"A LESSON FROM THE COACH"
Drew Rozell, Ph.D. partners with a select number of dynamic individuals who understand the value of raising their level of awareness to deliberately create the coolest version of their lives.
"This stuff works"
The trees in Steamboat Springs, CO are covered with snow. And so are the slopes! Unreal amount of snow. Thigh deep powder!
I type this sitting on the couch, taking in some January sunshine that streams through the window. I just got back from a whirlwind trip to the West. I did a little work, a good lick of skiing and lots of exploring. I found myself in Steamboat Springs, CO (talk about snow!), Santa Fe, NM (a lovely little city), and in Taos, NM (always wanted to ski here — exceeded my high expectations).
I hope you’ll take a moment to check out my photos from the trip. They are in the post that follows this one.
Last month, I mentioned I’d have some new programs arriving in the New Year. The first one is here. Conscious Conversations (hopefully the name gives you some insight), begins January 24th. You can read more below, of course.
Also, if you’re ready to leave "good enough" behind for living into your true greatness, contact me and let’s have a chat. It’s what I do.
I hope you enjoy this month’s feature on lessons from the Coach. (It’s not what you think from the title!)
Thanks for reading!
P.S. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Please share your comments below!
P.P.S. Last week, I put my book/program, Piles of Money on sale for $19. I will hold it at this price until Friday the 25th of January. Click the link to get your copy.
A LESSON FROM THE COACH
In the last hour before the sun ducked below the horizon on December 31st, the supermarket was flooded with shoppers preparing to celebrate the New Year and trying to beat the predicted snowstorm.
I found myself among these shoppers, on a mission for eggs, unsalted butter, and whatever else I felt inspired to pick up. I added flowers to the list (always worth a few bucks for the reaction and the beauty) as well as some good beer. We were expecting family for a tame get-together and you don’t want to be one short.
As I stood examining the flowers, looking for the freshest bunch with the most buds, he caught my eye.
At first I wasn’t sure if it was him. After all, I had not seen him in twenty years. I stole a few glances, trying to mask my curiosity. However when this technique failed to result in a positive ID, I resorted to outright staring.
Indeed, it was him.
Beneath a winter fedora, lightly covered in fresh snowflakes, and standing in practical but styleless black Old Man Shoes, we locked eyes. I saw no recognition behind his eyes and I maintained my blank expression. But as that familiar feeling of dread filled me, I broke contact and returned my gaze to the flowers. No, he didn’t recognize me. Why would he?
I rarely use the word hate. These days, I admonish my nephew when he tells me what he hates in life. But when I was seventeen years old, I hated this man who made his way towards the produce aisle.
For three summers working at the lake, he was my boss. Ironically, everyone called him "Coach" — the nickname a vestige of his years as a high school Phys Ed teacher. Back on the job, the employees had another name for him.
As in, "Get ready, The Load is on the way down." Or, "The Load said we need to clean the windows before we leave today." I never asked what the nickname meant, it just seemed to fit. A small man, he ruled his roost with intimidation and bluster. As much as I am reluctant to admit it, I feared him. He’d seemingly appear out of the woodwork, always catching me in what he believed to be some sort of transgression.
Don’t lean on the counter!
Take your hand out of your pocket!
Don’t play with your key chain!
When I arrived home after my freshman year at the University of Florida, I figured I’d take a week or two off to relax and connect with friends before going to work. I arrived at my parents’ home at 11AM. By noon, the phone rang. Without the benefit of caller ID, I picked up the phone, shocked to hear Coach asking for me. Adrenaline rushing, I deepened my voice and said Drew would not be home for another two weeks. Coach never called again, and I eventually found other employment. To, this day I do not know how he knew when I was arriving.
Days with the Load started like this: Each morning as the clock in the office struck 9AM, the phone would ring. We employees would play a game of chicken, hopping around the back office, seeing who would break and pick up the morning check-in call from Coach. Usually, the most senior person on staff would get stuck with the job.
On one morning that’s burned into my memory, taking this call was my responsibility. I answered. In a gruff voice, Coach barked his expectations for the day. I jotted down notes to relate to the staff. Suddenly Coach’s voice began to echo. And then his voice got drowned out.
Was he…? Yes, he was. The Load was pissing while talking to me. He did not attempt to disguise his multi-tasking as the sound of the flushing toilet swallowed the rest of his instructions.
Disgusted, I hung up the phone. To me, his message was clear. I was a cog. A widget. A replaceable part. An employee. I hated that feeling. And I hated this man for treating me this way.
My relationship with Coach had begun when my aunt put the word in for me to get the job when I was 14 years old. She had worked with him at the local high school and her son had worked for Coach several years earlier. He had a reputation for paying his employees well and it was rare to find an employer at the lake who paid above minimum wage. There were even bonuses at the end of the summer. Word had gotten around. Coach didn’t have to advertise for help.
All of that ended twenty years ago when I did disguised my voice over the phone. However, through the years, almost every summer, I’d end up back at the lake. I’d pass the huge glass windows I’d spent hours of my life cleaning and I’d feel the bile of my resentment was still fresh. A few times, just for the nostalgia, I entered the business. And deep down, yes, the fear was still there. The fear of this little man.
And now, twenty years later, here was Coach. Coach and me. Me with my flowers and Coach with his black Old Man Shoes. I studied him, and indeed, the ensuing years had turned him into an old man. He walked steadily but deliberately with a hint of the shuffle to come. As I looked at him, I couldn’t help but think that the ‘ole pit bull had lost his teeth.
As I gathered up my items around the store, I thought back to my years around this man. Oddly enough, I found that my feelings of disdain for him were overshadowed by feelings of respect. Yes, he was a little old man now. But he still had the vitality to get himself to a busy store on a snowy afternoon. And didn’t that fedora gave him an air of distinction?
Looking beyond the perception of a teenager who ached for approval, the truth was that Coach had created a highly successful business with a loyal customer base. He had transcended his career as a gym teacher. He’d employed dozens of young men and paid them a fair wage. He leveraged his business success and bought local real estate that skyrocketed in value over the years. When I was under his employ, I’d been to his house (on occasion, he’d pull me away from the business to clean his pool — such a treat!) and I saw his three Cadillacs and the impressive home he had created for himself and his family. He had the chutzpah to take some big risks and they paid off handsomely for him.
Personally, I do not consider Coach to be a role model. And while I cannot say that I admire the man, I must admit that I respect him for what he created. He’s done more that most people will with their lives and when he leaves this world, he will leave a mark.
I am still a relatively young man and I know my best days are in front of me. At the same time, I grow more aware of how quickly the years and the decades pass. One day, before I know it, I will probably be wearing Old Man Shoes that completely eschew style for comfort.
And as I look back on my life, what will my legacy be? What will I have created? Will I reflect back on how I spent my days and feel a deep sense of satisfaction and pride?
Most important, will I have shared my true greatness with the world?
Seeing Coach reminded me the importance of asking myself these questions. And to my way of thinking, these are very important questions. For if you are not aware of your true greatness and continually and consciously moving further into that greatness, well, what are you doing with your time here?
As I thought about it, perhaps Coach’s nickname was not so ironic after all.
CONSCIOUS CONVERSATIONS with Drew and Jenn is ready to roll!
Begins on the 24th of January.
This will be a place for like-minded folk (conscious creators of very cool lives) to sit around the virtual fire, share a drink, and connect. More details on the linked page, but if you’re of the sort who like to learn, share, and laugh, I hope you’ll join us.
At the price ($40/mo.), I tried to make this a no-brainer for anyone with the desire….
Just look at what having Conscious Conversations did for this fellow….
Topic for Call #1 — Trusting Yourself: Um, Like, How Do I Do That?
I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski… by several authors
Okay, The Big Lebowski is my favorite movie. I won’t try to explain the appeal (it would be like trying to tell you why baseball is entertaining). In order to fully appreciate this masterpiece, you’ll need to watch it a minimum of three times. Anyhow, my Secret Santa, my sister-in-law Kristen bought me this book (along with a swell hat) and thus remains in my good graces. B+ for a fan
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Picked this up at the library after seeing Nobody’s Fool again (see below). Loved the movie so much that I figured I should read something this guy wrote. Absolutey love this book. Simply put, Russo is a brilliant writer. His characters pop off the page and many of his sentences make me stop reading just to admire his prose. Fiction this good has just as much power to teach you something as any nonfiction. A
Nobody’s Fool – I loved this movie when it first came out. I am a big fan of Paul Newman — both as an actor and a man. The setting of the story and the characters very much remind me of the small town where I grew up. A
|Deadwood Season 3- I have a fondness for this series and will miss it when I’m done A-|
|The Bronx is Burning (series) – My brother and fellow Yankee fan, Ned got me this DVD series for Christmas. Great for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Yankee fans only, I suspect. B|
RANDOM NEURAL FIRINGS
|If the salad that comes with your entree is full of iceberg lettuce, chances are good you will not have a memorable dining experience.|
|I never want to be an "aspiring" anything.|
|You know what drives me batty? When someone calls, realizes they have the wrong number when you answer, and then they just hang up. Is it so hard to say , "Sorry, I dialed the wrong number"?|
Th-th-that’s all folks! Check this page for updates throughout the month!
ISSN: #1530-3101 Library Of Congress, Washington D.C., USA
© Copyright 2007 by Drew Rozell, Ph.D. – All Rights Reserved