Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Awareness & Remembering It All

I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes

~ Vladimir Nabokov

I remember everything 

I remember when I was chubby growing up

I remember watching the 1997 State Championship Basketball team from our town and looking up to everyone

I remember wishing one of them would mentor me - even though I didn't know what the meant

I remember when I was too scared to kiss the girl at recess in the 2nd grade with everyone watching.

I remember being rejected in 4th grade by my biggest crush

I remember being made fun of for being chubby

I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wondering if I'd ever not be fat

I remember crying after basketball games even if we won because of the way I played

I remember never being satisfied and never patting myself on the back

I remember being so terribly unconfident 

I remember having terrible self-esteem

I remember terribly overthinking EVERYTHING

I remember in high school working hard at weights and basketball as my body changed

I remember losing all those games my freshman year

I remember a fellow athlete who ribbed on people ask me if I had a lisp

I remember people doubting me

I remember people calling me a "Try Hard"

I remember being different

I remember hurting people

I remember being selfish

I remember the pain I caused

I remember treating women poorly

I remember being callus and mean towards my mother - someone who is an angel  among us

I remember disliking my father tremendously

I remember learning to love my father

I remember rejection

I remember when I decided NOT to go out for Football

I remember when I DID go out for Football

I remember playing basketball in college and a former rival was on the team

I remember him never respecting me as a player and his smug attitude

I remember not being "cool"

I remember not giving a fuck

I remember getting lost in drugs and documentaries

I remember making the decision at the stoplight in Rochester that "I AM going to lose 30lbs and have abs" 

I remember working my ass off doing interval training up to 12mph with an incline 2-3 days a week

I remember dunking it consistently for the first time

I remember learning how to train after just doing what I knew previously

I remember bawling my eyes out in my driveway as I talked to my Mom about the next step

I remember how she supported me even though my path wasn't as clear cut as her other children

I remember being in a new place in Winona and feeling excited, nervous, and overwhelmed

I remember right before a girl I was seeing and took a liking too cut off all communication abruptly

I remember meeting a girl afterwards and enjoying her company (still friends : )

I remember meeting a friend that will always be close to my heart

I remember pouring out to him on our countless barefoot walks

I remember exploring my mind and expanding it more than I could ever imagine

I remember committing to be a Strength & Conditioning Coach

I remember ALL of the people who helped me become a better coach at Winona State

I remember ALL of the talks we had in the offices

I remember ALL of the effort put forth by them for me

I remember being scared and leaving to University of Northern Iowa

I remember being in the dogma of Bulgarian Training

I remember OVER-training - UNDER-recovering and frying my nervous system

I remember learning so much from the Strength Coaches at Northern Iowa

I remember being nervous about the next step and where/if it would happen

I remember receiving the call from Dakota State University and accepting the Graduate Assistantship

I remember being scared shitless of being THE GUY

I remember the struggles of building a culture, getting teams to buy in, and being organized

I remember committing to living in the weight room closet

I remember the sacrifices 

I remember the air mattress puncturing and sleeping on the concrete floor for 2 nights

I remember sneaking a twin mattress in so I could get some sleep

I remember the constant angst about someone finding out - even though most probably had an inkling

I remember feeling proud about the sacrifices

I remember my brother dying 1 month into starting the job

I remember feeling stressed prior to the accident - And suddenly everything was put into perspective

I remember squatting 460lbs and then 470lbs for PR's - all while living in the weight room - I said it gave me +5 Strength. The gallon whole milk and rice didn't hurt either

I remember the pain of being away from the girl I deeply cared about

I remember the feelings of reuniting

I remember the pain of her leaving

I remember the pain of knowing she was with someone else

I remember the pain and confusion associated with her new "boyfriend"

I remember wondering (ego) why I was never Facebook official

I remember not giving a fuck, again

I remember when I realized my ego felt accepted when she accepted me and rejected when it was over. And that was why I was feeling so shitty

I remember that love is not ownership

I remember that love is boundless

I remember that my ego has wants and needs to - but that I don't have to succumb to its pressures

I remember feeling so relieved after moving out of the weight room and sleeping in an apartment - A shitty apartment that feels like a CASTLE to me

I remember the athletes who tell me I make a difference and are the reason they are better

I remember the athlete who was much like me in terms of confidence - And coaching him through it

I remember accepting the position as the first Head Strength & Conditioning Coach in Dakota State University's history

I remember it all. 

I'm filled with so much gratitude. Nothing can quantify how grateful I am for all the experiences in life. I love them all. They have shaped me into the person I am. The perspective of pain, loss, growth, acceptance, and love have taught me tremendously. I am so fucking grateful I get to do what I LOVE. The BEST part is waking up EXCITED to do what I love to do. Life isn't about being happy. It's about being excited to wake up in the morning. Because if you can do that, you'll be happy most of the time.

And through it all - Depression, Thoughts of Ending it all, Intense Love, Rejection, Failures, and HUGE breakthroughs - I am completely accepting of it all. 

And paraphrasing Elliott Hulse says, "Sometimes, I even ask for hardships because I know at the other side is greatness."

Shine On and Crush It

As Always,

Love What You Do Or Quit

PS: This song is incredibly inspiring to me because I know the man and am glad to call him a friend. I know some of the struggles of his life, the process to take action towards his dreams, and his continued work towards being the strongest version of himself. Check it out!

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