Check the Pilot Light

I went out for a jog this morning. It sort of sucked. My pace was slow, my right knee barked on every step and it just wasn’t anywhere near the feeling of total-freedom and ease that it can be (and has been). Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s something else, but in the less than 20 minutes it took to complete the loop, my mind raced. By the time I got back in front of my computer, where I’ve spent WAY too many hours since my last post, I felt it was time to get organized; something this blog has been a great help with over the years.

It started with a lookback. And WOW, a lot has happened since June of 2021 when I shared a bit about losing my Dad – time does fly. It’s mostly good. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it’s been too easy to get comfortable. Maybe instead of adding layers this winter, it’s time to burn the fire a little hotter. I suppose it makes sense to first bring things current. On the outside chance there’s a reader who even remembers the early chapters it’ll help. If nothing else, it’ll keep the timeline organized when I look back as I sometimes do.

From June 2021 – Jan 2023

After a brief stint designing and delivering a homeschool curriculum together (some kiddos just weren’t meant for COVID school) including a dive into beekeeping which has resulted in 4 honey producing hives and a fun new hobby for me, a very cool science curriculum if I do say myself, I sent my youngest off to high school where he is finding his rhythm and becoming a strong student/athlete. He followed a cousin and has become a “boy in the boat” (an awesome book BTW), sculling his way toward a strong & fit body and tough & focused mind. It is the perfect sport for a kid like him – competitive and strong willed – if a few things go his way, it could be a great adventure.

After plunging neck deep back into Rugby (mostly coaching with a little playing mixed in) and, along with a handful of other “sappy dads”, helping to build the infrastructure badly needed to advance the sport on the women’s side in the US, I was able to (finally!) steal my middle child back from the soccer fields and show her how much fun rugby is. It didn’t take long before she was noticed for not only her athletic potential but where she really shines, as a leader and thus, only fitting that she accepted an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point where, despite the undeniable challenge (as advertised) those “47 months” brings with it, she has found success both on the Rugby field and in the classroom. There’s really no telling what twists and turns still lie ahead, but she is through the “beast” (plebe summer) and the first semester and so past a major milestone.

After watching her lose most of her “first year” season to COVID, we have traveled countless miles cheering on our oldest as she masterfully takes on the juggling act of collegiate sports AND rigorous academics at Bowdoin College in Maine. There were few prouder moments than seeing her receive both All-American and Academic All-American honors in her first year back to full status when play resumed. She has since notched 2 National Championships and co-MVP honors on the team. What a ride!

After seeing her dust off old skills and reenter the workforce (a few years prior), I have been able to be the quiet cheerleader for Lindsay as she continued to carve her path. She has continued on a strong upward trajectory, earned a masters along the way and become an important leader in her own right. She continues to show our girls what a strong-mom can be. It’s awesome.

Professionally, we’ve continued to grow Pro-Activity and I’ve settled into a role that is far more working “on” the business than “in” it. Both a point of great pride AND a surreal experience since it’s always seemed doable but never a guarantee. Our team is strong – filled with energetic professionals who revel in change we try to bring to the world – and we’ve got opportunities for growth on many fronts.

Truly, despite getting older and never having or doing everything on my wish list, I’ve got NOTHING to complain about. Yet, somewhere deep, below the layers of relative-comfort, there is a small voice who is not satisfied. A voice who remembers the initial goal that started this blog (a trip to Kona for Ironman) and is screaming to be recognized. A voice who won’t let me forget my promise to put the goal on the shelf and focus on family ONLY until Andrew is out of HS (and presumably time frees up a bit)…and remind me that those days will be here WAY faster than I realize and that the barriers only get harder to get over (despite not actually changing in size) for a body that is closer to 50 than 40 years on this earth (yikes!). It’s not time to start training…but the prep work could take a while…and so, it’s time to check and maybe relight the pilot.

I’m not big on resolutions, but the New Year certainly lends itself to doing something different, making time for important things.

More to come,

Mike E.