Monday, June 1, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

Where Does Time Go?

                               


                    Randomly had this thought last night it's been almost 14 years since I graduated as a 17-year-old kid trying to figure out life after high school. It got me thinking just how fast life has gone by already. It seems if you blink years just add on. Below is just a quick recap of things that happen over the years and how quickly it goes by. So many people come in and out of your life who I could tell stories about. One day maybe I'll write a book about all these memories I have. For today it's just about me growing up.

**Grammar and complete sentences are not something I was going for here, but wanted just throw thoughts on paper**

***All my friends shaped me through the years, but I don't name names but I do want to break that down in a separate section. Everyone I grew up playing baseball with those were the days. Baseball gave me so many memories and met the coolest people. One person who I don't hardly talk to anymore but he was by far my best friend during those days. Became friends with one my best friends in Spanish class and still friends to this day. After senior year started hanging out and playing basketball with a group that probably was about 7-8 people altogether. All those guys I would do anything for today even the ones I don't talk to anymore because they really made me who I am. Another guy  I partied with and went on adventures all the time the stories we tell are endless. Another guy who got me into golf and softball again who is the total opposite of me but definitely one of the best guys I know. To all the girls who I used to be friends with because I liked to flirt in my younger days, I appreciate them and have plenty of stories and memories. ***


18 years ago - I was finishing middle school and getting ready for high school. Met a girl who changed my views on life and kind of showed me the darker side of life. Had my first real kiss and the first girl I thought I was in love with. This girl really changed the way that I look at life because before her life seemed simple you just live as a kid and I guess in ways she made me realize you grow up and when you do it starts changing and it isn't always simple anymore. Also got a small grasp on cheating at that age, but I didn't seem to learn from it but I realized it is something that can change relationships and friendships.

17 years ago - I was finishing my freshman year of high school going into sophomore year. During this year I met the girl I would date through high school into my freshman year of college and had sex for the first time. Sophomore year for me was expect the unexpected. Met a girl at the campground who I got interested in but funny enough it was her friend that changed me and built character in me over the years.

16 years ago - Finishing sophomore year going into junior year. Had my first taste of alcohol during this time. Met one of my best friends. Had a typical high school relationship with ups and downs and drama but we kept sticking it out making it work. At times it wasn't healthy for either one of us but at the end of the day we had ugly times but we had the good times.

15 years ago - Finishing junior year going into senior year. At this time was really the last time I enjoyed baseball and was working hard to achieve the goal of going to college. Went to state in Norfolk over that summer and then the passion seemed to decline.  During my senior year, I proposed to my girlfriend. Was into at least 3 or 4 other girls which all had their appeal. Quit high school baseball during my senior year. Got a scholarship to King for academics and baseball. Started hanging out with another friend who would become one of my best friends.

14 years ago - I graduated high school and started at King. Quit the baseball team after one meeting, tried out for the basketball team, and made it but quit before I started. Went on my first cruise to Alaska. Had my girlfriend cheat on me and break up with me which at the time didn't make sense but looking back on it as much as I enjoyed her which was 3 years worth it wasn't healthy and it worked out for her in the end but the memories are still there. As with all my breakups, I didn't seem to handle it the best, but luckily a few weeks later went on my first date. After that a couple months later I met someone who changed my life and made me a better person. The story of her is a unique one but ultimately I can say I loved her. It didn't last long but she was one of the biggest keys to figuring out my life and what I wanted. She might not know it and no one else probably does but the impact she had on me I will forever be thankful and grateful for meeting her. Fireflies or lightning bugs kind of conversations. Skipped classes to go see her so eventually dropped out of King. Started hanging out with another one of my life long friends. Started partying with 3 of the best people I know.

13 years ago - Decided to go to community college the following year. Lasted about a semester and I was done. Started what was my first real job at Fazolis, I did work at Mcdonalds for about 2 weeks when I was a junior but I wouldn't count that. Fazolis had so many memories with so many people through the 5 years. The GM was my go-to for anything I needed to talk about inside or outside of work. She kind of guided me to the right answers and I couldn't be more thankful to have met her. I met so many people through this job and have plenty of stories good and bad from it. Started dating a girl who I didn't really deserve who was too good for who I was at the time. We dated about 2 years but as undervalued as she was, she was appreciated and led to building my character over time. This was my second long relationship and treated it pretty much the same as before so I didn't seem to learn anything, but with that said we had a lot of good times. Met my future wife who I knew I was going marry the day I saw her it just took a couple years after to actually start dating.

12 years ago - Pretty much the same routine of life - work, sex, and fighting with my girlfriend and going to Fazolis to hang out even on days off. Getting kicked out of hotels. Living life but not managing to better myself.

11 years ago - Started dating my first wife, proposed to her, and moved in with her which was the first time I moved out of my parent's house. All that happen between April to August and I don't regret it now and at the time it was the way I wanted it to happen. I would have probably done the same thing if it was two years before that she gave me a chance but it took her a few years to come around to dating. Moving out and living with someone is an experience though especially living with her and a roommate. From living with your parents for 21 years that first leap into what I would consider adulthood is different. Started playing weekend softball for the first time. Life appeared to be great at this point

10 years ago - Had one of the biggest fights with my girlfriend which looking back on it probably should have decided where this was headed but instead we got married. Moved into a house and basically played beer pong and partied quite often. Got a dog who was my best friend for 9 years. After living together marriage is the easy part, passing out in your wedding and needing to sit down was the hard part but getting married is easy after already living together. Went on my second cruise and went to a Braves game during this year.

9 years ago - Started school back. played organized basketball for the first time since I was a kid and met some great people the three years I played. We won maybe a total of 3 games over 3 years but one of the best times I had. Should have probably walked away from my marriage when cheating allegations came up about her and the fact that I was shown real worth by someone I worked with. I never cheated on my wife and I would have never because I was committed and learned from my past. I was all in on this one but with that said and looking back on the circumstances of life today everything seems to work out for a reason but if I was ever going to cheat it would have been with this girl. If she would have still been available after my marriage, she would have been my first phone call but sometimes it works out differently. With that said I think she tested me, with all the cheating allegations in my marriage by my wife which I never waivered and always believed the opposite until the end I believe she was the test of my loyalty and I stayed loyal might have gone back a forth across the line but stayed in the road.

8 years ago - Same story different year got to travel and go snowboarding and other trips. The marriage was about the same.

7 years ago - My wife cheated on me and I woke up one day and my job wasn't there anymore. They closed Fazolis down which was a good 5 years of my life. I was unemployed for roughly 6 months and worked at Hardee's for a couple months. By December I worked at one of the best jobs I could have dreamed of. Only an intern/part-time job that I worked close to 4 years at but the friends I made and the stuff I learned especially from one of the Engineers was the best thing that happened to me. I found out depression and anxiety were real things during this year. I have always had social anxiety but I started to have anxiety over all kinds of stuff even to this day after my marriage ended. Not sure if it is linked but this is when it started. Don't get me wrong though my marriage was rough, it isn't something I regret at all. I was in love with her, unlike any love I had experienced before this. She was different and it felt different than anyone before her. I got to go on trips and do stuff that I wouldn't have got to do so although the marriage didn't work out it wasn't anything I regret but it was one of the toughest things I have ever been through. The divorce broke me but I built myself back up over time.

6 years ago- I finished college with two associates degrees. I had my first and only one night stand and used dating sites for the first time. Dating sites were crazy. Met a girl one time after talking to her for an hour and she wanted to meet up for a movie and snacks in a hotel room after that I was good on those. Met and started dating my wife. It was rough starting out because I was still trying to get over the marriage and cheating but we came out the other side of the rough times to where we are today.

5 years ago - Divorce finalized, went to Disney World

4 years ago - Got married

3 years ago -  Started a new job. Took interest in social media and hiking. Started my own website and few other ventures. Wrote a couple books. Went on a cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya.

2 years ago - Went to my first wrestling event. bought my first toolset. Took adventure to Waynesville, Bryson city, Cherokee, and that area in NC. Went to New Orleans and cruised to Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Cozumel. Watched first NFL game live in New Orleans. Went to Mount Airy to see Mayberry for the first time. Bought my first gun. Went to Biloxi Mississippi to the casino and a cruise to Cozumel and Yucatan. Swam with dolphins. Ate rolled icecream.

1 year ago - Went to Louisville Kentucky and went to the horse races. Played a lot of softball. Went to Charlotte NC and played Top Golf. Started playing golf. First injury by pulling my calf muscle which took months to heal. Cruise to Cozumel. Went to Daytona Beach and Disney World. My dog died which was a hard loss and still miss having him around. My dad had heart surgery. Went on a cruise to Grand Turk and Amber Cove. First time ziplining.


It seems to go by fast but the memories you make are the best part. Better live now though because one day you'll wake up and not know where the time went and what you have done in your life. I hope to make it to an age one day where I can say I got the most of my life and that I continue to have and make memories. Feels like one day I woke up 17 about to graduate and the next I am going on 32 reflecting on the life I lived and the person I grew into. By no means am I perfect, but looking back I feel like I have grown over time into a better man each year and took something from each year of my life to get to who I am today, and maybe I can keep improving the older I get. With that said maybe I can keep living and enjoying this life because this life goes by quickly and we don't know when the last day is but live it and enjoy it. Make memories and go on adventures because one day somebody might want to hear your stories so make sure you have some to tell.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Michael Jordan in 2020?


The reality is Michael Jordan is a legend. Was it because of the time he came into the league? Was it because of less athleticism? Was it because he created a brand no one else was creating? What would it be during this era?  Those are the questions that make me think after watching The Last Dance documentary.

Starting out I'm going to talk about the basketball player. As skilled as he was the three-point wasn't good. His career percentage is 33% which isn't the worst you could have but those numbers are also a little bit off because of the 3 years where the line was shorter and he shot really well. At the distance it is currently his average would actually be lower. The game currently is about 3 pointers and getting to the rim and he can only really do one of those things well so it would be interesting to see if his style could make it in a game that practically has no midrange. Sure there were athletes in Jordan's day but there are more athletic players today then there were in the 90s and a different breed of athletes. He was way more athletic then probably 80% of the players in the NBA compared to a mark of 50% now if I had to guess but either way drastically different kinds of athletes now. The theory he could score over 40 when the pace of play and points per game was higher in the 80s when he put up 37 sounds crazy. In the 90s his highest ppg was 32. If we base it on that knowledge that he can scorer higher everyone else from this era would have to score lower in his day and I can't see that with the skill and athleticism of these players. He can't shoot the 3 so what changes for him to add 8 points to scoring each game?  Since the game is based on athleticism and 3 pointers how would he actually be able to fit into this era?

As skilled as Jordan was the popularity in the 90s is what really got him to the status he is at. Without Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson, the legacy of Michael Jordan is probably Russell Westbrook. A guy who puts up numbers but never wins and yet whenever the best coach ever and one of the most underrated players ever, the story of MJ changed. By the numbers and by everything you can make a case Scottie Pippen made MJ. Without Pippen, we don't remember MJ even in the top 5 all-time. Then after Pippen and Jackson got there and he started winning, he became a brand in an era that needed someone to pop off the screen. If you lived in the 90s, he was everywhere. His status as an icon isn't so much about basketball as it is the combination of the stuff that basketball gave him.

We get to the harder questions now. This era where social media and media, in general, is everywhere, and everyone even nonathletes, has a brand. MJ quit basketball twice to return both times in an era where there wasn't someone critiquing him every second. Just think about where we are in the world today, would they have accepted his bullying and gambling now? The problem is if he was the same person then in this era he would have been suspended a number of times. We live in a different world where bullying isn't tolerated and in reality, should never be tolerated. Social media and the media would have been talking bad about him every day. Headline after headline about if MJ could win without Scottie or Phil. Posts all over social media should he get help for his gambling problem. Articles wondering if he is going about leadership the right way by being a bully. Can you imagine the headlines before he won a championship? Do we think that pressure would get to him? We don't have the answer to that but we live in a different world than the 90s.  The pressures on today's athletes are like none before. Social media gives access to anyone with a voice to scrutinize anyone they want. I guess my question is a guy who quit basketball 3 times all together could he make it through all that?

There is no denying MJ was a skilled player who in any era would be a top 10 player. I don't think it's far fetched to say he wouldn't be a top 5 player all time. MJ as skilled as he was, he came in at a perfect time to start a brand. He had the pieces thrown in his lap after being a failure without Phil and Pippen. Jordan made the best of the situation that was given to him and the era he lived in but in 2020 would he make it? I'm not so sure.