Hunting Contentment

As I’ve written about in previous posts, the direction of my life has taken some drastic detours this past year. These unexpected changes come from circumstances that were out of my control, but also from decisions I’ve made and certain things that I decided to pursue. As I reflect back on everything it’s really interesting to compare the active versus the reactive decisions I made. In some cases there was something or someone in front of me that I wanted to pursue so I did what I felt I needed to do and I sacrificed certain things in order to pursue those opportunities. In other cases I had opportunities not work out and I was forced to make a reactive decision to go a different direction.

Regardless of if my decisions were reactive or if they were active, everything that happened got to where I am right now. And I’ll be honest, I still catch myself wondering “how the heck did I end up here?” I mean I live in Oregon right now and I’m fighting wildfires. Like what haha. It’s still so crazy to me but it’s also super exciting. There were moments when I was out on the Days Coffee Fire where reality really hit me. A few times I just took a pause to let the entire experience sink in. The sound of the helicopters doing bucket drops echoed off each mountain ridge. The feeling of my hands gripping my wooden tool handle. The weight of my pack on my shoulders. The smoke from the fire blowing into my face. In those moments there was nowhere I would have rather been. I was physically and mentally exhausted from the work but at the same time I felt so alive. I felt challenged. I felt strong. I felt content.

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Taking Risks

A little over a year ago I left my job with the Kansas City Royals to move to Southern California. I moved to pursue a girl and to pursue what was seemingly a very promising direction for my coaching career. I’ve talked about these pursuits in previous posts, but if you haven’t read those the short summary is it all fell apart. About 4 months after moving to California I quit my job because that place was an absolute mess, and a month or so after that I got dumped. I took a huge risk in leaving my job with the Royals to pursue these new opportunities and it didn’t work out at all.

While I ended up staying in California, finding a good job, a good church, and good friends, I still couldn’t shake off everything that happened. I got to a point where I had no idea what I was struggling with, all I knew was that I was struggling (I would later discover that I was just really burnt out). I needed a change. So I took another risk and left California to pursue a job in Alabama. Alabama is where I wanted to be. Out of all the places I’ve lived in the last several years it’s my favorite, and it’s where I can see myself settling down eventually.

I had an extremely promising opportunity to become a strength and conditioning coach at a Christian high school there. It seemed like a total God thing with thing after thing falling into place with this opportunity. It seemed like the perfect job just waiting for me. I drove to Alabama for a formal interview and left that interview with a cloud of confidence hovering over me. I had prepared for this opportunity like crazy and I crushed the interview. Then I was completely shocked when I found out they gave the job to someone else. Another big risk taken, another opportunity that didn’t work out at all.

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Finding Patience

I write blog posts like these to help me reflect on what God has taught me. Whenever something happens in my life that has a big impact on me I like to write it down. Writing helps me organize my thoughts on everything I’m reflecting on, but I also like to share my thoughts publicly because by doing so I’ve been able to help other people who have been able to relate to my posts. Back in October I wrote a blog post titled Finding Direction (which you can read here). I didn’t think this at the time I wrote it, but now I can see that Finding Direction was a little different. It was different because instead of writing about my experiences after the fact, I wrote that blog post while I was in the midst of God teaching me a huge lesson.

In the post I talked about how I thought that God was trying to teach me how to slow down, and I was actually spot on. But I didn’t know that God was not done teaching me the lesson of how to slow down. He still wanted to teach me the hard way. And he definitely did.

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Finding Direction

Back in 2006 I was a scrawny, freckle faced freshman in high school with a huge dream. My dream was to play college baseball. That year I would spend hours upon hours on the computer scouring the internet in search of insight and tips on how to dominate the college sports recruiting process. I had every last detail of the process planned out. One example being the Excell spreadsheet I made full of college baseball programs that comprised my list of “potential schools.” 

Pursuing this dream is actually where my love of strength and conditioning was born. I knew that because I was the smallest kid on my team that I needed to utilize the weight room in order to make my dream of playing college baseball a reality, so I spent hundreds of hours researching training websites and magazines. I fell in love with the process of trying to maximize my physical abilities. I would ride my bike up to the high school field and do my speed/agility/baserunning workouts. I would go by myself. No teammates, no music, just alone with my dream. I actually still have the training programs I wrote for myself back in 2007.

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Chasing Responsibility

​When life hits you with a ton of responsibility at once there are good ways you can respond and there are definitely bad ways you can respond. With added responsibility life can certainly become filled with more stress, more anxiety, and more self-doubt. The thing about responsibility is it can come out of nowhere. What once looked like a hill in front of you instantly looks like a mountain, and while you thought you were ready for the hill you’re not sure if you are prepared to climb the mountain.
 
Perhaps you can relate. You might be the person who often gets overwhelmed with the crazy number of things going on in your life, each one deserving your full attention, but you can sense yourself stretching thin. You feel the anxiousness of wanting to please everyone around you but you doubt your ability to do so. You get to the point where the weight of your stress feels as though it’s crushing you, so the best course of action in your mind is to just give up. Any of this hitting home?

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