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Father’s Day Weekend Events

This week marks a busy time as we near Father’s Day. I’m grateful for the continued support of To Dad, From Kelly and looking forward to speaking at three events this week and weekend in Cleveland and Michigan. Check out the list below and if you’re in the area come say hello. I promise many laughs and some never before shared “behind the story” stories.

I hope to see everyone this week!

Thursday, June 18, 7:00 pm @ Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry in Cleveland

Join Alan Dutka (author of Misfortune on Cleveland’s Millionaire’s Row), Vince McKee (Redemption of the KIng: Lebron James Returns to Cleveland), and myself as we share from our books.

Friday, June 19, 7:00 pm at The Arena in Ann Arbor, MI as part of the Ann Arbor Book Festival

Join To Dad, From Kelly as it returns to the town and University where many of the Dad lessons took shape under the watchful eye of Coach Schembechler. I’ll be joining the Friday evening “Book Crawl” through Ann Arbor and reading at The Arena at 7:00 pm.

Saturday, June 20, 2:00 pm at Hart Area Public Library in Hart, Michigan

Excited to see an old family friend, some new faces, and spend time just a few miles from Lake Michigan.

Please stop by and say hello if you can and visit me on Twitter and Facebook to share your own stories!

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2014: A Year in Words

I entered 2014 believing that stories were my catalyst for creating, capturing, and cultivating life’s changing moments. It’s stories – those make you burst with laughter on an airplane or cry in a coffee shop stories – that make others wish they could feel just what has ignited such an emotional firestorm. Writing stories, I believed, was my life raft when I needed rescued from drowning in grief.

As I reflect on 2014, I realize that this year I probed deeper, past the heart of stories and into the soul of words. Stories are great, but as John Keating said, “words (and ideas) can change the world.” What is a story anyway without the right words? It’s the right words, spoken at the right time, and heard by the right audience that can inspire masses to change the world. Change a life.

Anyone who has ever listened to a story told by my grandfather, father, or me knows our rambling tendencies. But consider the most powerful phrases we know: Thank you; I’m sorry; I love you.

Strong, simple, and meaningful words.

Words don’t tug heartstrings they quench our souls. And 2014, for me, was a year in words.

34,100 words in To Dad, From Kelly. And consider this, my first draft had 45,000 words and second had 38,000. This is why you edit.

25,000 words and ideas scribbled in moleskin notebooks with handwriting so bad only my eyes can decipher.

2 words – It’s Finished – announcing the completion of To Dad, From Kelly to my mom and sister.

7 words – I can’t believe I fucking did it – that immediately followed.

3 words – I love you – shared in the small numbered hours of a March evening with a love the Gods have blessed me with knowing.

12 words – Goodbye my friend, I’ll see you when I see you. Love, Kelly – that let me say goodbye to my father.

2014 was a year for words. What will 2015 bring?

Some Things Are Better Than Christmas Morning

Christmas morning. 1992. I woke frantic. A commotion rang from our basement. I popped from bed, snatched a sweatshirt from the floor, and dashed toward the noise. Wild strands of bedhead stood upright like blonde fingers sprouting from my head. My heart thumped as I chugged toward my parent’s cackles and the zinging sound of a scoreboard whistling higher. I skidded across the slick basement floor when I reached my destination, my eyes bulging and my arms flailing. Christmas had arrived. And so had my gift: a 10-feet long arcade style hot shot basketball system that rose from the ground like a monument made of metal tubing and mesh and adorned with rubber basketballs, a scoreboard, and countdown clock.

I was happy.20141214_123609

For a new author, I suspect that seeing your book in a bookstore is like waking on Christmas morning and finding that long-awaited present under the tree. At least it was for me.

Indies First is a national grassroots movement started in 2013 by author Sherman Alexie (if you haven’t read Mr. Alexie you must) to support local, independent bookstores during small business Saturday. And I am grateful to Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry Road in Cleveland for allowing me the chance to participate in their Indies First event last month.

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Standing among words I’ve long admired and wished I could have written reminded me how far I’ve come as a writer in three years – and how far I still have to go. Seeing To Dad, From Kelly propped in a bookcase and armed with a price tag was like waking up and finding the perfect present under the Christmas tree – if that present had taken three years of begging and pleading to receive. I watched customers thumb its pages. Some turned it down but for others I autographed their new copy. I felt proud, honored, and grateful. I was happy.

Writing To Dad, From Kelly exhausted me. But I finished. And seeing my stories next to so many others on a bookshelf is a sweet reward.

When absence is a good thing..

Wow, that’s been a long six months. Where have I been? Well, I’ve been busy learning. And writing.

First, if writing a book is hard work, then finishing a book is even harder. My editor pushed changes, challenged my verbosity, proposed revisions and hard choices on every word. Chapters that I thought were written well now spend their days in the trash heap. I spent months enduring a monsoon of red ink.

But my memoir – To Dad, From Kelly – is more focused, concise, polished, and – most importantly – finished. I have accomplished my lifelong dream of writing a book, and will publish it this August. Writing the book changed my life; I hope others find it meaningful.

NeRD

Meet the NeRD!

Stay tuned for more updates on timing and availability of the book and eBook.

Second, if finishing a book is challenging work, then launching a digital content solution for the U.S. Navy is even more daunting. My company, Findaway World, partnered with the U.S. Navy’s General Library Program in the creation of the Navy eReader Device, or NeRD, to provide secure, eReaders preloaded with a collection of popular eBook titles to Navy vessels stationed around the world. The content spans best-sellers, classics, professional development, and entertainment. The eReader itself addresses challenges Navy vessels face around storage restrictions and device security and connectivity.

Shipping day...

Shipping day…

How’d our project do? Check out some of the coverage: CNN, Mashable, and The Wall Street Journal.

NeRD marks my first ever “product launch,” and overseeing the project afforded me with many lessons. I will share these lessons in the next several posts.

Loads of exciting stories to come. And, most importantly to me, I look forward to sharing To Dad, From Kelly this summer.

Mother’s Day

Great hair.

Great hair.

I got a C- in reading in 4th grade. Mom blamed it on video games, smashed my Sega Genesis against our basement floor, and told me to “get my act together.”

Mom, thank you for kickstarting my love of writing, reading, stories, and storytelling. Mom, thank you for showing me how to care and put others first.

Mom, thank you for everything else.

Happy Mother’s Day.

I read this thing…January 2

I suppose I’ve always done my share of crying, especially when there’s no other way to contain my feelings. I know that men ain’t supposed to cry, but I think that’s wrong. Crying’s always been a way for me to get things out which are buried deep, deep down. When I sing, I often cry. Crying is feeling, and feeling is being human. Oh yes, I cry.

Ray Charles, in Brother Ray

I cry. Anyone that knows me knows this. I’ve written of the value of crying in this blog, too. At the risk of sounding trite, a day spent engulfed in the embrace of emotions experienced to their fullest is a day worth smiling about when our heads rest on the pillow to sleep.  To me, tears represent that threshold when we relinquish ourselves so completely to the passion of a moment that we have only one outlet for what we feel.

Tears are joyful and they’re sad. Tears are frustrating and they’re reassuring. Tears can bind us to others  and they can uplift. As Ray said, “crying is feeling, and feeling is human.”

Oh my.

From Russia with Love

“Everyone has one dream, passion, or hobby that fills his life with purpose.”

As the video at the end of this post shows, for Vladimir Grigoryev of AFOUR Custom, that passion is shoes.

What Vladimir Grigoryev does is beautiful. He has translated his passion into a product that allows others to express themselves and find beauty through design. He helps people create, reveal themselves, and realize their imaginations.

And the most wonderful point he makes, at least in my eyes, is that when he started making shoes he did so hoping to “just do something, to finish something.”

I think that too often when we start down the path of realizing a dream, concerns of what that dream could become – and fears over what the dream might never be – interfere with actually just finishing something. And, as I’ve learned, the work of heading towards a dream cannot begin the commitment to finish is in place.

I’ve dreamed of writing books since 4th grade. I wrote my first one last year and have spent this year reworking (and I hope strengthening) its weakest areas. I’m close to finishing, but the act of actually finishing also terrifies me. Finishing means that this project I’ve devoted untold hours, tears, revisions, and self-reflections is over. Finishing means an end to the daydreams of what the book might mean to people or the lives it might reach. Finishing means that the something I’ve dreamed of all my life is open for judgment. It turns out that starting the book was the easy part. Seeing it through to its completion is much harder.  Still, I know that my dream of writing books doesn’t really begin until I finish this one.

Watching Vladimir Grigoryev’s video brought a comforting smile to my face. It is a reminder that when push comes to shove, we have to finish.

Saying Thank You

This post is to say thank you to the many friends and family who have generously supported this year’s birthday fundraiser: Christmas in September: Fixing the Newel Post, which raises money to provide toys and clothes for families of need in Sandusky County, Ohio. Last year, we raised over $3,500 and provided items for more than 40 families.

After just one month, we have raised nearly $2,500 and are almost half way to this year’s goal of 5,000. With continued support, the goal is within reach! And just think, the more money raised, the more presents I will wrap. Now that is a site for sore eyes.

If you would like more information, please visit the fundraising page: Christmas in September: Fixing the Newel Post, 

If you’re interested in the amazing rewards that I’ve promised for donating, well wait no more!

1. Donate $5 or more: Receive a handwritten thank you note from me in the half-cursive, half print slop that I pass off as my scribbling. If you play your cards right, I might include a sticker.

2. Donate $50 or more: Thank you note plus a short book that I will choose specifically because I hope it has meaning for you.

3. Donate $100 or more: Thank you note plus meaningful book plus a brand new t-shirt that I guarantee you will love.

Thank you again to everyone for your support. Seeing such generosity is a truly awe-inspiring moment.

Thank you.

Was it Worth It?

Frontline aired its provocative documentary League of Denial on Tuesday evening. League of Denial offers insights into the NFL’s concussion crisis with, for me, painstaking detail. It took me three sittings to finish. The subject matter was too frustrating and too close to home to absorb in a single viewing. After Dad died, my family and I donated his brain to the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) to help advance their research into concussions, brain injuries, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). If you’ve seen the documentary, there is a segment that discusses the difficulties Chris Nowinski, SLI’s co-founder and executive director, faces when he phones the families of recently diseased players and asks about the possibility of acquiring that player’s brain for medical examination. Our family was one that Chris called, and we are thankful he did. The doctors and families in the two-hour documentary are not strangers. They are part of an extended family, one connected by the physical and mental havoc wreaked on former players by CTE.

Conversations swirl around what the NFL could have or should have known about the linkage between concussive trauma endured by players and decreased brain functionality. Opinions fixed with bayonets have been drawn about how the NFL should have reacted when the autopsied brains of deceased former players showed conditions consistent with CTE at ages too young to be mere coincidence. Battle lines exist everywhere one turns in this discussion. The field of play is littered with land mines camouflaged as questions.

Is the NFL acting in the best interests of former players or is it merely executing a PR blitz to keep its pipeline of dedicated youth foot soldiers clamoring for a spot in its army?

Has enough research been performed, have enough brains been examined, for scientists to draw definitive conclusions about the causation between repetitive collisions and early onset brain defects?

What does America’s reverence for such a violent, overtly masculine game say about our country in general? Have we traded lessons that football can teach for highlight reel collisions? Have we lost sight of the message of teamwork, sacrifice, and perseverance embodied in football in order to listen to sound bites about football’s warrior blood as pimped by the NFL’s propaganda machine.

Should we even have these conversations? After all, former players, my father included, understood that playing football carried extreme risks to their health. They chose to play. Should the consequences be theirs to endure. Alone.

I don’t know the answers to these questions. What I do know, and what I lived with, is the collateral damage that underscores the entire subject of the NFL’s concussion crisis. Families of former players suffer (and have suffered) as the husbands, fathers, and friends, they once knew deteriorate before their eyes. Many families ache as helpless bystanders while violent mood swings, erratic decisions, depression, and questionable judgment cripple these once strong men. Others must watch as the enduring physical torment of so many violent encounters on the playing field swallow them with pain from which there is no escape.

If I leap past questions of where to assign blame, though, I can picture grieving players and the families who love them. These are the men, women, and children whose stories we must continue to tell. These are the individuals who, unfortunately, humanize football’s brutality with their mangled bones, scarred skin, and broken hearts. These are the people who must answer the most important question about playing football: Was it worth it?

The story that follows is a draft excerpt from To Dad: From Kelly, my memoir about the lessons I learned from my father and the questions that remained in our relationship when he died. It asks if Dad would believe the sacrifices he made to play football were still worth it if he somehow knew when his life would end.

Was it Worth it?

Dad, #41, after suffering the injury that would end his career

Dad, #41, after suffering the injury that would end his career

I always marveled at my dad’s hands. If I looked hard enough, I could imagine them in their prime, strong and powerful, with one clutching a football and the other jabbing at an opponent standing in his path. This vision was fantasy, though, because in real life I saw his hands as a gateway for suffering. The ten swollen and inflamed fingers pointed in ten directions. Each one carried a combat story from his days playing professional football.

I watched Dad labor physically every day for almost three decades before he died. Near the end of his life, the sport he loved had reduced this once proud athlete to limps and winces. Dad rarely mentioned the pain. Complaining wasn’t part of his makeup. I don’t think he felt he had anything to complain about, either. As a child, he dreamed of playing professional football, and I often wondered how he accepted the costs of realizing his dream with a single regret: that his myriad injuries kept him from reaching his potential and forced his retirement before he was ready to say goodbye.

Now, with his life abbreviated at the age of 56, I wish I could ask Dad one more time if he still believes all the treatments, operations, excruciating mornings, prescription drug dependence, and even his early death are simply the acceptable collateral damage for an athletic dream achieved. Would Dad accept the same deal he made with football’s devils if he knew the real outcome?

To understand my dad is to know a man whose life had a singular mission. As a boy growing up in Fremont, Ohio, Dad told his parents and two sisters that he would play professional football. He wasn’t boasting with his pronouncement but stating a fact. He had chartered a course with the NFL as its destination, and he prepared for whatever abuses and sacrifices would be necessary to achieve it.

In playground basketball games versus neighborhood kids, he wrapped ankle weights above his shoes, believing they would strengthen his legs enough to withstand the punishment of the career he envisioned. Later, while still in junior high school, he started lifting weights and running sprints with the older players on the varsity team. He craved the satisfaction competing versus the bigger, stronger, and faster high school kids brought him.

“Couldn’t get enough of it,” Dad told me years later. “All I wanted was to keep working. Every day, hell, every minute. I loved football, Kelly, I really did.”

Many people doubted his abilities. They said he was too small, too slow, or too white ever to play in the NFL. Find a new dream, they said, but Dad refused to listen. “I didn’t care,” he said. “Nothing was stopping me. Nobody knew how hard I’d work to get there. Nobody realized how much I had to play football.”

A part of me wonders if the same obsession would consume him if he knew how it would dead-end. Another part of me believes that it doesn’t matter. Football chose Dad as much as he chose football, and he loved the sport as a parent loves a child–unconditionally.

First about his days in high school, then college, and finally the NFL, I heard stories about how Dad persevered through injuries and dedicated his body to the team. Legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler called him one the toughest players he ever coached, claiming that he absorbed abuse while playing like an “ugly outsider trying desperately for the last spot on the team.”

Following Dad’s memorial service, I learned from several former Michigan players that Coach Schembechler judged future generations of Wolverines by their willingness to pry their battered bodies from the training room table for another grueling practice. “Lytle would play,” became a common phrase uttered in the Michigan locker room by Coach Schembechler. After his death, past teammates echoed this sentiment in their tributes, many calling Dad the best teammate they ever had. Others stated they never played alongside a tougher man. At Michigan, Dad might have been an All-American, Heisman Trophy finalist, and the school’s all-time leader in career rushing yards when he graduated, but it was his self-sacrifice that lingered as his most respected trait.

My question for Dad is whether the toughness that earned him the respect of coaches and teammates was worth it.

I want this answer because I saw unrelenting suffering become the cruel counterpart to his earning such compliments. Whether the result of pride, masculinity, his passion to succeed, or a combination of all three, I know that Dad believed reaching his football goals required a full speed charge through any obstacle. If finishing a game meant sprinting back to the huddle for a series of plays that he would hardly remember, after enduring a collision that his body and brain would never forget, he willed himself up to the task. If the chance to play depended on receiving another numbing injection to mask burning joints, then he allowed the doctor to jab the medicine into his body. Knees, toes, shoulders, it didn’t matter. He welcomed the shot with a smile. The shot meant that he was one-step closer to returning to the field.**

Football’s stranglehold on Dad demanded that no alternatives existed. Many years after he retired, he remarked that he still longed for the camaraderie of joining his teammates in the locker room, laughing while having their ankles and wrists taped. Despite the carpenter’s set of screws and pins inserted to hold his body together, he craved one more play. It seems that no roadblock could have stopped his life from colliding with football’s seductive force. The game gripped him as nothing else in his life could.

With success came consequences. By the age of 56, he owned an artificial left knee, an artificial right shoulder, persistent headaches, vertigo, carpal tunnel so severe it stripped all feeling from his hands as he fought to sleep at night, and a mind that had begun to distance itself from reality. Time and age faded the scars slicing through his arms and legs, but his arthritic joints and pained gait remained. When Dad died, his body was a junkyard of used parts, a collection of leftovers from a sacrificial offering to his pagan god of football. Teammates and opponents praised his determination, but our family lives with the costs.

I never felt for a sport or a job or anything, really, even a measure of what my dad did for football. He worshipped the game, and grieved without it every day following his retirement. Perhaps it’s unfair for me to question his devotion since it isn’t something I can entirely understand. Before passing, he told me on countless occasions that he accepted his physical suffering because that toll came with playing the game he loved. I suppose that in his eyes, the desire to reach the pinnacle of his sport meant nothing without a willingness to sacrifice and stretch his body across the goal line to achieve it.

For a long time, I accepted this thought process. But everything Dad said about appreciating the pain he endured from football changed for me on November 20, 2010. A heart attack too powerful for his body to overcome became his final reward for the toughness admired by fans. On the day he passed, his daughter lost her father, his wife became a widow in her mid-50’s, and I lost my best friend. In the aftermath of his death, I question whether Dad would still choose football if someone warned him of the consequences.

The thing about my question is that I already know its answer.

“Yes,” Dad would say. “All I want is one more play. And maybe one more after that.” Then, he would smile.

** – Footnote

Dad loved telling a story about one particular painkilling shot he received into the little toe on his left foot while playing for the Denver Broncos. In Dad’s words: “Doc and I got to bullshitting and laughing about this or that while he was busy shooting up my toe. Now, I can’t feel a damn thing, but he must not have been paying attention because the next thing you know, I’m screaming, ‘Doc, Doc, look.’ And he looks down and screams, ‘holy shit!’ because the medicine was dripping onto the floor. The doctor put the damn needle right through my toe.

This story always made Dad smile. He cherished everything, even an injecting stabbing through his toe, about football.

I Want a Book on Shipbuilding

Putting political leanings aside, when asked which one book he would take with him to a deserted island, William F. Buckley Jr. replied, “A book on shipbuilding.”

Sometimes the seemingly simple, obvious answer is the one that makes the most sense.

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Nickels and Dimes is a series of short commentaries on inspiration, decision-making, relationships, and other items. I will post these thoughts every Tuesday and Thursday until I run out of new things to say.

For a daily helping of wisdom, please visit these excellent thinkers: Matt CheuvrontSam DavidsonPaul Jarvis, and Josh Linkner. Oh, and of course, Paulo Coelho.

A Real McDonald’s Happy Meal

I veered off I-90 East just outside Cleveland, onto an exit ramp, and slowed my grey Chevy to a stop underneath a stoplight hanging from a paint-chipped pole and dangling in the March wind. To my right suffered a gas station in disrepair with two pumps encased by three or four salvage-yard ready vehicles and pavement waiting for weeds to grow through its cracks and signal an end to this long, cold, miserable winter. A two-story office building long since abandoned by everyone and everything except the Cleveland Browns helmet sticker in the front, lower-level window stood across the street. Behind the vacant storefront, rotted a cemetery whose ghosts had even fled long ago. Who knows, maybe one of the craters in the narrow, one-way road looming across from me had sucked the spirits of this deserted neck of urban plight away. On my left, a rusted 10-foot iron fence protected pedestrians from having any wild notions that they should jump from the bridge to the highway below.

I sat and waited for the light to change from one Christmas color to the other. Five seconds elapsed. Then ten. Maybe from boredom or a stroke of fate, I happened to twist my neck and look backwards, over my left shoulder, to a spot in the fractured sidewalk where experience suggested I would see a homeless man begging for sustenance – whether food, money, booze or  all three.

Instead, I saw two smiles, a McDonald’s bag, and a personal gesture of kindness now etched into my memory.

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Lessons from a Coaching Legend: Do Your Job

“Just be good at what you’re doing now and enjoy it, and things will take care of themselves…Take care of the job you’ve got now. If you’re good at what you’re doing now, they’ll find you” (Schembechler/Bacon, 18-19).

I think I hate this quote. Actually, I know I hate it. And I’ve heard a version of it so many damn times that I’ve earned the right never to want to hear it again. Still, I can’t escape it, and never could.

In high school, I remember fretting over the fast track times that competitors from other teams had run. Dad’s response: “Kelly, don’t worry about the damn times. Do your job and run to win each race. Let times take care of themselves.”

And after I complained about the long hours and tedious tasks I endured in jobs after college: “Quit complaining and take care of your work. Keep your mouth shut, outwork everyone else, and be so good they can’t help but give you more important things to do. That’s it.”

Or when I wanted to leave my Wall Street position for some not determined career: “Look, until you know what you want your next job to be, focus on doing the best you can at your current job and let the pieces fall into place.”

Hell, I can picture Bo and Dad together right now listening to me whine about writing or work or struggling to achieve so many goals perched atop the distant mountain. “Shut up and take care of your work,” they’re probably saying, laughing at my expense.

The lesson here is easy. Do your job and leave no doubt that you’ve done it the best you can.

Part one and part two of Lessons from a Coaching Legend are available here: Introduction and Respect and Equality.

Stop! And Smell the Coffee

With remarkable accuracy, I can tell how my day will go by whether or not I pause in the morning to smell the coffee grounds before I make my morning cup(s). The moment lasts only a few seconds, but it leaves a remarkable impression on my day.

I’m a morning person, have been all my life. I don’t like sleeping in. I was the oddball in college who preferred to go to bed by 11 and wake up by 6. What can I say, I like starting my day in the hours before the sun’s light sneaks inside through my half-closed blinds. I find peace in the silence of the morning and take comfort knowing that any noise that exists only does so because of my own choosing.Coffee

It’s no surprise, then, that I eventually became a devoted coffee drinker. I rotate my brewing style (Aeropress or French Press), bean type (Ethiopian, Tanzanian Peaberry, Guatemalan, etc.), purchase location (Erie Island, LoopPhoenixRising Star), and brew time and temperature. I’m a little obsessed with this delicious friend.

On the mornings I pause, the morning energizes me. On the mornings I don’t, I feel exhausted and my body craves the fitful, 10-minute sleep session offered only by my snooze button. (more…)

Did Rob Lytle Invent the Zone Read?

It has taken twenty years, but the NFL appears poised to finally realize the offensive revolution that my 4th grade flag football team experienced when my dad assumed the coaching whistle for our team.

Debate currently rages throughout football circles over whether spread offenses (particularly “spread option” offenses) will ever flourish in the NFL the way they have in high schools and colleges across the country. As I write this post, spread offense maverick Chip Kelly is playing hardball with several NFL teams to become their next head coach. In football circles, Kelly’s name, along with individuals such as Rich Rodriguez, Urban Meyer, and Chris Ault, is synonymous with an offensive system that uses option principles in a spread setting to score points in bunches. If (and when) Chip Kelly is hired to run an NFL team, we might have a definitive answer to whether this type of offense can succeed at football’s highest level, or if it will only exist as one package incorporated into a more diverse offensive setting (see the Redskins, Seahawks, and Panthers).

The spread option craze ignited when Northwestern upset mighty Michigan 54 to 51 in 2000. Schools raced to replicate Northwestern’s approach and soon names such as those mentioned above rose to prominence by competing for conference and national championships using spread-based running schemes. But the success of the spread option offense doesn’t begin here. In fact, it dates back to 1992, when my dad decided to coach my flag football team.

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Before I Die, I want To…

When I was a boy growing up in my rural Ohio town, I wanted to become a professional football player. My dad had been one, so I figured why not follow in the old man’s footsteps. Every Saturday and Sunday, I watched college and NFL players on TV and seeing their successes motivated me to run more wind sprints, practice more football drills and dream more about the moves I would show on the playing field when my time to shine arrived.

Unfortunately, I never sniffed a college playing field, let alone a professional one. Time to find a new dream, I suppose.

As an adult, I now want to make public speaking an integral part of my life. I’m obsessed with TED Talks and spend hours in front of my computer each week watching speeches on different subjects and scribbling notes into my notebooks for how to improve the delivery of my message. Much like I did when emulating my favorite players during backyard football games, I now imitate and incorporate some of the behaviors of my favorite speakers.

But there’s more.

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Start Somewhere

A small change in my day-to-day life had a profound impact. In August 2010, I made the decision to commit a portion of each to writing creatively day (even if that meant only for a few minutes at a time). That decision helped change my life.

This was my “start somewhere” moment. However, the process leading that led to this moment started several years earlier.

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