Tag Archives: sports

Food is Ready

I’m hungry.  And I’m really tired too.

Picture this scenario.  I’m alone in my house for the next hour or so.  The children are off doing their after school sports things.  My wife will be picking them up later, so I have a chunk of time to do whatever I feel like doing.  I choose to warm up some leftover macaroni and cheese from the refrigerator.  I pop it into the microwave and hit the appropriate buttons.  You know ones—the buttons that lead to the outer ring of noodles becoming a crispy scalding tongue branding little pile of hot pokers while leaving the inner pile of food near the same temperature as the inside of the refrigerator.

Two minutes.  Go.  That seems like a very long time since I’m just so tired.  I’ll just lie down on the couch and wait for the microwave to yell out its series of beeps letting me know that the food is now ready to be vigorously stirred in order to bring the whole pile of cheesy noodles to a nice lukewarm temperature.  My couch is calling me.  It’s in the living room.  I can see it from the microwave.  My home’s floor plan is laid out in with a wide open kitchen connected to the living room.  I can see and hear the microwave from the couch.  I’m going to rest until my food is ready.

I fell asleep in less than a minute and a half!  Unbelievable!  What an awesome super human power I possess.  Captain Sleepyhead at your service—ready to defend the rights of everyday sleepy humans spanning the globe.

I know I was fully asleep because the three long blasts of beeps from the microwave startled me awake.  My microwave was just a bit too happy to remind me that I was trying to feed my body and satisfy my hunger needs.  “Beep, Beep, Beep.  Um, sir?  I said Beep three times in a row.  Did you not hear me?  I finished petrifying the outer ring of noodles just the way you asked.  Hello?  Are you coming to get it now?”

I’m not so hungry now that my mind and body was fully lost to dreamland.  Forget it microwave.  Never mind.  I’ll visit you later.  I’m glad you understand.  I’m going to fall down into sleepy world once again.  I’ll bet this time I can achieve the complete state of sleep in under twenty seconds.  I’m just that talented.

Two more minutes pass by and the microwave expresses its desire to inform the world that it has completed its task like a good little microwave should.  This time the microwave chooses to simply issue a short simple beep.

“Beep!”  This tiny extra declaration that ‘food is ready’ is enough to wake me again from my deep slumber. Why, oh why, did I start the microwave?  I regret my actions with every fiber of my existence.  Oh my dear microwave, please understand that I no longer have the energy and ambition to tend to your pleading.

Two more minutes pass.  “Beep!”  Wow.  How do I keep falling asleep so fast?  Hey microwave, I know the food is done.  I know the food is still inside you.  You don’t see the refrigerator constantly telling me that it has food inside of it.  Quiet down.  The refrigerator doesn’t abuse its voice unless you leave the door open.  Your microwave door is closed.  So just relax.

“Beep!”  Has it been another two minutes already?  I’d get up and push the cancel button, but I think I turned into a zombie.  A really sleepy zombie—not the eat-your-face type.  More like an almost-dead twice zombie.  A re-fried zombie.

“Beep!”  Oh no, not again!  Someone help me, I’m trapped in an endless cycle of a barbaric self-imposed sleep deprivation torture scheme.  I think this is worse than water boarding.

“Beep!”  Dear Jesus, would you please intervene and cause a brief power outage in my neighborhood?  It only has to last long enough to reset the microwave.  Please?  I’ll sign up to sing with the choir.  I promise.

“Beep!”  Whoa!  This time I was dreaming that I was hearing the microwave pleading its case, “Mr. Sleepy, you just have to get up and eat your food.  I can’t store this plate in here.  The food will go bad.  I’m not a refrigerator.  Oh dear, what shall I do?  Beep!  Come on, I said Beep.  Pretty Beep?  Oh please, someone help me!  Beep!”

“Beep!”  Hey microwave!  Stop beeping!  I know my food is ready!  Can’t you see that I just don’t care anymore?  I’m sleeping!  Nothing ever bad has come from leaving food in the microwave after the heating has completed!  Why did the microwave people design this endless series of beeps?  Who was it?  I hate you microwave designer guy!

At this point I was jolted from sleep by the sound of the garage door going up.  My wife and kids were home.  In my sleepy stupor, I sprang to my feet to welcome them home—and to deny that I was napping.

“Hi everyone!  Welcome home!”

“Beep!”

“Oh hey look.  I just finished making dinner for all of us.”

Beep!  Buy my books.  Beep!

Rah Rah Rah

Throughout the ages, individuals that participate and excel in sports have always been completely dedicated to their training and preparation.  A good coach will not only push their athletes into top physical form, but will ensure that the athlete’s mind is also focused like a laser on the challenge ahead.

My boys are currently participating in the cross-country program of their school.  They have a good coach.  He pushes them hard during practices to build their stamina, but he also sets their mind right just before a big race.

“You have to focus on your passing.  Put all of the trash in your head aside.  Anything negative that affected your day is now irrelevant.  Focus one hundred percent of your mind on getting the next pass.  Unless you are in first place, your mind shall be focused on the very next pass!”

Hollywood has shown us some inspiring coaches.  There have been many scenes depicting a coach’s rally of his football team.  That plot and story line has been ingrained in our minds about four billion times over now.  It’s time to move on Hollywood.  Find a new plot already.

I have a niece that is into the sport of “cheering”.  She is about twelve years old and is thoroughly enjoying cheerleading.  I was wondering how the coaches of a cheerleading team prepare their squad for the big game.  What does a cheerleading coach say to their team to motivate them to motivate a crowd?  How do you motivate the motivators?

“Alright you screaming bunch of girls, I want to see total focus out there today.  I want to see each and every one of you delivering the cheer of your life.  I want your voices to carry to the top of the bleachers.  I want smiles plastered ear to ear on each and every one of your faces.  I want to be able to look out into that crowd and see the both the young and the old smiling, clapping, and cheering along with us like they don’t have a care in the world!”

In some sports, the participants will play through a nagging injury.  I don’t think these people are heroes, but if their coach are relying on them and he calls them into the play, they do it.  They run in and give it their all.  What happens when a cheerleader is jolted with bad news just before a big game?  No different than a football player with a sore elbow, or a cross-country runner with sore legs, a cheerleader will just have to set that pain aside and push through and deliver the well rehearsed game plan.

“Coach, I am really depressed today.  My dog was run over by a car.  He was flattened like a pancake.  He died just hours ago.”

“Suck it up little missy.  This is homecoming—the biggest game of the year!  Now put a smile on the face and let’s get out there and cheer with everything you have.”

What if your team is cheering against a team with a dog for a mascot?  For example, there are a lot of teams with the “bull dog” mascot.

“Rah Rah!  Push them back!  Push them back!  Crush those dogs!”

The smile on the cheerleader begins to falter, until she reaches deep and remembers that her fellow cheerleaders are counting on her.  The crowd needs her!  She is a well trained cheering machine!  She cracks out a new smile even bigger than before.  Dedication!  Performance!

And with the biggest of smiles on her face she screams, “Pound those dogs into the ground!”

And the crowd goes wild!

At the next sporting event that you attend, look for the cheerleader masking her pain of the day.  Which one of them is cheering with a heavy burden weighing on their heart?  If their coach was doing their job right, you won’t be able to tell which cheerleader just arrived from a funeral.

Rah Rah! Buy my book!  It’s not too expensive.  Just have a look!
(a cheerleader, I am not)

Boy of Summer

My son had his first baseball game of the Fall League.  This particular league is very informal.  All the rules are followed, of course, but this season of ball can be used to explore other positions that the players may want to try.  A couple of innings in the outfield, a couple on third base, maybe he’ll pitch an inning here or there.

The team we were playing had just enough players to play the game—nine, for those of you who need a baseball lesson.  During one of the inning changes my son jogged in from the outfield because it was now his team’s turn at bat.  I watched him kick around the dugout, drink some water, and then jog back out to the play left field!  Oh no!  What is he doing?  How embarrassing for him.  What a bizarre mistake to make.  He was standing in the outfield with the other team!  Clearly the heat was getting to him making him go crazy.

I started flailing my arms like a crazy man trying to get his attention.  It appeared to him that I was trying to coach from the sidelines and tell where to stand.  He moved over a couple of feet and gave me the thumbs-up sign.  I so wanted him to sprint back to the dugout to avoid the ridicule that was no doubt coming.  I ran over to the coach and whispered in a frantic kind of way, “Coach!  Logan is in left field!”

“He is alright.  The other team had a player that had to leave early and their coach asked to borrow one of our players.  Logan was the first to volunteer.  I like his enthusiasm.”

Whew.  That’s way better.  I thought I was raising a baseball loser-freak for a minute there.

The coach added, “As I was sending him out there, he stopped, turned around, and asked me if he should try his best, or drop anything hit to him.”  That’s my son—the team player.  As it turned out, he almost threw out one of his teammates at home plate.  The ball was just a fraction of a second too late.  Maybe he held it just long enough to purposely miss the out.  Just maybe.

Buy my book, coach.  I’m ready to play.