Great (Eye) Balls of Fire

I'm not crazy. (Well, keep reading, I might be a little) I don't listen to all of my sudden urges though. Imagine if I did?

I would be out for 1 am runs quite often. And probably have a white board in my car with things written on them for certain drivers that pass by. And maybe wear my Batman mask through the Dunkin Donuts drive thru. (I'll have a Batte-that was a stretch).

But I don't listen to all of my urges. It's okay that I don't. I think it means I'm somewhat sane. But one that I usually can't ignore is the urge to write. If I had to compare the image of grabbing my laptop off my desk at 2am, I would say it's similar to a husband getting the call that his wife is in labor, him trying to put his shoes on frantically, forgetting his keys the first time and shutting his jacket in the driver's side door.

Sometimes I knock papers and pens on the ground while holding my laptop while still laying in my bed with the strongest finger grip of my life so that it doesn't fall to the ground. Everyone does it. Come on.

So, to answer your question Rainer Maria Rilke:

"This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write?"

Yes. I must.

This is what's on my mind guys. I love people who love what they do. Those are my type of people. I don't care what it is you do, how old you are, where you're from, or anything, if you love what you do, and you're convincingly passionate about it, I just love you.

I have had conversations with people who are so passionate about what they do that you can see a legitimate flame appear in their eyes. For a quick second you even check behind you because the possibility that the flame in their eyes is a reflection of a fire behind you is real. But then you realize that it's just this human being full of love.

I've also realized that there are times when showing how passionate you are for something might not always be the coolest thing, so people shy away from it. I would now like to bring you back to the mid to late 90s - and introduce you to a kid that loved soccer so much, she didn't know anything else was going on in the world. A few examples...

When my grandma passed away, I was probably around (really young) years old. She lived in Florida and my family was explaining that my brother, sister and I had to go to her funeral. When they told me when it was I told them I was unable to go, I had a soccer tournament. (For the record, that's not why I didn't go)

I was thrown a surprise birthday party in 8th grade. I had a game that night. I showed up to my party in my shinguards, full uniform and my turf shoes. Stayed like that the entire time. (kept the tape on my shinguards, in case you were wondering)

The morning after my senior prom, I woke up in the hotel room with all of my friends still asleep. It was 5am and my mom was outside waiting to take me to a tournament in Long Island.

As you can see, I have had my priorities set in my head from a very young age. I loved soccer and I didn't care who knew it. I was so passionate about it that I didn't understand how other people couldn't be. At the time, I was mostly interested in people who loved soccer. And trust me, growing up, those people were very hard to come by.

As an (almost) adult, I have found that I still am obsessed with people who love soccer. Nothing makes my adrenaline run like actually playing, but talking about it, or coaching, or anything within the game comes pretty close.

I've grown in the sense that I appreciate people that are passionate in general. People that, no matter what the outsider may think of them or what consequences may arise, they put their all into what they do and enjoy every single second. I appreciate that for two major reasons: 1. They are in the minority and 2. They are likely viewed as an outsider.

Since my opinion hardly matters, I'll quote someone that has a bit more prestige... (Don't worry, it's not Richard Sherman) my boy Aristotle said, "To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."

I bring this up now because I coach teenagers. Lately I've been reminded of the pressures that come along with going to high school and trying to play soccer. It's not easy. It's not easy as is. It's not easy with school or another sport (this is for a later blog- I believe in specialization despite all the studies) and it's not easy socially. But I have to use this blog to say that it's more than okay to be different and do what you love and let everyone know it, at any age.

We should all let the world see our fire.