Why do you feel so entitled?

This slogan came from my good friend Mark Gemmill

This slogan came from my good friend Mark Gemmill

Sitting on our back deck listening to some good rock & roll drinking a beer is how this one will start so you can expect only the best from this guy. This week has been no different than any other except for those two parents that I had to deal with after each of my games Tuesday and Thursday. It is always something. This week in the journal of a completely average person: running, entitlement, yelling and eating at home, not in that particular order.

My wife is a worried about money like Steve Jobs stole good ideas and made them look sexier. We have moved back to Birmingham and our mortgage is less than Austin, but there are more taxes. To make Emily look great here, I get $100/month to do with as I please and she handles the rest. So I am little to no help about our finances. I have a job and will work very hard to make money, she knew that when she married me. I do have some very interesting views on money and that will be another typing session. The reason we were spending so much money was we were eating out A LOT! (I used the capital letters for emphasis) She looked at our budget and guess what, that is a huge expense. Who would have thought? Well I am sure most of you did, but come on this is me. So we have made a major effort to eat at home every night. I started this writing exercise to help me with my demon of too much food and eating terribly bad food for me. Well to say the least this has helped. I can even say that on game nights I take a lunch and something to eat before the game and haven’t eaten out in quite some time. Not to mention cooking at home we know what is in our food because Em and I have taken a liking to reading labels and not putting crap in our bodies too often. Point for my wonderful wife who puts up with me!

Lets get to the parents, ready, GO! After my game on Tuesday, which we won, a parent took his child away from the team after I had told my team to pick up all the chairs and clean the gym after our game. I found out the student had left and went after him in the parking lot- I can tell you now that was a monumentally bad decision. I go out into the parking lot and call the young man’s name. His father is there with him and I proceed to tell him that he needs to have his son come in and help the other players. We started yelling back and forth and in the words of Ron Burgundy, “That escalated quickly”. I was in the wrong for yelling and trust me my principal let me know that after I came back into the gym, in a very stern way. My problem was that he was teaching his child bad sportsmanship and that is one thing I cannot tolerate. So I thought all Tuesday night, called the parent Wednesday morning and apologized. We have since smoothed things out. So round 2 was when a parent came up to me after the game Thursday night and said the words that I have learned to hate, “My I talk to you about my son?” Not that it is bad, but we had just beaten a team we lost to two weeks earlier by 11 points. It was an intense game and adrenaline was coursing through my veins. He wanted to know why his son did not get into the game. You may not believe this, but I make many mistakes. The one thing that I pride myself on is that I try my best not to make the same mistakes twice, that is a tenant I live by. So the father and I discuss for a couple of minutes and he starts to not like my answers because his son did not play. I remained calm getting angry, but not raising my voice. He drops, “You’re a loser” on me. I am floored and he walks off. I turn and say, “What did you say?” and he said it again and left. He comes back in 2 minutes later complaining about something else and my assistant coach takes him outside. I am a forgiving guy and I actually picked his child 1st for my team, but not because of his natural ability, but his drive and heart which are much more important to me as a coach than talent. I had always said that I would never coach my children and I now know why. The thing that amazes me is that people that watch their children think that someone who does this for a career is not looking out for the best interests of the team. Now all I have ever ask of my teams is that they work hard, hustle, and get better after every practice and game. So far my team had done that, we started 1-5 and now we are 3-5 after this week. They are working harder and not making as many mistakes and I could not be more proud of these young men. They make coaching a great thing. Thank you to all my players from the bottom of my heart.

Now last but not least is the running thing. I really only have time right now to run on the weekends. I have run many races and started running after seeing my father-in-law, Papa Sock, run the D.C. marathon. I right then and there vowed I wanted to run a marathon. I was smoking cigarettes at the time, living in NYC, and not in the least bit healthy. I picked up at the gym on a treadmill and the 1st time on it barely ran a 1/4 mile without wanting to die. I think that I coughed a large amount of tar out that I had been storing since I was about 15. I kept to it and it got better. I got up to 3 miles on the treadmill, because it was winter in NYC and it is freaking cold! Then I decided I needed to get on the open road and test out my new hobby. I hit the street and it hit back hard. I realized very quickly that running on a treadmill was something that moved your feet and did not stay stationary. The road was not as generous or forgiving. I kept to it and within 2 years ran the NYC marathon. I say all so that you can understand I picked up a habit and it has stuck. I fall in and out of running, but it has hit me with a vengeance of junkie needing their next fix. I took off yesterday and did 1.35 miles pushing my son Porter at an 8:45/mile pace. Now to put that in perspective I ran my marathon in a 10:30/mile pace. I vowed to myself that I would push to be under 9:00. I took off today and did 1.95 miles and it was at a 8:30/mile pace! I am fraking happy! So now a little confidence is hopefully going to go a long way.

Papa Sock, my father-in-law, and I decided to run a 5k in April sometime. I am looking for a personal best. I run with Saucony Hattori and the inside say and I quote, “I live to run”!

Well I have been long winded and a little self-indulgent so thank you for you time. I need this for therapy. It is cheaper than paying $300/hr to a shrink. I have no idea why you are reading, so may God have mercy on your soul. I hear that someone’s pain is another’s entertainment. Pain is not a common theme, but bare with me I am being brutally honest and it will come. All I have to say is love one another and make mistakes, just learn from them.

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2 Responses to Why do you feel so entitled?

  1. Cheryl Cummings says:

    Erik… I love reading your blogs ! Don’t stop writing them !! Love you and your sweet little family very much !!! See you soon !!

  2. Jeff says:

    When you work with kids there will always be parents you can’t get on your side. The best you can do is be professional and not let them impact the team/group you are working with. The level of selfishness with many parents today is disheartening.

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