Day 751–Trust

Yesterday’s game was a bit of a debacle.  Aside from the fact that we got smashed 6-0, it was the first time all season I saw my guys quit.  They were bickering with each other, hanging their heads, and moving like their feet were stuck in molasses.  It’s a long season, and with grades and personal activities, its really easy to let it drain you.  My job is to keep that from happening.  Therefore, with about 25 minutes left in the game, we decided to blow the whole thing up and have a little fun.  Our best goal scorer played goalie, our goalie played midfield, our midfielders played defense…it was kind of a way to release some steam and have fun playing the game, not worrying about responsibilities.  At one point I pulled a player out and his replacement asked “What position do I play?”  Didn’t have an answer for him…nor did the player I pulled out.  It was a great stress release to know it was just 11 guys having a good time, not letting the game weigh them down.

The biggest issue we had in the game was a lack of trust between the players.  Everyone was running to cover other people, getting out of position, with no communication.  What we need is 11 guys having fun, working as a cohesive whole.  The real test comes Thursday when we get back out on the pitch to do some work…and hopefully to have a lot of fun.

After all…it is just a game.  Trust is worth a whole lot more.

Breakfast–Fiber One bar.  Nothing else really sounded good.

Lunch–I drove out to Sealy to have lunch with Abby today, and we got our traditional Mexican food.  I had the poblano fajitas, but I only ate half of them.  Really good food, really crappy service.  I guess you take the good with the bad sometimes.

Dinner–After practice, I microwaved a sweet potato and put the rest of my fajita leftovers on it.  Such a great meal, and its really healthy too.  They did a version of it on The Biggest Loser this week too, so I know I’m on the right track.

Dessert–I made brownies for the Sealy office…had to test them.  One 1″x 2″ piece of delicious brownie goodness.

Tomorrow I get cracking on my class assignments…its going to be painful.

Have a good one.

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Day 749–Abilene and Back

My apologies for the lack of blogging.  I was in Abilene over the weekend for a class, Conflict Management in Churches.  Twenty hours of class over the span of sixty hours of being alive…really crappy way to spend a few days.  While I was there, a wreck involving six ACU students, including the death of one, shook up the Abilene community.  It’s amazing how my problems–being in a class that I don’t feel plugged into with a migraine that might have crippled a lesser man–pale in comparison to real life chaos.  Everything else kind of pales, eh?

Breakfast–Yeah…didn’t happen.  Between Abilene and Houston, my allergies are toast.  I’m congested, my sinuses are packed like a clown car, and my stomach is driving me nuts.  So I didn’t eat.  Whoops.

Lunch–Zoe’s Kitchen.  I had a turkey sandwich and a fruit cup.  And a cupcake. And two macarons…needless to say, my stomach got better.  Also, The Sweet Boutique is AWESOME.

Dinner–Deer sausage sandwich at Life Group.  DEER SAUSAGE SANDWICH. AHHHHHH.  It was awesome.  And I had a few cookies too.  I didn’t behave well today, health-wise.

Back in the groove tomorrow, including a game against Second Baptist.

Pray for ACU.

Have a good one.

Day 743–The Reckoning

Tonight on The Biggest Loser they played “Keep Your Eyes Open” by NEEDTOBREATHE off their album “The Reckoning.”  I’ve got mixed emotions about that particular song placement.

First, I love that song. I love that album.  And best of all, they’re good Christian guys and anything that gets their version of the Gospel in peoples’ ears is a good thing.  I hope people watched the show tonight and thought to themselves “What was THAT?!  I need to find that song!” I hope they found it and therefore found people speaking the truth of Christ’s love.  Christian music and Christian artists on television make me not just happy, but joyful.

Second, I’m struck by the irony of that particular album choice, because as the contestants on The Biggest Loser were running a 5K, I’m sitting here getting sick and making cookies.  That seems contradictory, ironic, idiotic…choose your word.  They’re good cookies and I behaved, only making a couple and saving the dough for later so I can just bake off a couple at a time, but eating baked goods while watching a weight loss show reeks of irony.

Third, we had practice today.  If any of my players are reading this, here’s what I was thinking today.  For some reason it seems like the last week or so I haven’t been able to get through to them.  Things I ask them to do in practice aren’t connecting, and its carrying over to the games.  We’re relying on natural talent and ability, which we honestly don’t have a ton of, instead of relying on each other and trying to play as a team.  We have three very winnable games coming up, and it’ll be a shame to go 0-3, but that’s where we’re headed.  It’s frustrating and maddening.

Fourth, my classes are just chaotic.  I’m not motivated at all.  I want it to be over with. Yesterday.

Breakfast–Half raspberry Mini Wheats, half chocolate Mini Wheats.  All delicious.

Lunch–Panda Express after practice.  I actually really like Panda…good combination of sweet, spicy, savory, salty…I just like Asian food.

Dinner–Abby wanted Chick Fil A before she went to Canton to get her hair did, so Chick Fil A we had.  12 nuggets and a large fruit cup with water.  And two cookies for dessert.

Game tomorrow, Abby comes home, and a paper that will hopefully write itself…ugh.

Have a good one.

Day 742–The Har-Bowl

Not gonna lie…today worked out well in American football-land.  I say that because Man U choked thanks to Clint Dempsey (bittersweet…glad he’s doing well, but score against someone else Deuce) and the Stars lost (hockey’s back!) while the Mavs looked rough against Orlando, edging out a win.  So other than the NFL, it was a rough sports day.  But thankfully, we have ourselves a Har-Bowl…two great coaches, two great defenses, and two offenses running on all cylinders that could fall apart at any second.  It’s like watching a live episode of your favorite TV show–it’s such a great experience, but you KNOW something catastrophic is potentially seconds away. For the record, I’ve got San Francisco winning by four.  At least I’m excited for the game…first one since Indy-Chicago that I actually care about.

Breakfast–A Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte Larabar before church.  Had a rough go of it starting up this morning…we ended up going to second service, which we never do because it throws off the whole day with how far we have to drive.  But it was worth it today because A) Jason preached and did a great job, and B)…

Lunch–We got to have lunch with the Toys!  We went back to Guru, and they’ve changed the menu since our last venture.  There are now 3-5 burgers I would eat in a heartbeat.  I had three sliders (I was sampling…): The True Grit (Buffalo, bacon, Mexican Coca Cola BBQ sauce), the Japaneiros (chimichurri, pickle, and caramelized onion), and the Pancho (roasted jalapeno, jalapeno bacon, pickle).  All three were amazing, especially when paired with sweet potato fries and yucca fries.  Boom.

Dinner–I had a smoothie to try to keep things in balance.  8 oz of cherries, 4 oz of pineapple, blueberries, a splash of cranberry juice and cherry yogurt.  It was goooooood.  As were the gummy bears I had afterwards while watching Downton.

Practice tomorrow (I know…I’m a mean coach) and then hopefully I can finish my book and write my paper.

Have a good one.

Day 740–Firestorm

I started reading for one of my classes yesterday, because my books finally arrived and I have a paper due in a week.  Motivation found.  The class is Conflict Management in Churches, something I may never use in its literal sense because I don’t know when I’ll be working for a congregation, but something I definitely want in my tool chest.  I am incredibly stubborn and I usually don’t shy away from conflict, a nasty combination that can lead to all sorts of fun problems. (Everyone who has worked with me before is slowly nodding and either grimacing or smiling, depending on which side you found yourselves on. Sorry ’bout that.)  The first part of the book is a case study of sorts, how the rise and fall of a church can be viewed through a conflict-preventative lens.  The second part is the cause of the problems, or “firestorms” as the author puts it. Third part is putting out the fire, and the last part is rebuilding after the smoke clears.

Unfortunately, in most instances we don’t stop fires from happening because we are blind to the problems until they blow up in our faces. (Sometimes literally…working in a chem lab leads to all sorts of fun problems.)  In sports, little problems that you try to cover up often rear their heads in the worst time.  Neglecting issues in a marriage can lead to a slow deterioration.  Ignoring a light on your dashboard can lead to complete engine failure.  Eating poorly can lead to bad habits, being overweight, and eventually even diabetes or heart disease…or worse.  I’m down a pound to 233, but progress should be swifter and more decisive.  I can’t keep selling myself short like this, or I’m going to have a huge problem (and I’m not talking about my waistline.)

The class may be conflict management in churches, but I have no doubt it’ll open my eyes to problems all around me…small fires that need to be snuffed out before the conflagration takes hold.

Breakfast–A smoothie…brunch really.  I slept in due to stress and exhaustion form last night’s game…wasn’t pretty.  Cherries, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, and yogurt.  Delicious.

Dinner–Barbecue, and way too much of it.  Two ribs, sausage (not so good), and turkey (amazing) with sides of sweet potato fries and okra.  I ate too much…one of those small sparks.  The good news is I recognized it as it was happening and shut it down.

No practice tomorrow, no schedule tomorrow…I get to clean things up and reorganize my kitchen.  I’m comfortable admitting I look forward to that.

Have a good one.

Day 737–Too Bad I Used The Airplane Joke Already

I awoke this morning basking in the glow of victory, listening to the crowds cheering.

Of course, it was really the light from my wife’s iPad and the cat meowing like the psychotic furball she is. But I can spin it how I want to make my life seem more epic, can’t I?

Today was Abby’s day off, so we celebrated in style.  Breakfast at La Madeleine, a viewing of Silver Linings Playbook, and lunch at Lupe Tortilla.  In order of importance:

1) La Madeleine’s menu has fallen apart over the years.  I’m a big fan, but the pastry selection especially has gone from great to good to dismal.  I did enjoy the audio recording teaching me French in the bathroom though…that was a new experience.

2) I trashed Lupe Tortilla for a long time–mainly because with the exception of the fajitas (really expensive) and apparently the margaritas (I don’t drink those) it isn’t anywhere close to good Tex-Mex–but for a treat every once in a while, those are REALLY good fajitas.  Although today’s “service” definitely lessened my opinion.  Still…I sort of apologize to Lupe.

3) Silver Linings…what the heck happened to the last thirty minutes of that movie?!  It was such a strong start: Amazing acting, scenes that made me feel empathy and incredibly uncomfortable, an interesting plot/twist on a traditional rom-com…and then it just turned into Napoleon Dynamite reads The Notebook.  And David O. Russell was nominated for an Academy Award over Ben Affleck? WHAT?!  Props to Lawrence and Cooper, the latter of whom is fast becoming one of my favorite actors and the former of whom is awfully nice to look at, but overall it was a good movie that just wasn’t that memorable.  Argo all the way.

Breakfast–The American Breakfast: two eggs, a croissant (…), and sausage patties.  I also had a mini chocolate croissant to remember the good times I used to enjoy at La Madeleine.

Lunch–Abby and I split the fajitas for one…and had enough to bring home for lunch tomorrow as well.  Breakfast apparently did it’s job.

Dinner–A smoothie comprised of yogurt, blueberries, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, and a banana.  Delicious, nutritious, and filling.

Pictures and practice tomorrow…woo!

Have a good one.

Day 736–Non-Scale Victory. Literally.

That’s right.  The Westbury Christian Wildcats won 3-1 tonight on the strength of a hat trick by Eric Hulsey and some amazing defensive play.  To make matters even better, we had 11 healthy players at the start of the game…and one of them was the manager that we threw a jersey and cleats on.  The twelfth player–Mike Lambon–started the game with a pulled hip flexor and played the entire game, fighting for loose balls and playing his heart out.  We suffered a myriad of cramps, a stomach issue, and something I can only describe as heart palpitations.

BUT WE WON.

I’m proud of my players…they fought hard, they believed in themselves, and they earned that victory.  One we should have had earlier, but I’ll take it now.  Wildcats!

And I’m not going to tarnish it with weight loss banality.  I ate food, some of which was healthy, some of which was not.  And I had Popeye’s. It was good. Cold night, ya know?

Have a good one.