My life has been changing at a pretty rapid pace lately…
So fast in fact, the last time I saw my mother, she said..
“You are hitting major life events pretty quick Adam…maybe you should slow down?”
First, I laughed, nodded, and accepted her pat on the back. I thought about what she said on the way home though. She had a pretty good point, after all, Moms are pretty smart. Then, as my Mom will unsurprisingly attest to (and hopefully laugh), I thought F that. Sorry Mom!
I am not the kind of person who sits back and waits for life to come to me. For sure, things happen for a reason, but they don’t just happen. If you want something, make it happen. If something is broke, fix it. That has always been me. Hard working, determined, responsive…I don’t want to lose that. I don’t look back and regret things. You can’t change the past anyway…
Was I always like this?
I was always the first to turn in my tests in school. I didn’t have to recheck my answers. I either knew it or made my best guess the first time. I was confident in my gut reaction. It has never failed me. Well, that is probably not true. I’ve made my share of mistakes, right Mom (I can see her nodding)? But, who doesn’t? I am not going to lament those mistakes too long.
In high school, I played football. I played both ways and special teams — iron man baby! I was a defensive tackle/linebacker and offensive line/fullback. I was pretty decent. I made All-Division junior year at defensive tackle, but I probably wasn’t going to get a scholarship to play in college. That year, I hurt my shoulder pretty bad in the 2nd game of the season. I had it wrapped before each game (so it would stay in the socket) and finished the year. That was one of those bad decisions (stop nodding Mom) because it resulted in me needing surgery.
I spent the following winter crushing my physical therapy. I was used to working out hard from football — when I was squatting like 485lbs — with Charlie Meister blasting White Zombie and encouraging me to push it harder. I skipped my senior season and unloaded trucks at Target. That tells you how my rehab went…who picks a job unloading trucks after blowing up their shoulder? I worked there full-time for the rest of high school and all the way through college.
In my 20s, I had a herniated disc in my back. It happened while I was just getting out of the car, but it was probably from years of football and unloading trucks. I went to the doctor and he told me to try and stand on my toes. I thought that’s a stupid test, until I couldn’t do it. I was standing there trying and nothing. He said the herniation is pressing on the nerve and you’ve lost the strength in your leg. We can do PT or surgery. PT might work, but there’s a chance this pressing on your nerve long-term could cause a permanent issue. It took me like 3 seconds to ask for the surgery! Fix it!
It was back to physical therapy, but I hit it hard and got into better shape while I was at it. I have never had another major issue with my back or shoulder. Most people might regret the choices to play football and to unload trucks. I don’t. I learned how to be a part of a team, determination, strength, leadership and much more in sports (especially football). At Target, I met the mother of my two kids so I can’t regret that decision. We were together from high school until this past May. I will spare you the details, but that is one of the recent changes in my life.
In the last few months, I have been doing the best I can for my girls. I put everything into moving in and getting the new place ready. I had some flashbacks of unloading trucks as I carried the love seat and mattress upstairs by myself! After three days, it looked like I lived in the new place for years.
I am proud to say I have two amazing little girls — who are well on their way to becoming amazing women. I am proud of them. I am proud of myself. It hasn’t been easy by any means. There have been plenty of Dad Fails, but we’re getting there. We started having family meetings to talk about good things that happened in our day and things we need to work on. I give them each something to work on and the opportunity to each give me something to work on. Zoe suggested shorter meetings…love her!
Check out these short videos from a few weeks ago when we went kayaking. This is the first time either of them has been solo and no one ended up in the drink! My apologies for the close-up angle of yours truly. I love their determination…it reminds me of someone!
What does any of this have to do with anything?
I put the same determination into my career that I learned in football. I am constantly learning. Pushing myself to get better. Participating in everything I can. Helping others where I can. It was this effort that leads me to my next change…
At the end of the month, I am joining Pluralsight as a data solutions engineer. I am really excited to join this team, to continue learning (while helping others learn), and to continue my journey. I am lucky to be joining at the same time as one of my best friends, Curtis Harris, which is a huge bonus! I cannot wait to see what we can do together.
I owe thanks to many, but especially to Doug Glenn (DCFO) at the Department of the Interior.
He is not only the best boss I have ever had, but a friend, and one of the greatest people I have ever met. His vision and passion put me in places to succeed, he supported my development, he genuinely cares about his team, and he would go out of his way to ensure other people could share in our successes and failures. The failures are some of his best stories.
I also need to thank Pooja for her continued support. We have a lot of fun working together, but she was there for me any time I needed someone. I really value her friendship, positive outlook, and inspiration.
It makes it easier to keep looking ahead with friends like these!
Life is too short to slow down…(sorry Mom)
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs