365 Opportunities

Happy New Year to you and yours. This is the prime time for a post because everyone is sitting around today trying to brainstorm resolutions… but I always wonder why it takes a new year for change and growth to be inspired.

New Years is always a bittersweet night for me. Obviously, there’s the refreshing and joyful feeling of a new year, but there is also a ‘damn, time is flying’ aspect to it, too. This can be an overwhelming stretch of time for people, even more so now considering how 2020 treated us. Right now, it feels like there is a great yearning in the air for everything to be better. So here’s how we make that happen.

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Inner Star

It’s been a long handful of weeks for me. Between finals week, the holiday season, catching up with people, doing podcast interviews, and training, I’m glad that I’ve finally found the time to convey a new message. This is one that I’ve chewed on for a while because I came up with it in my brain and had to figure out a way to articulate my thoughts. I think this is a valuable way to think about relationship building and doing good for others, which is appropriate for Christmas being this week.

Often times you hear people say something about their “inner circle,” or their group of people that they have close relationships with. I’m sure you have a group of people off the top of your head that you think of when you hear that as well.

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Thankful 4

First things first, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you’re spending it wisely with those you love, as I am today. Having to make the tough choices this year certaintly aren’t easy, but they are right. Because I’m spending today with my immediate family only, I wanted to talk about them in depth to truly express how thankful I am, and share some perspective on our relationships through the years.

My mom, dad and brother have always and will continue to be my biggest supporters and rocks. A lot of these ideas and concepts I share here on this site blossomed from seeds of ideas planted in our conversations with each other through the years. “Family” is obviously a vital piece of the Super 8, and while I’ve alluded to it and referenced it throughout my posts, I haven’t fully dedicated a post to them until today.

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Looking for More

Happy World Diabetes Day. There are a lot of aspects that have lead into this particular post, specifically that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago to November 8th. For those that are newer here, or are still trying to break down the essence of this blog, not every post is on the same blatant topic, but rather the eight underlying values that tie my life together.

As I have said, I have many identities, as we all do. I’m a brother, son, friend, follower of God, NCAA student-athlete, baseball player, type 1 diabetic, among many other things to many different people. The things that allow me to be the best at each of those things are God, faith, prayer, family, education, sacrifice, character and discipline. Therefore, as I bounce between my experiences, lessons, and life, I can always fall back on those things, as I encourage you to do as well. All of those values are explained in my very first post to make them applicable to everyone, including ‘God’ and ‘faith.’

Today, I want to open up for the second time about my life as a Type 1. I originally told my diagnosis story a couple months ago, and if you’d like to go back to review, the link is below.

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God Wins

I’m inspired to write today, and I think the timing is perfect. As I expressed in last week’s post I have experienced all of the trials and tribulations of the COVID world on top of months and months of other stressors and variables in my life. As I have talked with family and friends over the last week, I have realized that I am not alone, and that some have it even worse than I right now.

So, what is my underlying theme here? What can I tell myself every day to remind myself that things are going to turn out alright? What do you need to hear that will get you through your struggles one day at a time?

God wins.

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What’s on your mind?

It has almost been a month since I posted, as my last posts were the amazing story series. All of those individuals did an amazing job conveying their lives and perspectives, and really putting themselves out there. I’m extremely grateful for those people in my life. Cheers to that.

I haven’t posted in so long because I haven’t found anything to talk about. Honestly. Every day has felt like Groundhog Day, and any days that haven’t are little glimpses into normalcy that quickly get sucked back into the past. Wake up, eat, online class, practice, eat, schoolwork, eat, sleep.

When I have the privilege of seeing or talking to my parents on the phone, my dad often asks me, “What’s on your mind?” or “anything going on that you wanna talk about?” Most of the time, my answer is “not much,” or “no not really,” which is often times very true. I objectively do a great job of mentally staying in the moment. Just taking things how they are, one task at a time. Observing, watching, learning about the people and places around me. I’m just wired that way.

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Defeating the Stigma

The eighth and final install of this series comes from somebody I never played with, but have been close to. Spencer Horwitz has always been a great resource for me, and I’m glad he opened up about his experiences.

Here is the last piece of what has been an incredible series…

“Growing up I was fortunate enough to attend a local private Episcopalian high school that was viewed as one of the top schools in the state. I loved every second of it. It was there where I learned how to carry myself and hard work would get you to where you wanted to go.

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Mama’s Boy

This post is especially cool to me. Earlier this week, Matt Marino, a friend of nearly seven years, reached out to me asking me why I started this. He asked me what my purposes and intents are, and as I explained to him, he really appreciated my goals, and felt compelled enough to share a story within the week.

I have a special respect for Matt and I’ve always been aware of and admiring of his dedication and appreciation for his mother. We were slated to play high school baseball together until he decided to support himself before college and get a full time job. Matt currently attends the University of South Carolina and is in the process of applying to take his talents to law school.

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The Wolfpack

Tonight, story six, is one I didn’t expect. When I sent my high school baseball coach, Ryan Wolfsheimer (Coach Wolf), the scoop for doing a story, I didn’t even think about this piece of his life. But I certainly remember it vividly. As much of a figure Coach Wolf is in the community, people don’t always realize the humane side of such figures.

We all go through spurts of time that we can’t control, but here’s how Coach Wolf turned to faith to build his family…

“My cell phone is ringing at 5:15pm on Friday March 11th, 2016. It’s Ashley, my wife, calling me as I’m finishing up practice and preparing for a scrimmage the next morning at Patterson Mill High School. I say to the coaches walking off the field with me, “Why is she calling me??? She knows I’m on the field. So I answer the phone even though part of me wanted to decline the call and send her to voicemail. “Hey dear, what’s up? I’m heading in from practice, what’s the deal?” That’s when I heard Ashley say, “The baby’s heartbeat stopped…”

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Trust is a Must

For the fifth story I heard from the legendary Shea Swingle. She is truly exactly how she describes herself here, as the ‘responsible one.’ Shea welcomed me to Radford originally with open arms, and I quickly got to learn what made her such a positive force amongst her peers.

Since graduating, Shea has been pursuing a Masters Degree in speech pathology in George Washington’s graduate program. The Northern Virginia native spoke on trust for us, something she has learned through her young adult life.

“I’ve always been one that tries to predict what will happen next in my life. Avoiding situations that I feel could lead to negative consequences, predicting how others will react in response to my actions, typically playing it safe in regards to “major” life decisions. But as I get older, I find this is one of my best and worst qualities.

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