Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hero Highlight #3- Quincy Lewis

When I was a little boy, I remember wanting to be just like my dad when I grew up. I wanted to play collegiate basketball, have big feet (I used to clump around in his shoes when he'd get home), have a family, work on the computer (because that's what cool people do), and build stuff.

When basketball became a focal point for me, I was a young, highly-energetic child that said dumb things constantly, and acted the fool. When I finally hit the ground running with hoops, I was in 7th grade, and then it was all uphill from there.

That's where I met Coach Quincy Lewis. Quincy is a guy that amazes me on so many levels. He's the type of person that after you've learned who he is, and where he's come from, you want to be just like him. He's a man of sincere integrity, who got knocked around a little, and because of that he became a leader, a powerful leader, who won't compromise values for any reason, and who stands up when things breach those boundaries.

I've learned so many great life lessons from Coach. He would always be sure to use basketball as a catalyst to help us become great people. I think a lot of people forget that basketball isn't going to be there forever. That athletics end at some point. He made sure that basketball was the tool, not the cause of everything, and then expected our best, and that's why we were 3-time state champs while I was playing under his direction.

Coach Lewis is one of my best friends, as well. When I came home from my mission, he was one of the first to visit me, first to talk to me, first to ask what he could do, first to help me through the road ahead. He constantly talked to me, made me feel like I was worth something to someone. He also made me feel like everything was fine. Helped me understand that life isn't about doing what everyone else wants you to do, it's about accomplishing what you can with what you've been given.

Through this whole school change process, he's been there throughout, giving me advice, help, and understanding at every corner. He was actively there, helping me to understand what the options would provide, and teaching me how to make a decision, and then he rode with me through every bump and corner.

I don't mean it to sound over-the-top, or anything like that, I just really appreciate everything that coach has done for me. I could go on about the support, love, and kindness he's shown over the years, but it's not needed. He's just an incredible guy.

There are very few people that I respect more than Quincy Lewis. He is my hero, and I am so glad that he has been such an incredible role model for me in my life.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leadership Camp Day 2

I sit here at the desk we've made for me in the gym of the space center amongst a ton of campers playing mafia. There is a lot of good story-telling going on in here, and a lot of people cheering as they kill each other. Almost comical.

Today has been fairly entertaining. A couple of stories that I thought deserved a mention.

1) We had a phone call from the bridge crew to main computer control. I answered the phone as a 40 year smoker. I whined about the captain interrupting my smoke break, and then told them that it wasn't my department anyway, and passed the phone to Megan, calling her the name of a moderately annoying human being as I passed the phone to her.
       Megan answered the phone like a scared deer, her character had no idea what was going on. Then she said she was passing off to bob, and Bob (Matt R.). Matt had no idea what was going on, but was supposed to be the character that knew what was happening in computer control. When we finally rebooted the computer (which came as a surprise to Bob), Matt pulls his hand back in 'gangsta' fashion, and yells, "we done did it yo" as I fell out of the chair laughing. Yes, you probably had to be there, but it was the greatest thing ever.

2) Jon Parker went off of the diving board with me at the pool with the campers tonight. When he went off of the diving board with me, he slipped while running to his jump, and fell right into a belly flop. But the best part of that whole ordeal was that Jon's face as he fell to the water had a look of absolute alarm, horror, and fear. His eyes wide, his mouth open, and the crashing sound of a flop. It was hilarious.

Connor today wearing his pakled costume was wonderful. If I can find a picture, I will post it for you, but he had sparkly clothing all over, and all sorts of chocolate smeared across his face. He was clutching a chocolate bar, and a Dr. Seuss animal that made me laugh. His face was priceless, and he was magnificent.

Today was worth a few good laughs. One more day...


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lesson I Wish I Had Learned Years Ago

Last year, I looked at the task of directing a camp, and I thought- 'this is cake, and I am sure I could do this'. This year, I lay here on my giant queen size mattress at the Space Center, and wonder what the hell I've gotten myself into.

This last week has been an absolute roller coaster with preparing for this camp. I guess they said it best when they said 'when it rains, it pours'. I got bombarded with changing schools, and trying to figure out what's best there, and working to take care of things left undone at Fresno, and then trying to organize this camp, and whatever other drama exists. The camp that I had prepared wasn't ready to go the way that it should have been, and we ran into a problem- my co-workers weren't wanting to deal with that lack of preparation, and when my boss brought that to my attention, gears had to shift.

I've spent over 100 hours in a room about 20 feet long, and 8 feet wide, writing on a white board, and whatever window space I could find in there trying to make up a leadership camp. I slowly realized that I was inadequate in so many ways. Who am I to try and teach leadership. I have no clout, no position, no power. I make more mistakes than the average human being. I didn't know what I was doing exactly. While spending those hours of time, trying to make this camp, something magical happened- all of my co-workers came to my aid. And this was without being paid. People came out of the woodwork to help make this thing go. I've never in all my years here seen people come to anyone's rescue like they have me.

I learned a great lesson from this experience. That lesson is that true leadership is leading by example, stepping up when someone else isn't, and doing what needs to be done before it needs done. So many of my co-workers have jumped both feet in to help this thing get through. Their ideas, their imaginations, and their drive made it possible to accomplish the goals that we have. I have never felt so blessed to be surrounded by the people that I am. What a great place to be, and how grateful I am to them. You have all taught me what it actually means to be a leader by the way you have been leading for the time running up to this camp.

That's all for tonight. I haven't slept in 3 days. I am tired, and I have 2 more very long days that have to be filled with my energy.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why I chose BYUH, and Thanks to y'all in Fresno

A lot of questions have been thrown my way regarding the decision making process of BYU Hawaii, so I figured I'd walk through them with everyone that was interested.

I was originally being recruited by several junior colleges, and then on board jumped U of U, and BYUH. After a lot of prayer, and meditation, I decided that those two schools were on the top of my list, and that the decision would be between those schools.

I was very excited about the U of U option. It was close to home, which would not only allow me to have my family right in the vicinity of the school, but have my values at the very least better understood. I was excited to also be close to my friends, and those people that I've established relationships with near home. However, when push came to shove, I wanted to have the opportunity to play for championships, and win games, and go to a school where I was with people who were expected to have similar standards to the ones that I choose to live by.

This is in no way a cheap shot, or an attack to anyone. The guys in Fresno were as classy as they come, and they will become successful very quickly under the leadership of Coach Terry- and I believe the same for the U of U squad under the leadership of Coach K. But, call me crazy, living in Hawaii, playing for championships, and being part of the success just seems more appealing to me than doing the rebuilding bit. I will admit that I love to win, and that is what I want to do.

So, the decision was made to go to BYUH. It will be a change, it will be very far from home- but I know that I will be in a great environment, with the resources I need to handle any anxiety or depression issues that may arise, and great teammates, coaches, and church members to help with it as well.

I couldn't be more grateful to the people in Fresno for their support, and the things that they did for the team collectively, and me individually. As frustrating as the season may have been looking at the record, it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot, and really loved the Bulldog fans. I couldn't be more grateful for how well I was accepted by the community, and the positive feedback I received. I hope that there will be a day when I can somehow give that same positive emotion to someone, and pay it forward. Thanks to all of you.

I'm excited for the future. I don't know exactly where it will send me, and I don't know the plan. I know that I trust God's guiding hand to push me forward through whatever comes up, and I know that I am going to make the best of everything ahead.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Last Few Weeks

Well, it's been a while. Work has been insane, plus the fact that I've been trying to decide where I ought to go to school, and the variables that come from all of these things.

So, I have made a decision for school. I'm going to Brigham Young University Hawaii. I decided that it was the place that would give me the best opportunity, and allow me to be what I want to be. It sounds quite exciting to me, and I can't wait to spend the next three years in Hawaii.

I'm slowly learning a lesson, one that is purchased at high cost; and that is the one where saying anything comes back to eat you. I have a trait that I've picked up- I'm not sure where, but it does cause a lot of issues, and has for many years.

I have a diarrhea of the mouth issue. I tend to share my thoughts and opinions about anything and everything with the world. Whether it be about something inanimate, or animate. Something real, or not. The largest problem comes when I share my thoughts or feelings about another human's actions in some way. This time it cost me good, and I feel awful about it. But... I suppose that I can only chalk it up on the board of lessons learned, and move on.

Leadership camp for the center is coming up here in the next week, and I am getting amped for it. It's going to be awesome! Hopefully it rocks everyone's socks, and makes everyone happy inside :P One can hope.

There it is. The first post in a long time. I'll try to be more faithful.


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Thought of the Day

Billy arrived at work this morning, aspiring for the day that he'd get the promotion of his dreams.