Year 2018 began with a ride in an ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
I caught the deadly Norovirus and was plagued with severe dehydration. I was so malnourished from the vomit, my mom had to carry me out of my home and to the ambulance.
“What’s your social security number?” “What’s your date of birth?” “What’s your full name?” asked the paramedics.
I couldn’t speak a sentence and thought I was going to die. Thankfully, after 8 hours in the hospital, my emaciated body was revived, and I could continue back on with normal life.
Weeks later, the Universe’s trolling ways struck again.
I found myself at an Orioles game on the phone with a Director of Coaching client. I had to pick up the phone because we were on a time crunch for a contract. We ended up having a shouting match, trying to come to an agreement on logistics.
30 F bombs later, we came to an accord and I could enjoy my Friday night at the O’s game.
Life was good again.
A month later, I received a text from a big soccer client: “hey, you need to watch your language on social media. I’ve had a few complaints from parents.”
My stomach knotted.
Immediately, I sifted through my social media handles and saw nothing I deemed offensive or inappropriate. I later asked the soccer client who complained and it was parents I didn’t even know and whose kids I never coached before. Put simply, they never met me in person.
When I thought this string of unfortunate events came to end, it didn’t.
A boys soccer coach called me to tell me his team found a picture of me on social media at a music festival. And trust me, it wasn’t a picture I’d want boys players to see.
Again, my stomach knotted so hard, I couldn’t eat for weeks.
Then after this episode blew over, I was called to take an emergency trip out West for personal matters. And while going through this gut wrenching time, I was in the midst of my soccer camps and preparing my players for the fall season.
It didn’t matter I was going through a shit storm of emotional downfall and appetite suppressing anxiety, I had to deliver the goods to my athletes. And I did. But it wasn’t a cakewalk.
So with all that said, folks, my life isn’t perfect.
Though it may appear like it on social media, I’m far, far from being a magical unicorn who shits glitter, and who deadlifts 200+ pounds like a boss, and who plays around on a soccer field for a living.
This is real fucking life.
And I’m participating in it as a multifacted human being who has flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings.
Yet, I’m also plowing through it as an empowered human being who has talents, strengths, and tenacity.
It’s totally okay to accept the fullness of who you are and peel back the layered onion of your being to the world – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
After all, none of your life’s shortcomings should be a secret. If there’s anything you get from this article, it’s to lean into the times when you’ve fucked up the most, to embrace the times when you’ve had a panic attack, and to learn from the times you found yourself saying “oh. SHITTTTTTTT.”
You’re not alone.
Speaking of, I’ve had a tremendous amount of “oh shit” moments in my life.
Admittedly, these are funny to look back on because I’ve learned how to adapt and grow. And you know what? Many of these problems turned into victories over time.
As an example, coming back to the profanity complaint from the soccer parents, this time in my life propelled me to write this article that ended up going viral and changing people’s lives. I received an influx of emails over this piece from people saying “thank you for writing this and inspiring me to live authentically.”
It was also a reminder for me to stay true to myself and who I am and how I write. The “fucks” and “shits” and “asshats” aren’t going away any time soon, folks.
Expounding further, I firmly believe people who trigger you are there to remind you to stick to who you are at your core and to remain as authentic as possible.
I’d be remiss not to mention this was a lesson on genuine, in-person friendships too. The people who love my profanity are the people who have known me for years – the ones who have had my back and have supported and understood my intentions since day one.
Or how about, the boys teams seeing a scandalous picture of me at a festival?
This forced me to grow in a couple ways:
– To be known as a coach who is knowledgeable.
– To be known as a coach who can teach.
– To be known as a coach who is honest about the past and says, “yes, I’ve dabbled in music festivals.”
I think things get ickier when you deny, deny, deny. Being honest about who you are gives space for people to be able to relate to you as well as empower them to feel they’re not alone in their offbeat ways either.
Or how about, the client I got into a shouting match with?
HAHAHA. We’re still great friends and still have a business relationship. Shit happens, but like adults, we move forward.
However, I have learned to take a deep breath, practice compassion, and listen better. Certainly, the shouting match over the phone was what I needed to improve.
I think it’s important to not hide the fuck-ups. Instead, own them.
Moreover, grow from them. And do better next time.
After all, we’re here on planet Earth to be intricate beings who evolve and level up.
We’re not here to be predictable robots.
Otherwise, shit would be boring as fuck.