Category Archives: Family

To Help People At All Times

10465417_10154287984075338_4733251711735683793_oTomorrow is the last day of Camp for us for a while. 

It will be the conclusion of my 9th year leading the Canoe station at Prairie Hill Day Camp. If you count the year I shadowed Moose, then it would be 10 years.  Plus a couple years I came before that as just a Dad.

But this story is not really about my time at camp. And, unlike the past 50 posts here and on Facebook, it is not about Anna either. ūüôā Although she has been at camp for a long time also.

This time it is the real brains and power behind day camp….Michelle, I mean Sprinkle.

She has been at camp longer than me.  Worked in Pee Wees when Luke was little. Then shadowed a year with Beenie and Yoda.  Tinkle and Sprinkle ran the show for a couple years, and then Sprinkle organized 500+ people for a couple years by herself.

Then Lipstick came forward and it has been the Sprinkle and Lipstick show since then.  This is Lipstick’s last year also. Along with Bullseye, Sparky, and Scooby Dee. It has been a fun ride. 

The camp has gone from stuffing envelopes and mailing confirmations to campers from our basement to now where the process is all online. It has gone from working on crazy schedules trying to get swimming and canoe to share time at the Pond every day at Camp1044610_10151688864060901_495590608_n Winding River to now having all the beach space we need to run both stations at the same time at Camp Pottawatomie Hills. Even the bus pick up has changed.

During this time the weather has pretty much been spectacular with just a handful of rain days and a couple episodes of lightning. Did I mention that we lost power for 7 plus hours this year on Monday night? We have even celebrated our wedding anniversary more than once at camp.

The amount of time and effort I have seen Sprinkle put in the months leading up to camp, while still working full time, is just amazing. She attends the Directors meetings once a month. She responds to email at all hours of the day. She thinks about Camp so much that it even gets in her dreams. You will have to ask her about that one.

She deflects the praise and recognition all of the time. Sprinkle will tell you that she has good people in the right places and that is why camp runs smoothly. Or, that she gets great support from Velma at the GS Office. She is the epitome of a Team Culture when it comes to camp. That is what a great leader does.

Sprinkle does it because she loves camp and what the Girls Scouts do for the community in building strong female leaders.  This is her “fun job”.  

I know the rest of the people stepping down this year do it for similar reasons as Sprinkle, it just happens that I see it up close each day and night. 

As she said in the program guide, “It’s hard work, but my favorite memories are “camping” with the girls and adult volunteers. I’ve made so many lifelong friends. It’s amazing to unplug and be surrounded by my wonderful camp family all week once a year.”

Thanks Michelle for being an outstanding leader and role model not only for our children but for all of the future leaders. We love you!!

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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!


It Has Been a Great Ride

Then the clock reached the 90th minute, marking the end of the game. The end of the season. And the end of a high school athletic career.

We LOVED watching you play.

Being a high school athlete is not easy. Being one in the Classic 8 Conference adds another level of difficulty. A scholar athlete, yet another piece of complexity. Having your Dad be the Coach for half of the year adds more. Coming back from surgery to a part of your body required to succeed in both sports just adds to it.  But you did it.

We LOVED watching you play.

You were able to have great coaches in your life that molded, mentored, encouraged, challenged, assisted, took chances, made you expand your horizons. Coach Worzella, Coach Perugini, Coach Hauser, and Coach Ksobiech in soccer. Then on the swim side, it was the holy trinity of female coaches with Coach Sarah, Coach Jordon, and Coach Elle. Not sure what we would have done all four years without them.

We LOVED watching you play.

We had a series of ups and downs over the past four years. And I learned as season 2 was going on that I wanted to be your Dad at meets when you swam. We hardly disagreed on what was best for the team or for you during that time. You were Captain for 2 seasons but in reality had it figured out what makes a team click after freshman season. That was your leadership coming out.

We LOVED watching you play.

Many things we could not have predicted would happen.  Your coach swimming you in JV your first high school meet because he was not sure what was going to happen – it was the 200 IM. Having your first prom as a Sophmore on your birthday after two soccer games that were over an hour away. Most would not have handled that as well as you did. Hating butterfly moved to being a love and a key to breaking the school record and going to State twice. Tearing your ACL and recovering mentally and physically from it. Being named Prom Queen after being told you did not need to wear your brace a couple days earlier. A tough senior swim season not being at 100 percent leading to being named Female Athlete of the Year. Making 17 saves in one game and then a PK the next. There is more. But these jump out as things that we will always keep in the front of our minds.

We LOVED watching you play.

We took a ton of pictures with the new camera. And more with our iPhones. You have some of the best senior pictures ever with your sports shots. Thanks Jason!!  

We created a ton of memories. We had some pretty awesome talks about life. We had a ton of laughs mixed in with some tears. We had a pretty good run at this student-athlete thing. And if Thursday is the last time you lace up your cleats or put the goggles on competitively, we just want you to remember one thing….

We LOVED watching you play.


2 Days Past Surgery

AllHealed

Repaired ACL

With the surgery two days ago, the adductor canal blocker has now worn off and the pain has started.  She takes a little hydro codon-acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help with the pain.

Anna has been gradually putting more weight on the left leg while still using the crutches. And ready for this, today she can take a shower today!!!

She has has a couple of friends stop by and visit.  And got an awesome care package from Grandma and Grandpa W. She is also catching up on watching Friends on Netflix.

She has exercises that she is doing and the first visit with physical therapy for her evaluation is already on Tuesday.

We have a graduation party today to attend so we are going to get her out of the house for a bit.  It is better to be moving and exercising the new ACL than continually sitting around.


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.


25th Season is Underway

Looking back to the spring of 1991 is not always an easy thing to do.  But that is when a young Athletic Director took a chance and hired me to a Head Coach of a Varsity swim team that was in just its second year of existence. At no time did I ever think we would get to season number 25.

The thoughts running through my head after being hired were that of “this cannot be too hard” and “coaching girls should be a piece of cake”.¬† After the first meet, which was a 61-108 beat down from Catholic Memorial at Carroll College, reality set it.217728_1006594377352_6624_n

Coaching has brought so many great people into my life and my families lives that it is almost unthinkable of what we could be doing if I did not have my “fun” job. The memories, both in and out of the pool, are nothing we would trade away. With 26 different coaches on staff and 406 athletes with 32 sets of siblings, the memories are a full spectrum. But lets try to remember a couple of fun ones……

Bridget and Annie coming to see me in the hospital after knee surgery, Michelle writing breathe on the palm of her hand, having reversible suits and switching them from Black to Red after warmups were over, Amy’s Dad coming to the Parent Meeting with a slip of paper with her times on it and asking me if she would be on Varsity, Christy winning the 100 Breast from lane 1 to win every event at the Private School Championships, all the years staying at the Wendrick’s compound for State, Heather getting Mono, the 3 Monkeys as freshman, Myers’ transferring in, one word IceBerg, AVS making it to the podium for diving, girls missing practice for – wait for it – Hunters Safety, Coach Kris’ laugh, Emily going to Harvard, awesome ornaments from Ms. Paintbrush, Smet anchoring a relay at State that set a school record, Tisa eating before all of her big races, being a Confirmation sponsor for Mel and for Alison, have one season with 2 Lauras and a Lauren along with 2 Megans a Meghan and 2 Stephanies, then telling Peggy I was leaving.¬† That was the first 16 years.

10171670_10154846110140338_8571256155682633930_nThen it has been Pineapple Relay, Mean Girls, Molly Pop, Franchise, striped pants, a season with three Jessicas a Jamie, Jillian and a Jordon, Friendship Box, not understanding how big Band is in Waukesha, Alumni Meets, Brianna’s awesome Gatorade bottle throwing skills, the new scoreboard, Swim-a-Pooloza, new work out boards, college signings, 4 Athletic directors, now all the way to coaching my own kid.

Laughed a bunch as I was typing these.  They are in the front of my mind like they happened yesterday. Yet in the same breath there are so many people that we should thank for being part of an awesome ride up to this point.

Thanks to Michelle and Team Bedalov for making it all possible.¬† A great, solid family behind the coach makes a big difference.¬† A coach’s wife is never an easy job. In the early years, the kids came to everything. They associated things by what the pools looked like.

Thanks to Peggy for taking a chance and hiring me back in 1991 and to Dan for doing the same in 2007.

Thanks to the three employers that believed in helping the community as much as they did.  Pat, Joe and Paul at River Run Computers.  Howard and Diane at Cooper Power Systems.  And Steve and Pat at BPI Color.

Thanks to all of the awesome families that have been supportive, have invited us into their lives away from the pool, invited us to their kids weddings, and have hosted so many team dinners.

Starting year 25…not done yet. There is still a ton of things to accomplish and memories to create.

 


The Way Social Media should Work

There are a number of reasons to use Social Media. And as some of my non believing friends will remind me, there is no reason they will ever use it. Let me present a case to you where Social Media is great in an industry that is often criticized for poor custom service.

On Fathers Day I had to travel to Novi for a work training trip. Except for missing my family, the trip was going great. Learned a great deal on a new software product, picked up some local flavor in a small restaurant have a local beer.

My return was on Tuesday. Flight from Detroit to Chicago and then the connection back to Milwaukee. 7:11PM departure from Detroit getting back to Milwaukee around 9:42 with the transfer.

IMG_4558Then a text came in from United Airlines while we were finishing up training: Your 7:11pm flight to Chicago is delayed due to awaiting aircraft.  UA3617 now departs Detroit 9:30PM and arrives 9:54pm.  Problem now is that I am going to miss my connection. This text came in around 3:45.  My ride to the airport was coming to pick me up in 45 minutes, and I was still in the training class.

The driver from All Star Transportation was great. He picked up me and another guy on time.  The other guy was going ot Kansas. I get in the car and I get another text from United that my flight is not leaving at 10:06 and getting to Chicago at 10:30PM.

This is when I jumped on Twitter.

I send a status update to @United. Within 5 minutes a Twitter Ticket Agent responded. I made up TTA, not sure that is what they are really called. My guess is that the scenario I described happens all the time, and that a heavy client centric company like an airline figured out that this is a great way to further service the clients. Create some new positions, and people do not need to wait on hold on the phone for hours.

Agent ^EY from United was able to have me re booked on a different airline in my 45 minute traffic filled ride from Novi to the Detroit airport.  Now all I needed to do was to take a shuttle from the United terminal to the Delta terminal. In Detroit they are about a 10 minute shuttle ride away.

Made it home on a non-stop flight on Delta at 7:54PM a good two hours ahead of my originally scheduled flight. Social Media and excellent Customer Service the way it is suppose to work.


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