Thursday, October 22, 2015

I Can Keep Up With The Boys

It was pitch black.  I knew the moon was out, but the glow was blocked by the tall Santa Cruz Redwoods all around us.  My friend, Nate, turned on his flashlight blinding me and 6 other guys.  "Ok, this should work."  Nate duct taped the flash light to the handle bars of his mountain scooter.  A mountain scooter is like a razor scooter that got angry and turned green.  Instead of tiny wheels and handlebars, the wheels and handle bars looked like they belonged to a BMX bike, and instead of a tiny little piece of metal to stand on, there was a skateboard deck that you stood on.  I loved mountain scootering, but this was our first attempt at night.

Nate took off first, fast and suddenly.  We started at the top of a hill and went down a hiking path.  I knew I needed to keep up in order to know where I was going.  So, I kicked off and started rolling down the slippery dirt path.  There are no breaks on these things; jump off or crash.  Those were the only two options.

The flashlight taped to the handle bars lit the path just in front of me but nothing else.  Only 5 feet in front of me I could see the end of the path which meant I needed to turn, but I had no idea which way to go.  With only a second to spare I heard Nate yell in delight off to my left and throwing caution to the wind I made a sharp left turn praying to God I didn't end up in a pile of poison ivy.

Sure enough, left was correct, but that was close and I needed to catch up to Nate in order to be safe.  I crouched down to lower my center of gravity and leaned forward.  I started moving even faster with last minute jumps and turns every other second.

I finally caught up to Nate and, man, it was so fun.  Following in his path, I jumped off logs and over ditches. I made quick turns, but when the path straightened it was like nothing else.  It was freedom.  I let the wheels turn as fast as they could.  The wind screamed in my ears.  My hands gripped the handlebars tight.  My heart pounded in delight.

In the middle of the journey, the dirt path ended and you rode on a pretty flat street for a while before joining back up with the dirt path again.  This is where we would all come back together.  The people in front would coast along while the in the back would push to catch up.

Nate came off the dirt path and his wheels hit the pavement. One second later I jumped onto the pavement.  Nate heard me hit the pavement and looked back in shock.  He started laughing.  "I didn't expect you to keep up with me."

"I'm surprising."

We laughed and cruised along waiting for the rest of the guys to show up behind us.

I often think back to this moment because I think about how he underestimated me.  I sometimes wonder if I had known what he thought if I would have been able to keep up.  Would his opinion of me made me doubt myself?

Every time I feel ill prepared for something or someone expects too much of me or I doubt myself, I remember that moment and think, "You can do more than people think you can.  Surprise them."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Strangers and Prayers

I sat there looking around the table at all these strangers; a creative director, a graphic designer, a music arranger, a build guy, and a look leader. When I was the creative director, these were all the roles I knew, but my time at that church had come to an end and these new people were strangers.  I’ve been asked to choreograph the Christmas show for a big church in Anaheim and I’m so excited, but sitting there staring at those strangers my heart hurt.

I missed my friends.  I missed the comfort of knowing the people around the table. I was just praying I would remember at least two names.

Then I remembered all the times I sat around a table like this in the past, praying for the right person to arrive.  If only I knew someone who did graffiti.  If only I knew someone who could build towers.  If only I knew someone who could make costumes.  And every time, every single time, that person arrived just in time.  I saw my prayers answered every time I asked.

It’s different this time.  This time, I think maybe, just maybe, I’m the answer to THEIR prayers.  Maybe this time they were thinking, “If I could just find someone who knows how to choreograph/direct on a large scale.”  And there I was.

I've never felt this way before.  I always felt like my prayers were answered, but I never thought of myself as the answer to someone’s prayer. 

Then it occurred to me.  I bet we are all the answer to someone’s prayer.  Maybe you don’t believe in God or say words like prayer, but you know what I mean.  That person who held your hair back while you puked.  That person who sat with you when your dad died.  That person who helped quiz you before that test.

These people are our angels.  They are the people who make our lives easier and, man, I hope I can do this more.