Tonight, after practice 44 with a team of grapplers, I sat back with my Miss and reflected on how much these young men have taught me. Tervel, back hurting and tired, asks the greatest, thought provoking questions. Kevin, just a freshman, says whatever he’s thinking and allows Kyle and others to laugh with him. Nate may be quiet but he’s loaded with insight and pure presence. Tonight he sat to my left and I felt his strength without seeing him lift a thing. Kollin was broken from exams but he was still with us and engaged. Keyshawn knew the woman’s name whose story I told. I had forgotten. He quickly filled in for my mistake and thought nothing of it. Bo knows. Bo helped his teammate understand that real power is found in understanding everybody struggles in their own way. He was FM, tonight. Myles laughed and thought through Tervel’s challenging question. I provided a clarifying “and.” We laughed.
Mark shared his battle with cancer and his desire to help those like him. It felt like Church.
Grappy was on point and kept it light. Jake understood the power of building the worldview before you need it. Micah didn’t say much but his body language said a ton. Luke said nothing but you could tell he loved being with his teammates. In fact, that was the prevailing theme – this team loves being together. So, freakin’ blessed to be able to be apart of this kinda culture Coach Ryan is building. Kyle was sitting in the middle, icing his busted frame, and hungry. He asked good questions, challenged his team and modeled the way. Kyle, Nate, and Bo are the big three, but you wouldn’t know it if you happened into practice. You see, the OSU team of grapplers are a team of peers. Tomorrow, during practice 196 with k-dev and practice 229 with Choice, I’ll be with two more teams where you wouldn’t be able to pick out the owner from the teammates.
Friend, you cannot force chemistry even when you know the ingredients. You have to trust the process and believe. FM, baby. God, help me go with the flow tomorrow and let these teams be who they are. God, thank you for the gift of this work and these men and women who believe in the power of simply being with. God, help me keep perspective as so much growths going on. God, help me.