BTL’s Andy is Slippage to me. He was the three time Nattychamp rowing coach for OSU, until they fired his sorriness. Slippy had been in our BTL HC practices and I saw greatness and knew it. Doing this work trains the eye. I don’t miss much when it comes to spotting those chasing excellence. So, I offered Slippy the opportunity to climb into the BTL boat. He took it. Jumped in and away we went, right?
Nope, not really.
You see, Slippy was still bummed about being let go. He felt like he was treading water even when he settled into his position in our boat. So, he struggled finding his voice, much less his stroke. He fumbled around for awhile. Felt sorry for himself. Felt fear. Lots of fear. Felt failure. Damn, that one cuts deep. Felt lost and a lone even when the band gave him hugs and heart. He was taking up residence in the water and struggling to stay afloat. We kept pulling him back into the boat and did our darnedest to fill his sorriness up. Did. Not. Work.
Then the light went on. Slippy began to believe. Like Neo, he had to face his fear and stop running. He hired Rachel to be his Builder. She kicked him even harder when he was down. Did. Not. Go. Easy. Went. Harder. And, damn, if he didn’t respond to the hard push. Talent needs trauma. Never forget this truth, friend. Talent needs trauma. Do not go easy on those you see chasing excellence. Do not go easy on those you believe in. Do not go easy on those you see greatness oozing from their pores. Do not go easy on those struggling to transition from the safety of University to the uncertainty of OPUS. Never easy, right?
Life is hard. The great life is found when we embrace this truth and celebrate the good stuff is learning how to do hard things well. Slippy is sticky now. He’s got a boat of his own. He’s rowing away. Clients love him. We celebrate him. He’s doing good work and on his way to doing great OPUS. He’s mastering a new craft. One he wasn’t trained for. One he didn’t plan for. One, however, that is meant to be. Amen.
What about you friend? What boat you in – the comfortable one or the challenging one, just this side of chaos? Do you love rowing like a banchee or are you just doing time, you know, until promotion and pay make it worth your while? Row, row, row, your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream. Slippage is rowing away. He’s decided against going with the flow. He’s paddling up the Missouri on his way to God’s country. Never easy. What about you, friend?
Live hard. Love harder…