I did it for the Story
When people find out that I spend a huge amount of my time outside of work coaching American Football, one of the common questions I get asked, is 'how did you get involved in that?' And it's a very reasonable question for someone who lives in Scotland and whose youth was not exactly peppered with sporting achievements! Sure, there was that time I scored the winner for our HR department against Brodies Solicitors back in 2008, or the time I scythed down a teacher in a pupils vs teachers football match, but I don't like to brag about those!
The truth is, when I first dipped a toe in the American Football pond, I did it for the story! I was a 22 year old student, having just graduated and spending a year as an elected student officer, and I'd made a promise to a member of the University AF team three years before that I'd give the sport a go. I had long loved watching it and so I decided I'd fulfil my promise to a friend and while I was doing it, write a series of articles for the University paper on my experiences as a rookie. And no matter what happened, good or bad, playing American Football in Scotland would be a good story and I absolutely LOVE stories! Hearing them, telling them, making them up for the entertainment of my daughter. There's something magical about stories; from meeting someone new and finding out about the journey that brought them into your life, to sitting with friends and telling the same well-worn, dog-eared tales from your past that grow with each telling and cast you all back to the glory days of yore.
Well like so many great stories, this one grew and grew. One season of winter University football, became a season of summer Senior League football, which became a second year, and a third, ultimately becoming eight seasons as a player, as well as two years as Chairman of the team and ten as Treasurer! Before my playing years ended, I was encouraged to try coaching, which to that point I'd had ZERO interest in. But it would help a friend out, and it'd give me another story and, lo and behold, I fell in love with it! And so three years of coaching University American Football, was followed by three years coaching Senior, then four years of Junior and now I'm the assistant Head Coach for GB Mens team and the HC for Scotland U19s. But coaching changed me in other ways too. After three years of coaching sport, I saw a job advertised at the bank which would let me take that experience and passion into the workplace. I applied, got offered the job in the interview and I never looked back. My career blossomed and my life changed forever.
All for a story.
So as the year opens up before you, what stories are waiting out there for you to write? What opportunities are there to do something different? Maybe something you've always wanted to do, but never let yourself. Maybe something you've always feared and never pushed yourself to overcome. Maybe it's time you write yourself a new story.