If you’re alive, you’re blessed (a thank you)

?#GoodFriday teaches us that Life is not life until you embrace the struggle and rise up from what was designed to bury you.? ?@Master_Noel

As my 28th birthday approaches I’ve been a bit consumed with nostalgic thoughts, embracing lessons learned in my short lifetime.? Honestly – I don’t think I actually started living, I mean really living until the last decade, which is why I say short. I was alive; but I wasn’t awake, I wasn’t alert, and I most definitely wasn’t in the least bit enlightened, that?s obvious to me now. I was living mostly for myself, without an idea of my true impact or importance in and on the world, regardless of how relatively acute that is. I lived without an awareness of my ?connectedness? to the world, to everything and everyone I came across. But then everything came to an abrupt stop and my life began to slowly change.

You never know what day will be your last. That is a thought that goes through my head every day, a constant reminder to be my best, do my best and appreciate everything, everyone and every opportunity I get. One of the most accomplished and healthiest men I know died at the age of 63. Thinking of my pops can get me going in a magnitude of directions but while standing on the field coaching my high school alma mater’s boys lacrosse varsity and junior varsity teams and now the U11 Chaos Lacrosse Club team I can’t help but think about and be thankful for the opportunities my parents provided me growing up, especially with the opportunity to play lacrosse.

In 2000 when I started playing lacrosse it was new in the region and most schools in the area didn?t have enough players to field an entire team. It was an unknown, intriguing and exciting sport for many making its way up slowly from the south. My first year playing, as a freshman in high school, I was one of 5 Central athletes on a mixed regional team in York County comprised of Central, Suburban and York Catholic. It was fun and I?m thankful for that because the learning curve was a bit of a struggle at first. Lacrosse is not a cheap sport either and being new to the area the closest lacrosse store (LAXWorld) was about a 40 minute trip to Timonium, MD. As a club sport it puts the full burden of lacrosse expenses on the parents of the players. There wasn?t a booster club to offset any costs for equipment, field time and referees and the school wasn?t supporting a new sport that only a few students were pursuing.

To see how lacrosse has grown in York County from 2000 to 2014 to put it simply is remarkable. To be involved at the level I am now at Central York and with Chaos is incredible. We used to have to change into our uniforms and equipment at whatever barely maintained grass fields we could lock down that could either be covered in snow or in a disheveled swamp status. Now lacrosse is a PIAA School Sport, these kids have locker rooms to change in, dry turf fields with concession stands and fans who understand the game! Central also has a winning program thanks largely in part to the current head coach, Tom Mayne, and the work he has put in at the junior and high school levels over the years, in my four years we were lucky to get one or two wins a season. It was tough, but the joy was in playing the game (we weren?t expected to win while we were a team that the majority was consistently first year players as the sport kept growing, doubling our players with the interest from Central athletes each year). I?m coaching one of two U11 club teams and these kids are good, like really good, its mind blowing! I can only imagine the opportunities that these kids will have who are going through these programs now in their futures. To see the fun and joy that these kids have, if only I could put it eloquently enough for you to understand. Truth is, I would rather keep that to myself, as anyone else who has coached youth programs I?m sure already knows, it?s personal ? find out for yourself πŸ˜‰ .

Coaching lacrosse is truly a blessing, a blessing that got its roots planted in me over a decade ago. I owe all the gratitude and thanks in the world for this happiness in my life to the opportunities provided by my mom and dad. Which brings me to the thoughts that I have while standing on the field coaching: When an opportunity exists, it is your choice to seize it or to let it pass. It is your choice, no one else?s, you have the power, you are in control, take it or leave it – but don?t expect it to hang around waiting for you. Opportunities sometimes only exist for mere moments. That is life; life is quick, life is good, but life doesn?t wait for anyone or anything. Stay positive, nothing truly good is ever tremendously easy.

The older I get, the more I understand that it?s just as important to create opportunity for others when possible. You really have no idea how much an opportunity can grow into something beautiful for someone else when they chose to seize it. Provide graciously and stay humble, you will be provided everything you need.

So I thank you mom and I thank you pops, I can?t ever thank you enough for all of the wonderful opportunities you?ve provided me. Some have been struggles but with your love and support I?ve never let them bury me and I am really getting to know what Life is about… I love you. <3

As you are mine, your number one Fan

-JDE

2 thoughts on “If you’re alive, you’re blessed (a thank you)”

  1. Wow…powerful reflections. Tears in my eyes as I remember just how much Dad loved you and how proud he was of you. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, talents and spirit–yet more reasons to love & be proud of you. You are making a difference in this world, not just for friends & family, but for young people in our community and cancer patients everywhere. Making the world a better, happier place. That’s what it’s all about.
    Piu che puoi…love you always, Justin.

  2. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has
    some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *