my coach Aaron Blake with his daughter
Being a father has helped me to finally grow up and become a better man.
When I was a kid I got the same basic notes on my report cards from kindergarten through high school. "Bill has great potential if he would just apply himself." School just never seemed very relevant or important to me, so I coasted.
And it wasn't just school, I was a pretty low effort kid in everything I did.
In wrestling I was pretty good - never got pinned, and won most of my matches. In football I was a solid player and even though I wasn't that big or fast, I knew the game and was able to be in the right spot at the right time. But I was never great. And I'll never know if I could have been because I never put in the work to find out.
The pattern repeated itself in everything I did. In Marine Corps bootcamp I was an expert at keeping my head down and doing just enough to not get called out.
So I was always just good enough. I never tried too hard, never had to dig really deep and put in the real hard work. I never risked failure. And I always had an excuse in case things didn't go well. I would just tell myself, "I wasn't really trying."
Looking back it was a pretty lackluster approach. I was on track to keep on coasting through life.
But then I became a father.
Now it wasn't all about me anymore. If I half assed this gig and screwed it up, it was my kids who would have to pay the price.
So, for the first time in my life I had to put in 100% effort. I had to dig deeper than I ever had. I had to push even harder when I really just felt like quitting.
In the end I learned how great it felt to go all in and leave it all on the line. I also found out than when you put in 100% effort and fail, it really, really sucks!
I also learned that you don't have to be perfect 100% of the time. We all make mistakes. We all screw up. But when people know that you are giving full effort, they are very forgiving!
When someone you love is aware of your faults, your weaknesses, and your failures, and they love you anyway, there is nothing in the world that can bring you down.
My youngest will be heading off to college this fall, and my oldest will be a college graduate by this time next year. Being a father for the last 20 years has been harder and more rewarding than anything I could have imagined.
So on this quiet Sunday morning, I'm sitting at my desk enjoying a cup of coffee and feeling grateful for the opportunity.
If you are a father, enjoy your day today! And when you fire up the grill this afternoon take a moment to reflect and know that you're doing the most important job a man can ever do - respect!
Stay Alpha -