Part 1: Basketball, Heartbreak
and New Beginings.
Happy Throwback Thursday everyone!
Let’s delve into some deep deep causality.
In 6th grade, I discovered Basketball. The church that my Dad was working at had an itsy bits school attached to it and they started a Jr. High Basketball team, with my Dad as the coach.
The only other sport interaction I had until that point was about 5 years of soccer and 1 horrendous season of, well I guess you could call it baseball. (The coaches would underhand pitch during the games)
What you will notice is that those are two low scoring, low excitement sports. I had already quit soccer why? Well I wasn’t very fast, so I usually was stuck on defense.
The problem with this?
Attention Deficit Disorder.
Hey, let’s stick an ADD kid in a field, far away from the action and hey look there’s a dragon fly on the grass, how cool. It’s hot whyisthesunsobright, I’m gonna roller blade when I get…?
You get the idea. It’s because of this that I still don’t like the sport of soccer. Plus, it’s too close to being just several hours of running for me to find enjoyment in it.
Basketball was different though, for the first time I COULD SCORE. I loved the fast pace of the game, we’d go from one side of the court to the next. Back and forth, RUN, DRIBBLE SHOOTSCORE, OK maybe not score. But…
Back to the other side of the court, quickquickquick. Game over. Let’s do it again!
I loved it, we played a season and I was looking forward to the next when halfway through my 7th grade year, my Dad’s employment at the church came to an end and Scotty beamed us red shirts over to Klingon territory. (AKA Phoenix Arizona).
It was hot, it was dry. Did I mention it was hot?
December 3rd 2001 I entered Northwest Christian School, a K-12 private Christian School. Whoah, was I on a different planet? Let me give you an idea what it was like.
My previous school had been a K-8 school, with one class of each grade. My grade was super small, there were 6 of us. Six. I spent my four years there always combined with the grade above us. I was a huge fish, in a rain puddle.
Walking into Northwest, I felt like a microscopic plankton floating in the Pacific Ocean.
Most of my fellow students were what we called “Lifers,” they had been attending since Kindergarten and had formed very tight bonds with each other.
It was like they spoke another language. What was a Pop?
The one thing I was looking forward to was hopefully playing on the basketball team. In my interview for the school, I had mentioned that I liked basketball and I wanted to play.
The principle, with only good intentions said he though they could work something out. Well unfortunately for my hopes, that was not the case. According to the rules, they couldn’t add me to the team.
I was crushed.
I became depressed, and limped my way through the rest of my 7th grade year.
During the summer, we got a dog, and I became un-depressed.
8th grade rolled around and I was able to play basketball, and I had a lot of fun. Then, on a whim I decided to go out for our 8th grade flag football team.
OH MY GOSH.
It was amazing, I had such a blast. I am a large human being and that was my best asset on the field. While basketball was something I enjoyed, football was something I was good at.
No, Great At.
Part 2: The Shoulder May Be Out,
But the Hole is In My Heart
Fast forward to my sophomore year in High School, I was well into my second year of Football and somehow managed to Start for almost the entire season. I lettered that year.
The coaches had high hopes for me, I was big, I was physical and I was tough.
At the start of my Junior year, I was in the best physical shape of my life. Then the Tuesday before our first game tragedy struck.
I was laying on my back, the coach blew his whistle. UP! Spin, running back coming, hit.
My arm was too far out when I hit and it popped out of socket.
My season was done.
Senior year was the best season our school had in a long time, and set up the program for a lot of future success.
Because of my lost Junior season, I was interested in playing some collegiate ball. I also wanted to go to a Christian University in California. That left me with one option. Azusa Pacific University.
Part 3: College Football Is Not For Me,
However Allison Might Be
One week before my 18th birthday I walked on to the APU Football field to start the pre-season camp.
I had a horrible time, I clashed with the ideology of the coaching staff and my shoulder started acting up. So I left and went home for a week until school started.
I had previously mentioned I met my core group of friends in my Freshman dorm and started a band my Sophmore year, you can read about it here.
Sometime after our first Phoenix trip, we were hanging out in Rik and Kirk’s apartment, and in walked our friend Katie with her friend Allison.
Now, you might be saying, hey? You’re married to a girl named Allison, could this be that same Allison?
Let’s do a quick Nolan-esque flashback. I had had never had a girlfriend before. In fact, I had only had negative experiences when it came to dating and attraction.
I had a huge hole in my heart, I would see couples walking in the mall holding hands and just hurt. It was like feeling my chest was getting sucked into a black hole. I had a lot of love to give and no one to give it to.
Back to the story.
I was immediately attracted to Allison, but I was to nervous to really have a conversation with her. So I didn’t.
The next day I saw her and she greeted me with a “Hi Friend”.
With a straight face I said, “We’re not friends.”
Good One Myke!
Fortunately, she didn’t give up on me. That conversation actually blossomed into a friendship. One of the best early conversations we had was walking around our campus drinking Slurpees from the 7-Eleven down the street.
In total RomCom fashion, we were both attracted to each other, however we both thought the other was interested in someone else.
We were miserable, even when we shouldn’t have been.
Part 4: How Facebook Chat Changed My Life
One night, I was super melancholy because I thought that Allison was into another guy. I left the apartment we were hanging out and walked back to my apartment, depressed.
As I sat browsing Facebook, a little chat window popped up from Allison.
She asked how I was doing, and poked and prodded until I revealed that, yes, I was upset about a girl. (keep in mind that she though I was talking about a different girl) I didn’t tell her it was her because every time I had gotten to the place where I told a girl I liked her, the friendship ended.
We talked for a while and then came the pivotal moment.
Allison: You should just tell her you like her.
…(gathering my courage, ready to see this friendship die)
Me: Allison, I like you.
I closed my laptop and went and laid down in my bed, shaking.
Breathe. BREATHE. BREATHE!!!!
After a few panicked minutes, I walked back over to my laptop, opened it up. And resumed chating.
Allison: Do you want to talk?
Allison: Meet me outside on the sidewalk.
I went outside and met her, she walked up in a set of dino footie pajamas with a puffy vest. Gave me a hug and we sat on the curb and talked.
She kissed me on the cheek. And I kissed her in return.
We stayed up until about 4:00am talking, sitting on the curb of a major street.
I knew almost immediately I wanted to marry her.
And I did.
And It’s Awesome.
If it hadn’t been for that dislocated shoulder, I never would have met my soul mate.
Thank you Allison for being the best partner, friend and wife any guy could ask for.