food, great friends, and usually a stupid price tag.

I wrote this off as a mental concept of things that I’d add to a bucket list; never to accomplish [please remember that this was four years ago]. Gourmet burgers. Who would have thought?

Since then Twitter has become a staple of every day life, and within the program of the Kansas City Shock it’s a daily resource. However, today was very unique. I had hopped on to post some information about our director of media [cool story], and started to see some post from a place called Blanc Burgers and Bottles. All I knew about Blanc was:

  • They made burgers
  • They had fries
  • They were a standard in the Country Club Plaza in downtown Kansas City

The third reason had kept me away [the assumption of the price tag], but they kept using the tag #eatKC. Here’s the unique thing about Blanc; everything they make is used from food companies within the area; whether it is Boulevard beer, The Roasterie’s coffee, or milk for their shakes by Shatto Dairy [down the road from where I grew up]; everything revolves around utilizing every element of Kansas City. The same belief I have about the Kansas City Shock. After watching the interaction I made a snap decision:

My girlfriend and I were going to eat at Blanc.

So, I sent out a tweet, tagging Blanc, and got ready for the date. Blanc responded; wanting to know time and which location of theirs I’d be at. After answers; they stated that I should ask for the MOD when I arrived [MOD=Manager on Duty I later learned]. So, my girlfriend and I hopped in the car, and after a quick stop to talk to MC, we went to the Plaza [Country Club Plaza]. After fighting the mini-New York, we found Blanc. Immediate image:

  • White walls
  • Glass partitions with bubbles illuminated in them
  • Orange light covers and accent walls
  • Mirrors
  • Glass
  • Chic

Yes, as stated at the top, I was took a piece off of the bucket list. After waiting for about fifteen minutes for a seat, my girlfriend and I started to chat about what to eat. That’s when a man with a Hispanic accent stepped up to the table, pulled up a chair and started chatting.

The owner of Blanc; Ernesto.

Ernesto told us about his life, his passion, and why Blanc existed; it was captivating and amazing. This gourmet burger owner was taking time to sit with us. He ordered our appetizer [fries with bacon and melted guda cheese...my word], and our drinks on the house. We sat and chatted for about twenty minutes; discussing his love for Blanc and Kansas City, and my love for soccer and Kansas City. We found common ground. We spoke of his plans for business, and mine; spoke about the potentials that were available for each. This man oozed Kansas City; he said under his thick accent, “I’m the most loyal Kansas City-an that isn’t from Kansas City”. I couldn’t agree more. He left me his card, of course myself handing out cards is merely second nature now. The phrase, “Official burger of the Kansas City Shock” was used, and he headed home for the night.

It took me a moment, while working on the most amazing black bean burger I’ve ever had, to fully wrap my mind around what had taken place. Make no mistake; Blanc is a major restaurant in Kansas City; one of the top 50 burgers in the United States by Food Network Magazine; in the eatery world, this place is a big deal. I just had an appetizer with the owner and creator of the thing. He suggested that any business meeting I have; to bring them into his place. Every coach and owner that travels into Kansas City; introduce them to Ernesto and Blanc.

Tonight I felt like a business owner, tonight I lived out a dream, and tonight I met a soul with the same belief as mine; the potential that lies in Kansas City is limitless when we work together. Not to mention, seeing and listening to someone with age and wisdom, and for them to believe in the goal that I have: I left Blanc full, content, and inspired.

My girlfriend enjoyed the meal too.

You have to try…ANYTHING! IT’S ALL SO GOOD!

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-