April 06, 2010
January 18, 2008 -
Well, another week is upon us, and another week is behind us. Pretty soon we'll be around Christmas time again and wondering what we are going to do next year. I myself don't know where I will be in a year, what I will be doing, who I will be with, and overall where my life will be going. I think of this as a good quality. I don't want to change that. I've changed before to accommodate others but in the end when that was over it was the best damn thing to happen to me. I think this quality brings spontaneity into my life and tells me to go for it every single day.
I honestly can't wait to do something on the side that really makes me happy. For the longest time that was going to Stars games with my friends and enjoying their company and banter as we watched the Stars win from time to time. I had the great opportunity to take my family to their very first NHL hockey game.
My little brother Lance came in from Conway, Arkansas where he goes to school for the weekend. He came into town and did a few things with his old friends from school but mostly hung out at the house and played Guitar Hero and watched TV (while eating his favorite Cinnamon rolls). But that Monday night he came down with my mom and other younger brother Sean to go to the Stars vs. Wild game. When the lights went down and the heavy metal music started with the hits and the goals, I could definitely see their eyes light up. It's something I had my first game; and they helped me see it again. My favorite part of that intro is when they show some hits and then freeze it right as the players collide and you have big bass drum KICK right as it happens. I feel like punching the guy behind me I get so pumped up!
But like I was saying I saw that little glimmer of excitement in their eyes watching their first game of the Stars. And for me I still get excited when I see the Stars play, but now I am moving down to something that I feel will get that excitement in my eyes again. I am going to start playing ice hockey with all of my friends. I will be playing on the same sheet of ice as all of my favorite Stars players (Hagman, Ribeiro, Jokinen, Miettinen, and all of my favorite Finnish players).
I just recently bought most of my gear and just need a few more items to get before I'm all set. But this will help me get back into my competitive zone.
For the longest time I played baseball. I was barely old enough to run and I remember playing third base as a kid. I was the only kid on the entire team that could throw a baseball from third base to first base with some sort of accuracy and actually get it there. I played baseball from age 5 all through my senior year in high school. My mom and my dad especially were always there for me to give me support along the way.
A few things stand out in my mind though: One instance was my dad playing "Your Simply The Best" by Tina Turner on the way to the game to "supposedly" get me fired up. Basically all it did was make me want to put on a shiny sparkly dress and dance and shake. Then I can remember when I was about 16 I made the All-Star team that year (even more games after the post-season tourney). And they handed out a stat sheet for all of the players. I remember scanning over the batting averages over all of the players and seeing my name at the top with a .658 batting average and not really thinking anything of it until a few other players asked around to see who Justin M was.
Another memory that sticks out was the final day of baseball for me. My family had just recently moved down to a smaller 4A school in Arkansas and I was trying out for the baseball team there. I continued to wear my 5A Fort Smith Southside baseball cap during their practices to show them and make sure they could pick me out of the crowd (it was a baby blue fitted cap with a cardinal red FS on the front). I tried out for a good 6 weeks and went through all of the drills required to be on the team. I didn't really make or want any friends at school in that time and seeing as most of the baseball players already knew each other, I was an unknown outsider.
On the final day of the practice they were to post the starting roster for the team on the football building doors. After sixth period I remember going into the boys locker room to change before the practice started and I sat there for a good long while just thinking.
Now that I look back on it, it could have probably been part of a movie. I couldn't get my cleats on. I couldn't, or I wouldn't. I don't know. But my baseball practice uniform never made it out of the bag that day and I just went home. I never found out if I made the baseball team there. It was just over. I said it was over. I never heard from the coach after that like they wanted me, so I guess they didn't need me "that" bad.......
But now I found something to keep me competitive - ice hockey. Something that I'm not good at, something that I can't just go out on the field and immediately make plays like I've always done on the baseball diamond. I've played baseball for most of my life and to get back out there on the MINI softball gatherings was incredible. I pushed myself so hard that day that I puked behind the Boston's pizza place in a dumpster. Now I will be going out there on the ice with no experience whatsoever. I will be that innocent little five year old once again. Hopefully I will find my talent out there on the ice, and will be put in the right position accordingly. My height may have changed over the years, but my competitive edge is still there and I still can drink the crap out of those Kool-Aid squeezables. I just can't wait to play again and have my dad out there in the stands for one more game. That will make me smile.
Sadly I don't know if that last part is going to happen. I don't know if my dad will be able to watch me play. Now don't go thinking that he is going to die or is dead or something, but I have just recently heard word that my family is moving yet again. Nashville, Tennessee is the place, but they are going without me this time. The change in my life is looking like it is going to be forced on me.
I have made Dallas my home now. I have found an incredible group of friends that I now have the choice of being a part of or leaving behind. I really don't feel like I have seen everything there is to see in Dallas. Sure, I could go out there and be a Nashville Predators fan for their hockey, and see greats like Sidney Crosby come through on a regular basis and whoop ass, but I feel like I have too much here to leave behind. All of the moves that my family has made in the past has benefited me in so many ways and has gotten me to where I am today. I wouldn't ever want to change that. But I just don't think I can do another one at this point in my life.
When you grow older you do certain things in your life and slowly but surely those things start to weed off your friends. Just look at my parents? They hardly have any adult friends here in Texas. It's hard to make friends as an adult. So why would I want to lose the ones that I have made already? I've just got some great avenues to take my life here in big D and I don't want to leave them behind. So if you are still reading I hope you enjoyed my little update. I don't usually post blogs very often, but when I do they are massive.
Posted by Justin McCullough at 3:22 PM