Category Archives: Evil Plan

And the Year is Done

Today is the last day of school.  Last Day of Anna being a high school student, and last day of Luke being a Freshman. It was a great school year for both while fun watching the both grow away from each other as much as they grew together. Something about a 15-minute car ride each day that will do it for siblings.

Graduation is Saturday and while Anna is receiving her diploma, Luke will be in the choir singing.

And then it is a busy summer with camp, orientation, wisdom teeth out, and mission trip for Anna.  This while Luke is headed to morning practices for a swim, Camp Trotier, and the same mission trip with Anna.

Bring on Summer! It is going to be Fantastic!


Burned Out

Last Thursday I was talking to a friend of mine before our swim meet and she asked me if I ever get burned out from all the coaching? My quick reaction was No. Can never say you are burned out only 4 weeks into the season, and could never say that when your kid is on team.

But then I got home and I started thinking about it.

Burned Out. What does it really mean? Does it just mean tired? Because even when I am not coaching I am tired. Being a Husband and Dad and Friend and Co-Worker and Coach takes a great deal of energy and time.

I just finished reading The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. I would highly recommend it. It talks a great deal ask_garyvee_template_Podcast_copyabout positive energy and what you can do with it and how to use it to your advantage. You have to have a plan, have the right people supporting your plan, and then help those around you also reach their goals.

Wonder if anyone at my “fun job” has heard me say something like that before. Heck, I am sure there are people at my real job that hear me say that on a regular basis.

The other tie to being burned out is to Gary Vaynerchuk.  Once again, I highly recommend him. But I warn you, he is very energized. I can only equate it to the first time I saw Amy Schumer in Trainwreck.  Never knew her or anything about her. She is not for everyone, but her style can grow on you.  Same as Gary. He knows his stuff, some think he is arrogant. I think he is just confident.

Gary has a segment on his web site called #AskGaryVee  During a recent segment a person asked Gary how he has the time and energy to get things done.  And his short answer basically was that if you love what you are doing then you are All In and then you always have time and the energy to get it done.

So there it is in a nut shell. I do not get burned out, but I do know when to take a step back and decompress. Like I did this past weekend. A little rest once in a while helps as well.

Medical Leave

mw-minimal-deskop-wallpaper-slow-down-10-80-1Sometimes life throws you a curve as a reminder that maybe you need to slow down a hair.  Not full breaking stop, but just enough to make sure all things check out correctly.

Yesterday I had some minor outpatient surgery for an exam under anesthesia (EUA) with a fistulotomy.

The surgery was at 2:30PM and I had to be there by 1:00PM. The DR recommends that I scheduled to be off today and Friday to recover, and should be ready to go back to work on Monday the 19th.

So, how did this happen? The DR performing the surgery said this is just bad luck.

While we were in Disney on vacation I had a growth large enough that it popped the skin back on December 1st.  Called the Care 24 line through the insurance and the nurse thought it was a thrombosed External hemorrhoidI called my primary care physician and she said that I should come in once we returned to Wisconsin because I was not in that much pain after the rupture.  When I went to see her on December 5th, she recommended I go over to Waukesha Memorial and see the on call surgeon and have him lance/cut it open and drain it out. It was not a hemorrhoid but rather an abscess.

My follow up visit two weeks ago revealed that it is not healing properly, thus my DR wanted to put me under and check it further.

What started as an abscess has turned into a fistula.  Meaning there is a pathway that forms when the abscess drains. That can cause drainage where the pathway meets the skin.  So, this has been basically draining nonstop since early December.  Some days better, some days worse.  I would say that about 70% of the time since early December I have been in some sort of pain.  Antibiotics helped for a while but this was the next step.

My DR said that 75-80% of these are on the surface and can be taken care of in 45 minutes.  If it is further “upstream” then he will have to refer me to a specialist for something more invasive.

Luckily it was very superficial near the surface.

Best part is I get to watch Netflix for a couple days!!  Good times. And, I am slowing it down for a couple of days.


End of the Season

The 2014 high school swimming season will come to a conclusion this Saturday afternoon in Madison. It will mark the end of my 7th season at Waukesha North and my 24th season overall. It will also be the end of Anna’s 2nd high school season.

The season started off pretty well. A couple meets in we were swimming pretty well.10671280_10154822190235338_1521554855841116107_n

Then a thing called Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome was introduced to our vocabulary.

We initially took Anna to see the trainer at North High School.  She works for Orthopedic Associates.  We then took her to see my brother who has a masters in Physical Therapy.  He confirmed the diagnosis.

We then took Anna to the Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber at Children’s Hospital in Wauwatosa.  She confirmed what we already knew, but

The APNP prescribed 99 sessions of therapy.  I am pretty sure that is code to keep going until we get this resolved.

Last week, Michelle and Anna went to an evaluation at the ProHealth Care at Westwood with the therapist.  The exercises she’s been doing with the Waukesha North trainer every day for 45 minutes before practice the past 7 weeks have been good. The therapist gave her some other things to try and she’ll talk with the North trainer about more things she can do.

While this was all going on for the past 7 weeks, we have had meets and invites. But the training schedule that Anna was on was less than optimal for high impact swimming, with the goal of making it to the State Championship.

We carried a note along to every meet to let the officials know that we had approval from a trainer to have Kinesio tape on when competing. By rule this is not allowed by the NFHS or the WIAA without authorized permission from an authorized source.

The first meet in the last 6 that she was able to swim the full slate of her events was the Conference Meet. And considering everything we had gone through, she swam really well and mentally cleared a big hurdle.

Then this past Saturday came. It is the Sectional Qualifier, and is your only chance to make it to the State Championship Meet.  Our best chance to make it was the 200 Medley Relay with Anna being a key leg of the relay.

DSC04368-2And she came through looking like a champ. Swam her split in a lifetime best, then wen on to swim three more times, with one more lifetime best in the 100 Butterfly.

The rest and more therapy will now need to wait one more week because the relay made it to State!

There are no guarantees in life. And she and I talked about it on the way home from the meet Saturday. Need to make sure you savor every moment like this because you never really know when they will happen again.

As a parent and as a coach this has been one of the more stressful seasons for me in a long time. It is always hard to gauge when any kid is in pain, and it is worse when it is your kid. You can see the potential and the effort she puts in, but then the pain is too much. Too much for a 15 year old to go through.

Once the meet is over on Saturday, we are going to start to rest and heal. Physically for sure. Probably a little mentally as well. And that is for both of us.

A personal HUGE THANKS to everyone this season for their support and assistance this season!

Taking Care of Business

TCBWent to Graceland back in 1995 with my college roommate during the off day of the 1st and 2nd Round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament being held at the Pyramid in Memphis. Besides seeing a really bad fake Elvis, we saw a great deal of lightening bolt patches that read “TCB”.

TCB was what Elvis called his band.  They were Taking Care of Business.

Despite what your personal opinions are of Elvis or his personal choices or his music, there is something to be said about the phrase TCB.

Earlier this summer, a number of people were posting 30 day or 50 challenges on Facebook.  I also read of girl that did a 100 day challenge and another person do a 100 day challenge to get themselves in shape.  Basically the challenges were to do something for 30 days (or more) and then it becomes habit and then part of your daily routine.  Just TCB.

I thought I would give it a shot.

Started Day 1 with 1 situp.  Day 2 – 2 situps. Day 3 – 3 situps.  And so on.

I then started tracking my progress with an iPhone app called MyFitnessPal. Michelle had been using it a couple weeks before me. And with that I decided to weigh myself and see if this was going to make a difference. For me, the more accountability, the better.  The app is easy to use.

I was into the 60 day range with the situps when I first logged into the App. First recorded weight on August 4 was 204.  A far cry from the good ole days in high school and college.  Makes me wonder what my max capacity was before I started.  Yikes.

These are the steps I have taken to get back into somewhat respectable shape. Remember that you need to Take Care of Business each day!

  • Drink 9 glasses of water each day
  • Do 50 situps each morning – I recently added push ups into the routine with the same process above
  • Use wise portion control when eating
  • Bring my lunch to work so I can control the calorie intake and save money
  • Keep my calories intake per day under 20000
  • Walk 30 minutes each day with my beautiful wife
  • Track all of these things in an app so you are responsible to yourself

Closing in on two months of doing this every day, and happy to report that my weight is down to 188.

Each any everyone of you that read this can follow my simple steps.  And then you too will be Taking Car of Business!

I Can Commit

productivityDuring the past couple of swim seasons, I have purposely tried to make the swimmers more accountable for their actions. Each year we up it a little bit more. This is important to me because at some point these are life skills that need to built to be a positive influence on society down the road.

This year we added the “I Can Commit” statements. This was an idea that I read about in one of Bruce E. Brown’s Proactive Coaching books and it applied to what we wanted to do with the team.

You can read our full list here.

There is no secret here.  These are things that even outside of the sports world that one needs to excel and get better at to be successful.  For example, look at the first one on the team list:

I can commit to being 15 minutes early for all team events this season including buses, meetings and practices.
Seems pretty straight forward.  But apply this to your full time daytime occupation and change that to read like this:  I can commit to being 15 minutes early for all meetings being prepared to participate by preparing ahead of time.

Not reading the notes needed to be discussed for the meeting only slows down production and forces the meeting to slow to a grinding halt.

Think about how much more effective you and your team could be if everyone was prepared for your last meeting.
Another one on my list reads:
I can commit to “eye to eye” contact in any one on one conversation that I have with a member of the program.

Think about the last time you were talking to a co-worker and instead of the other person looking at you or the person speaking, they are looking at their cell phone instead.  It is a frustrating event for the speaker.

Now, I am not one to shy away from my own faults.  I would claim that on any given day, I probably need to improve on two or three on this list.  Which one strikes home most for you?


Controlled Chaos

2014 Day 1 AllAnother school year starts today and with that another year of controlled chaos.

School, Soccer, Swimming, Choir, Confirmation Class, Badger Football, Fantasy Football, More Swimming, Day Camp Directors Meeting, Vacations, etc

Some people think we are a little looney for the schedule we keep. There are times when I think you are right. It becomes a little overwhelming one or twice a year. But for the most we handle it pretty well.

Looking for a new school year with new teachers. Game On!




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