Saturday, July 18, 2015

Prioritizing What Is Important In My Life

Spending more time with my brother and sister will be at
the top of the priority list with more free time in my life. 
An opportunity I have dreamed of, planned and prepared for now for over a decade while I have waited patiently to arrive has presented itself to me this summer.

The head baseball coaching position at my alma mater, Herndon High School, is open and I have been granted an interview for the right to coach where some of my best memories came from, on the same field where I grew up as a player and first decided I would one day get into coaching. In my 11 years coaching as an assistant at three different high schools, with numerous middle school and high school travel coaches, with a collegiate summer team, and overseas in Hungary and the Czech Republic, I have always maintained that the only head coaching job I’d ever want would be right there at Herndon.

For over a decade, I have worked to become the best coach I can. I was not the most-gifted player, the only colleges I was going to be given an opportunity to play ball at had less students than my high school. So I have had to build my name as a coach through the baseball I had in me above my shoulders, and through hard work, preparation and organization.

Like many assistant coaches trying to make their name and work their way up the ladder, I have coached essentially year-round: during the spring high school season, summer collegiate or travel season, fall travel ball and winter camps and clinics. The past two years, I have been 6-7 days a week of baseball from the third week of February to the end of July between my seasons at Oakton High School and with the Herndon Braves.

While I was dedicating these thousands of hours to the development of players and building of teams and programs all these years, I had fallen in love with the idea of being on baseball field and working to better someone else’s child. It is very fulfilling to see an investment in time pay off in the success of a player or team.

That being said, my eyes have opened in recent weeks to the fact that while I have fallen in love with being on the field and working with these kids, I haven’t allowed the time to potentially fall in love with someone myself, and that I’m now 36 years old and not raising and working to better children of my own.

For someone who always preaches to his players to keep your priorities in check so you can succeed in the classroom and on the field, to spend time with family and maintain time to simply be a kid, I realized I have gotten away from practicing any of what I have been preaching.

This is where I probably drop too much of my personal life on you, but here it goes.

These past two weeks have been an extremely emotional time for me. I have spent hours debating the prospects of taking on a responsibility such as running a high school baseball program. I have worked (very) unsuccessfully to rescue a relationship that I broke this spring, when I simply was unable to invest enough time into while essentially working two full-time jobs and coaching baseball. I have taken a hard look in a hypothetical mirror and realized that while I constantly have something committing me from dusk until dawn, my life has become very empty. And when looking into an actual mirror a few days ago, I saw someone who is 15 pounds lighter than a few months ago, as my diet and exercise suffered while a usually committed workout regimen dwindled, and I often simply forgot to eat because I was sprinting from one commitment to another.

All this occurring as I sit here attempting to grow a business that has an awful lot of potential, and also needs my attention and commitment in order to thrive.

A light has gone on in recent weeks, and I have realized what really is important to me. By burying myself with so many responsibilities, I have been blinded to the one’s that should matter most to me: my family, friends, hopefully at some point a significant other, and my own health and wellness.

And for that, I owe a number of people an apology.

Most importantly, to my family, who I have not spent enough time with, by any measure, and have even become a punch line at times because something always seems to come up that prevents me from seeing them. To a young lady, who was for a few months anyway my Lizzy Belle, for the belated full-court press I’ve applied since realizing I dropped the ball with a pretty special person. To my buddies, many of whom I have not seen since before baseball started in February, for being MIA on the social scene, and in general. And to myself, for allowing my priorities to become as clouded as they did, and as a result everything I just mentioned above having to suffer the consequences.

And lastly, I owe an apology to the folks at Herndon, who I have strung along before finally today pulling my name from consideration for what surely would be an awesome opportunity to try my hand as a head coach at my alma mater.

It’s come to the time in my life where I need to pull back the reigns on my coaching commitments, and have more time to focus on the most important aspects in my life.