Dialing the Detials

Dialing the Details

It’s been a while since my last check in, but today I could not go to bed without writing. I’ve been moving a fast pace this year and the process has earned me a lot of knowledge on the fly. One of the most frequent themes has been the details. They are so important.

When things get moving at an uncomfortable pace and I’m being pushed outside my comfort zone, the ability to capitalize on the details is pivotal. Silly things like the status of my room, a daily routine and habits are difference makers that carry an impact that I didn’t’ realize until now. I am in a scramble to remaster the little things in my life to allow for more focus on the big things. This sounds like something that I should have known and maybe I did know it. But these details have stung me a few times this year and to the point where they now have my full attention.

The reason I wrote this blog is to put a check point out there to challenge myself to hone in on the details and see if a difference is made between now and the next check in.

I have many other stories to put up, but I had to organize this thought before I went to bed.

2015 Games Reflections

The CrossFit Games have come and gone. For me, this is the fifth time to reflect on what I witnessed, what to take away and what to do next.

The Games push everyone involved, everyone. The athletes are being tested and pushed to exceed their limits. The crowd is a witness to their journey. There is something about watching this test that forces a response from its viewers. It can cause you to be amazed, angry, elated, disappointed, inspired, concerned, fired up but it’s hard to passively watch. The CrossFit Games force you to feel something. It’s hard to hold it in. I can’t think of another sport or environment that compels such reactions out of the large majority of its viewers. It’s part of the event. A geyser of emotions spew from everyone involved, almost uncontrollably during the week-long event. It shows up in social media, blogs and real life conversations.

I love the Games. It’s a spectacle for all the right reasons. Everywhere you look things are happening that are uncommon. This mega event is driven by volunteers, the best volunteers, who give of their time to add an x-factor absent from many other gatherings. The athletes are amazing because they are ordinary people who have put in an incredible amount of work to do extraordinary things. They are shining examples of the upper end of human potential and they aren’t from Krypton (except for Ben Smith 🙂 ), they come from the CrossFit affiliate community—they’re one of us.

Because they are of us, we want to protect them, see them do well and be victorious. But that’s not always what happens. It’s a test, not a showcase.

After taking a few days to think about it, this may be one of my favorite years so far. No we didn’t have the same amazing crescendo of years past, but the ending was great. Some athletes had a weakness exposed and others adapted and overcame anyway.

Watching some of athletes fail to get up the wall pegboard excited me. It took me back to 2010, when I first watched the Games. A rope derailed a rookie from a championship. To me, a newbie, it was anti-climactic and I was bummed for the athlete. But that moment was the inciting incident that began the four-year electrifying reign of Rich Froning. For those for years we saw Rich dominate the field by whatever means necessary—complete with a huge comeback in 2014. This year we didn’t  have that, but I’m no longer a newbie and can appreciate this moment thoroughly

Two new and deserving champions were crowned in Katrin Davidsdottir and Ben Smith and were left with the perfect cliffhanger. After having a weakness exposed, ow will the athletes respond? Who will rise and be ready next year. I can’t wait.

… we’re only going to get better.

Choices

I was in a meeting at Facebook’s Austin office (as a guest) and it occurred to me:

This is nuts.

A handful of years ago I was working a desk job for a major marketing company. Cubicle, shirt, tie, meetings, reviews and paperwork. It felt wrong from the start. I could do all of the tasks. Work was easy, but it was not enough. It was unfulfilling to the point of creating an unsettling anxiety to do more or something else.

I made a choice.

A crazy choice. I quit my job, let my lease run out and moved to Austin, Texas. The plan was to do something different, to find my thing. I crashed on a friends coach, for several months (What a friend right? Thanks Eric) and worked through many late nights to establish my footing.

I haven’t reached my goal.

There is still a lot of work to be done. But sitting in the Facebook meeting today jolted me back. I could still be in a cubicle wearing a tie, if I hadn’t made a crazy choice to break away from what I was told to do and move toward what I’m supposed to do.

It was hard to find my job.

I am not talking about any job, but my job — the thing I do better than anyone because it’s my job to do. That’s not an easy thing to pinpoint unless you are actively working towards it. To my knowledge, the only way to figure out your thing is to do stuff. Try everything and move on quickly. I left the marketing cubicle in ’10, but it wasn’t until the end of 2014 (last year) that I woke up to what I wanted to do and started doing it. It’s not easy to make changes, often there is a heavy cost associated. It’s absolutely worth it. 

It feels amazing to serve a purpose that pours into others. The hard days, can be overcome. The stress can be outlasted. The crazy choice I made years ago now makes perfect sense.

Moving

 “Live for each second without hesitation.” Elton John

It’s so disruptive. My rhythm … The general cadence of the week’s flow shifts drastically. It’s annoying. Regardless of preparation or planning, moving from one place to another changes things. It’s uncomfortable, tiring and host of other words that build a case for never ever moving.

That’s where I was last week. I spent two years in the place pictured above but the time to move showed up before I was ready. It completely upended my week. But what can do?

After resisting the inevitable for a little bit, I decided to attack it and get it over with. My week shifted from things I am passionate about to cardboard boxes, folding styles, markers, tape and Tetris. A few hours into packing I noticed something …

I had never unpacked.

No I didn’t keep everything in boxes but when I took a look around my room, there was no clear evidence that I had lived there. No expression. No creativity. No curation of my habitat. My room, was never really my room. I consider myself a creative .. I am a creative person, so I am not sure how I was in a place for two years without creating things in my environment.

What was I waiting for?

As I continued to pack, I found plenty of things to hang and decorate with. Each thing I picked up jarred my memory to the time I made or got it. Skateboard decks I had been meaning to hang, a painting that I was waiting on the right hooks for … the list went on. Each carried a similar pause or excuse to wait. But what the heck was I waiting for? I don’t know.

Never Again

 I quickly began making promises and plans to never repeat this mistake again. There was no real reason to wait, no purpose behind my hesitation. I spent two years writing, creating, storytelling, and designing in every place I could find — except my own place. It’s almost embarrassing. It is embarrassing. That’s why I am writing about it, because now I am accountable. Now it can’t happen again, because I have no plans to write another blog detailing another case of a two-year hypocrisy.

Why am I making a big deal about this?

Well, because it’s important to live life and express without hesitation. What I was doing is something that, if left unchecked, could bleed into other aspects of my life. Hesitation invites fear, doubt and host of other things I don’t desire to own.

“On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.” Adlai E. Stevenson

So moving is good, moving is necessary.

Moving signals growth, change, advancement in some way. It forced me to look at all my things and examine the environment I kept myself in. In the last two years, I have learned a lot and come a long way despite this odd oversight. With this new realization, I am excited to see how far I can push with an environment that confirms and encourages my direction.

Unpacking begins now.

Cluttered

For the record, I have been writing more often, just not here. I am not even sure anyone actually reads my blog, but that’s not why I blog. This is a place for my thoughts, stories, dreams and lessons.

My life can get really cluttered and messy. I can function with a certain level of mess present and still perform well, but eventually, I have to address my habitat. It’s important. Putting things in order is calming and never feels like a waste. In that same fashion, blogging is another way I put things in order.

I’ve been traveling for most of May and have been functioning with an acceptable mess of thoughts piling up.

I’ll be back to put things in order shortly.

Photo of a graffiti wall in Christiana, Copenhagen Denmark 

It takes a Team

This year I returned to the South Regional to lead the social media team and help tell the story of athletes from the South Central, Latin America and South West Regions.

It’s always a challenge, but I love the challenge of figuring out how to deliver something that captures what is taking place.

It’s never just me. It always takes a team.

The volunteers that are assigned to CrossFit Games social media don’t quite know what they are getting into when they show up at regionals, but each group I’ve had finds a way to step up to the plate to help deliver a good story.

Besides the stress of having an affiliate team in the competition, the regional was a blast. I enjoyed the ups, downs, obstacles and high points of the weekend. Working with volunteers and teaching them what I do helps me to spread good media vibes and sharpen or reshape how I do things. Learning on the fly is amazing. I am able to learn concepts that would usually take me months during the course of a three-day regional. I love that.

Learning by doing is art. 

Special thanks to the team that worked with me—Trish, Ben, Adam, Dannan—and the other medias (photo and video guys) that help to deliver such a beautiful show.
One round down. Two to go

Enjoy the Adventure

Camouflage

On Walter Scott: Imperfect Thoughts on a Perfect Problem

Not all cops are bad. Not all people of color are criminals. The problem is that wrong-doers don’t wear a specific uniform or come from a specific race. They are interwoven into our community and remain hidden among us—often until it’s too late.

It’s not simple

We ask cops to protect us. We ask them to look for and deal with the troublesome part of our society. But the “bad guys” don’t advertise. They are hidden among good people, often until it’s too late. The problem lies on both sides, in fact there are no sides. The problem is camouflaged among every race, community, office and position. There are good people working amongst bad. But wait, good and bad are traits that lie in everyone. We measure people on a scale on which trait they lean to the most, but that scale can tip in an instant.

You see, It’s not that simple.

If I lose my temper, have a bad day or act out or work, I may do a little bit of damage or cost the company some business (money). The consequences of my flare-up are likely monetary—at worst. If a cop loses their temper, has a bad day or acts out at work, someone could lose their life. The environment they are in, the people they encounter (continually) raise the stakes and likely shorten the fuse; quickly escalating a small mistake into a life-altering situation. My workplace flare-up carries drastically different consequences from an officer’s. Yes, cops are supposed to be “more responsible,” they accept said responsibility when they put on the uniform and assume power over civilians, but they are still human. I can’t say that I would handle every situation a cop gets put in perfectly, so how could I expect that. What do I expect? It’s hard to say. But it’s not as simple as identifying the good and bad people, because that potential lies in everyone.

On Scott

A cop shot a man who was running away then (seemingly) lied about how it all went down. An unsettling video surfaced to help shed light on the truth and maybe the system will get it right and serve justice in the eyes of the public.

But I wasn’t there. 

My perspective of the events that took place are incomplete. The video left me in a disturbed state of confusion. I don’t understand how a traffic stop turned into an exchange in the middle of a field. I don’t understand why I didn’t see the officer try to help the wounded man once he was in handcuffs. I don’t understand why Walter Scott threw the object. I don’t understand why the officer moved the object next to Walter Scott when he was cuffed. If lies were already told, how much harder will it be to find the truth? All I can do is watch and hope the correct outcome is reached.

But it’s not that simple.

That video and whatever comes from it does not change the way I have to live my life. It’s not going to change the minds of people—civilians, military or law enforcement—who profile or pre-judge. Those people are not going to disappear and I am not going to pretend like they don’t exist. I have to be careful, respectful, vigilant. I have to be on my best behavior in the eyes (and in the presence) of the law … I just have to. I make no excuses for either side. I understand that this is not a simple problem—this is not just a black and white case. It’s bigger than that. This is an unpredictable and volatile people problem. It can surface without warning and escalate from seemingly nothing.

America has a history of racial prejudice,  that history lingers in the hearts and minds of many. When things like this happen it stokes a smoldering fire in everyone no matter their position or belief. This spurs some to act, others to act out and more to stay frustrated and silent with no viable solution in sight. It’s a perfect problem.

Despite all of this, change is possible. It can happen. It really can, but it requires everyone. Not pointing fingers, labeling or bickering on Facebook. We all have to collectively work at it—continually—looking past the mistakes, wrong-doing and set backs to work towards making things different. What is different? True accountability. True checks and balances. Willingness to fix a broken system, whatever that may require. It’s that … “simple.”

Jumping Around in My Mind

I can’t get my thoughts out right now. They just won’t flow. I can see them and they make sense in my mind, but when I sit down to write,  a traffic jam of words backs up on the interchange from my thoughts to my fingers. I am going to switch gears from my original topic in order to unclog the flow.

A few months back, I challenged myself to write more. To be straight up, I haven’t executed on that challenge the way I expected myself to. Originally, I thought that I would set aside more time to write here—on my personal blog. I have put up a few things but nothing near the volume I intended.

Mission failed on that front. 

However, my volume of writing has increase just about everywhere else (work wise). Maybe that’s a better adaptation of the challenge because I need to execute at a rapid pace if I want to accomplish all that I have set out to do.

I want to build something great.

That’s a big thought. But I am not afraid of it. It’s what I was built to do. I know it. It’s actually a relief to admit it. I’ve known I wanted to do big things since I was a kid. I was on the field at Trinity Christian School when I first believed I could do something big in football. I didn’t set any collegiate records but I proved—to myself—that the things that I desired were attainable. With the recent history of past accomplishments bookmarked in my mind, I’m taking another swing at a dream, but this time I am going to make full contact and knock it into orbit.

This time will be different. Along this road will be ups, downs, failures, successes and everything in between. I want to be sure to experience all of it. To not rush through one bit of it. Because while I am chasing my dreams, life is also taking place. I don’t want to miss out on either.

I’ve been saying Enjoy the Adventure for a while now, but I think it’s finally starting to sink in.

P.S. If you read my blogs, feel free to leave comments. I always wonder if anyone reads these things. If not, it’s cool. I’ll keep rowing along. 

She

I don’t know where she is
her identity is a mystery
Have I seen her before?
there are no answers, but questions
too many.

I wonder when it will be time
I wonder if it will be time
then time wonders off without me
there is no need to look for her
because I don’t know where she is
there are no keywords to search.

For now, I save space and strive to live well
But I hope she is on her way

My thoughts are not always in order or clear. Sometimes they come out choppy no matter how I try to organize them. I think it’s better to leave them as is sometimes and let them settle on their own. Especially with this topic.