Introducing, In the Red Corner...

"Why would anyone do that?"

I've heard that more than once. Watching one guy pound another guy inside that octagon begs that question. Yet, I've never asked it. Even when it's a one sided affair and the loser looks like he was in a bad car accident (and probably hurts more than if he actually was). Even when there's an injury.

I don't have to ask. I know why.

I quit my job yesterday. Just for context, I loved my job. I enjoyed working with people, helping them find their dream home. I think Lennar is a good company, and, as best they can, care about their employees. I loved my boss. I thought he was smart and did a lot of things right.

So why did I quit?

When I was a kid, I used to wrestle. In high school, I wasn't necessarily good, but I wasn't bad either. I won most of the matches I was supposed to win, and I lost most of the matches I should've lost. And most of the time this was pre-determined before I went on the mat.

It wasn't set-up or anything, I just pre-determined it. Usually, when I went up against an opponent with a good record that I knew, ultimately, no matter how hard I tried, I would probably be defeated. Mostly because he was a better wrestler than me. So, when those times came, I usually didn't try very hard. I made it look good, but I was defeated before I went out there. That might sound strange, but it was an ego saver for me.

You see, by not trying, I didn't really feel like I'd lost. By not giving my all, I wasn't putting myself out there. In the back of my mind I could say, "well, I didn't really lose because I didn't really try. Who knows how I would've done if I'd tried."

I continued this attitude through most of my life. Things I should succeed at, I did. And things I would have to work hard to succeed at, I didn't try very hard, so if it failed, I didn't feel like it was really me who failed.

Theodore Roosevelt was quite a president. He was the first vice president to succeed a president who died (McKinley) and actually get re-elected. He was the first president to invite a black person to dine at the White House. He was the first president to officially call the White House "The White House". He was the first American to be awarded a Nobel Prize. He is the only president to be awarded a Medal of Honor. He's also the reason I quit.

There is a quote of his that I've committed to memory. It goes like this:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

When I was in fifth grade, I wrestled for the junior high team. I was too young to have an ego, and as it was my first year of really competitive wrestling, I didn't know if I was any good or not. We entered a four-team tournament at the end of the year. As it turned out, I was ranked third (out of four). But, the second ranked kid couldn't make weight, and I suddenly found myself in the championship match against the number one ranked kid in my weight class. Well the match starts and I find myself on my back. I struggle and strain and somehow make it out of the first period. The second period was more of the same. I find myself in danger of being technically pinned by losing by more than 15 points.

The third period starts and he's controlling the match. Now, don't get me wrong, this kids is a better athlete than me. The fact that these people exist is a reality my life that hasn't escaped my knowledge. But something in me decided I wasn't ready to lose. Something snapped inside and I went after him. I got him in a headlock and squeezed as hard as I could. With about 8 seconds left in the match I pinned him.

I was a the champion. I was the only kid on my team that year to win a championship. I put myself out there and won. I strove valiantly. I knew victory.

I think there is something in a man that identifies with that. It's the reason the UFC is the fastest growing sport among men ages 18-40. It's the reason my brother-in-law is joining the Air Force in his thirties. It's the reason I envy him. And it's the reason I going out on my own.

I am entering a very competitive arena. If I succeed, it will be because of me. And if I fail, it will be because of me. Much like Cortez, I am burning the ships and not looking back.

"Why would anyone do that?"

If you have to ask, no explanation will do.

The critic line begins to your left.


Them Jars Of Clay Are Right...

This is going to be a very crazy week.

Today I made a pro/con list of whether or not I'm going to quit my job (Matt, I know this violates rule number something or other about blogging, but I don't care). You always know it's going to be an interesting week when it starts off like that. Plus, my wife left me a honeydo list a mile long. I'm almost there, but thought I would post while I had a break.

Tomorrow I'm working all day.

Wednesday I have an appointment at the church, lunch appointment, and then a vet appointment for the doggies. Athena has these horrible allergies that keep us up all night with her scratching. Diesel poops blood. Gross, I know.

Thursday is D-day. I absolutely positively have to know by then what I'm going to do about work.

Friday is either work as usualy or the first day of freedom. We'll see what happens.


WEST VIRGINIA SUCKS (and other NCAA rumors that aren't true)...

If anyone cares, I am auctioning of a slightly used NCAA men's tournament bracket.



Well, I had my first big hurt of the tourney. I had Drake going all the way to the Elite 8.

What a shot.


Dear Jason...

...You asked for it.

(if you don't get it, see comment on post below)

Nature's Vagina...


Wow! What A Hole...

I know I have been severly absent for the past couple of weeks. This is largely due to two reasons.

First, my internet at work is down. Not only does this take roughly 6 hours I had each day to post, but also 6 hours each day I had to surf the internet for something to post on.

Secondly, my wife is on track break right now. So when I come home, I like to spend as much time with her as we can. My weekends (Tuesday and Wednesday) aren't boring like they used to be. For instance, in about 10 minutes we are leaving to go see the Grand Canyon. I've been there before, but Candice has never seen it. Neither one of us are really into the whole 'outdoor' thing, but it's really a shame to live this close to it and never have seen it. So, off we go!

I'm borrowing my father-in-law's fancy smancy camera. This means two things: 1. Pray for me that I don't drop it over the edge and have to replace it and b. I might just come back with a great pic to put on the ol' blog.



Reclaiming The Title...

I'm not sure I remember my dreams anymore.

At the beginning of every school year my mom would put our school picture into a little book. Next to the pic she would fill out important info like height, weight, and who my friends were. The last line of information asked what I anted to be when I grew up. I never really took that question to seriously. Even as I got older, and my friends began deciding what they were going to pursue in life, I still had a hard time saying with any certain confidence what I wanted to be. I probably stuck with my patented answer of doctor because it gave me the greatest chance of seeing a naked girl.

I wish my mom still kept that book. I wish there were pages for important milestones like 25, 30 and 40th birthdays. How would I answer the question then? How do I answer it now?

As I sit in my office on an unusually busy day, contemplating what the next few years will bring, I realize it won't be that long until the girl with the green eyes will be rubber cementing our childs picture into a little book. Recording important information like favorite food and best friend's names.

I wonder how they'll answer the question.