Friday, May 21, 2010

Run the race.

A couple of days ago I went to the Elementary school where my two middle kiddos attend. They were having field day. I watched my kids run down the field, hop in a sack down the field and be tied to a classmate and run down the field. I enjoyed watching them.

There was also another kid that I watched and he has been on my mind over these last few days. He was a physically challenged boy. I watched him line up on the starting line just like my kids did in races prior to his. The starting gun went off and his classmates took off down the field. He competed in the same events. He ran and hopped just like the other kids. The only difference was that his body wouldn't respond in the same way the other kids bodies would. He tried just as hard but within seconds he was in last place. Long after the other kids had crossed the finish line he was still on the field fighting his own limitations. I heard a couple of snickers and laughs from the benches and I prayed they were not directed at the young man. There was a part of me that wondered; why would they do this to the poor boy? Why make him compete in events where he had no chance of winning? No chance to be first.

It seemed like an eternity had passed and he was still slowly making his way down the field. This is when it happened. There were some adults in the bleachers and they started cheering him on. And then from across the field where the students sat they began chanting his name. Soon after there were few people on that field, young and old, who weren't cheering him and chanting his name. No other kid that day got more support from the crowd than he did. He finished every single race.

That's when I understood. It wasn't about winning or being the best. It was about getting out there and trying. It was about the sun warming him and the wind in his face. It was about the smell of fresh cut grass. It was about people who supported him. And it was about him having a chance.

I was inspired by this young man and I hope he runs hundreds more races.

I think that we all have limitations and challenges. I also know that most of us never even go up to the starting line. Still more may start the race but stop as we see others so far ahead or when the snickers and laughter start. It's easy to listen to the voice inside (and often many external voices) tell us we shouldn't even be on the field. Why go through the agony of limping down field when it's obvious one is not even in the same league?

For the same reason that young man did. For the experience!

As for me, I refuse to ever wonder; "what if?" I will accept the laughter, the ridicule and the fact that I am often out of my league in the things I do. I am going to continue to pursue my dreams because, for me, not running or quitting before the finish is worse than last place.

No, I will never sacrifice my love for God, family and friends in order to run the race. But I am fortunate that God has given me the dream, the desire and people who cheer me on even when I'm not just last but shouldn't be on the field in the first place.

And who knows, maybe one day I'll hear the chants, feel the sun warming me and the wind in my face as I run the race.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We are looking for someone with desktop support and networking skills.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daddy, why the bus is on fire?

So I went to pick up my son from school and we're driving down the street and he says "Daddy, why the bus is on fire?" I look down and smoke is pouring from around the turn signal. I roll down the window and start to pull over. The bus smells like the Fourth of July. The smoke begins to subside and we are close to home, so I decide to just get there as fast as possible.

The next day on my way to work, I turn the signal on for a right turn and it kills the radio and makes the engine die. What?

So I have Tony look at it and he has to take the column apart and rewire it.

Works great now, but it wasn't an easy fix.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A view from the time machine.

The more I drive the Magic Bus, the more I feel like I have been transported back in time.

So lets look at 1970 for a moment. Nixon was President and the Federal Debt was just over $380 billion. Inflation was at 6.5% with unemployment 3.5%. You paid $0.36 a gallon for gas and $1.15 for a gallon of milk. Venus by The Shocking Blue topped the Billboard Top Ten and Patton took home three Academy Awards.
America loved watching Marcus Welby M.D. and The Flip Wilson Show. Baltimore would see an incredible Superbowl and World Series win. Whites in the South storm a bus to prevent integration. The National Guard opens fire on protesting students at Kent State University killing four. The stock market sees a record day rise of 32.04. This is also the year that we morn the loss of Janis Joplin.

Different times. Not the best in our worlds history but somehow better, simpler.

As I look through the windshield of this time machine of mine Green-Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf plays on the oldies station and I long for simpler times.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

And the weekend became days 17 & 18

The last bit of surgery that needed to be performed on the Magic Bus (for now) happened this weekend. Tony worked hard on figuring out the way the U-joints and bearings were designed by German engineers. Some of the biggest challenges repairing the Magic Bus have come from the differences between American and German auto designs. Tony has done a fantastic job and I admire his mechanical abilities. Here are the pics he sent this weekend:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 13

November 11th was the first day that I incorporated the Magic Bus in my daily routine.

The first meeting of the day was in the Canyon office and the short journey from Amarillo to Canyon was interesting. I hadn't realized that we (the Bus and I) had yet to get on a highway. As we began to merge I noticed that getting up to 60 MPH wasn't too hard but the 70 MPH zone ahead was going to be a challenge. I felt bad for the drivers that had to pass me. I was not embarrassed, however. I have driven many cars in my life that were just in such bad shape that they couldn't keep up with traffic. No, this vehicle was made during a different time. A slower time. I felt bad because I could see that some of them were frustrated, I could see it on their faces. I wondered how we ever got things done nearly 40 years ago. How did we conduct business? I thought about my cell phone and my laptop and the PT Cruiser I just gave up (assigned to my Amarillo office). Fast. Tools that allow me to do my job faster, quicker. As I drive South on I-27 and traffic continues to pass, I start to feel some stress and pressure leaving and it dawns on me. I CAN'T go fast! I will get to Canyon, TX when I get there and there is nothing I can do to change it. Instead of becoming more stressed and feeling more pressure I am happier. As a lady blows by me in a Lexus, I look over and it's as if she is now wearing my stress as a mask. I see it in her face and eyes. I almost hear her thoughts, "I don't have time for this." She is in a hurry. Something pressing and important is pulling her South. She must be accelerating beyond the speed limit now as if to make up for the lost time I have caused her. It hits me. I have done that exact thing a thousand times. I had to get to my next meeting and maybe it was an old farm truck or a large vehicle that was in my way. I would blow by and punch the gas, my heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels increasing as my speed did. "Get off the highway!" I might say. Driving the Magic Bus is freeing. It it takes me back to simpler times. Revelation! It's a time machine. This old 1970 VW Mini-Bus is a time machine. I'm looking out at the future and steering the past. When I got to Canyon (unaware of even what time it was) and after my meeting I took a picture of the Bus. As I sit there and look at the picture, I think that the Bus even makes a modern digital picture seem to go back in time. I look at the building it sits in front of and the water tower reflected in the background and it feels nostalgic even tough it's less than a few minutes old. I feel good. I feel alive. I know it's crazy, but I feel the pressures of email and cell phones and conference calls and webinars melt away. They didn't exist in 1970 and that's where I am now.

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