Ramadan, Uncategorized 0 comments on Another Ramadan ends

Another Ramadan ends

Someone saw the new crescent moon somewhere in the Muslim world tonight, and so another Ramadan has come to an end.

I finally figured out how to do it right from a food perspective. It’s very important to eat the right kind of meals. At Iftar I’ve tried to eat foods that are easy to digest. Nothing processed. Barely ate out at restaurants where there would be lots of sauce, and high sodium in the food.

I then had a stated goal of drinking 8 cups of water in that tiny bit of time between sunset and sunrise. The hours to eat are really starting to reduce. The days when I did this, the next day was easy. On the days that I didn’t…

For sahoor, I was a hipster to the end. Yogurt every day. Fruit everyday. Bran cereal of some sort. Turkey and cheese sandwich. It was super filling, but still super light.

Making sure that you do the food right is a huge element of how you experience the month. It’s not supposed to be painful, but contemplative. At least I’ve always said so. And this month was a good one for me.

But that will be good for another post

Becoming a PM, Uncategorized 0 comments on Don’t yell in email; it doesn’t work

Don’t yell in email; it doesn’t work

I’m on a soccer team that is a mix between very serious, competitive folks (about a third) and folks who are just out there playing because they want to exercise, have some fun and the like.

It’s tough to be on the more serious end because you end up getting extremely frustrated by the folks who aren’t taking it as seriously as you are. The right way to approach this frustration though is the difference between whether you enjoy the season and your teammates or whether you let the frustration get in the way of your success.

When I coached the JV Girl’s Soccer team at Cary Academy, I took the approach of anger. When the girls didn’t take things seriously I got angry, and they ran sprints. Or, I took away a privilege. At the half-way point of the season, I was really burnt out. I realized that the problem wasn’t the hours, girls or trying to mix a 5-day a week gig with school. It was my attitude. We had an amazing second half of the season, and I saw a LOT of growth in the girls and the team. The pride they took in their matches once they felt like it was a team they wanted to be a part of was really astounding to see, and to be a part of.

This came up again today in my mind because the team that I play for now has had the classic  mix of serious folks being committed and showing up, and the not serious folks just coming along for the ride. Today we got a bit of a flame e-mail from a player, and it surprised me. Don’t yell in email; it never works. Worse, you’re not going to inspire the uninspired digitally.

Here’s how I would handle that situation. Get to the point where we have a solid 7 – 9 players at practice every week. Then, first game of the season, only play those 9 guys for the first 20 minutes of the game. Make people earn their starting role. The team will suffer as a result, but it proves the point. On top of that, it actually rewards the folks who come to practice in the sense that they’ve earned something the others haven’t.

Create pride in the end result. Let others have a sense of ownership. And then, you don’t have to flame anyone because the outcome takes care of itself.

Fatherhood, Uncategorized 1 comment on Storytime and Picasso

Storytime and Picasso

I tried to give Micky a bit of a break this past Saturday, and so Amelia Rose and I went to the local library for story time.

We were the youngest ones there by about 6 – 7 months, but it was still lots of fun. We did a few songs, including the “Itsy-bitsy spider”, and then got to hear about Spot’s first day at school. At that point all the 7+ month olds decided to just play, and so they brought out the toys, and they had at it. Amelia Rose and I ran upstairs, and kept going with story time. We read seven more books, and somewhere between four and five, she actually fell asleep. So it goes 🙂

After the seventh book, Micky showed up, and we headed to the De Young museum. There’s a Picasso exhibit, and it’s quite an amazing collection of work. They won’t allow strollers in the exhibit hall, and so I had to carry Amelia around. It made me the center of attention as everyone came up to look at her. She loved the attention for about one and half rooms, and then fell asleep. The Picasso exhibit was amazing for the fact that each room seemed to show a different decade of Picasso’s life, which if you know Picasso loosely translates to the various periods of artistic style through which he moved. The exhibit really emphasized to me that Picasso spent a lot of time understanding a piece before creating it, and that Picasso spent a lot of time re-imaging the same theme over and over again.

It was a really amazing experience, and one I think folks should definitely get to if they can. I would not however suggest carrying around an 11 pound baby for an hour while there 🙂

Amelia Rose was just amazing, and it was fun to have daddy/daughter time together. The first of many to come.