I heard it said today that many people have ideas and dreams (relating to things they want to accomplish), they are called daydreamers. The gentleman went on to say, “we don’t need any more daydreamers, what we need are implementers. Now go and do!”
While growing up in Fargo somehow I caught the soccer bug bad. It hit me pretty hard. I was hit so hard that I remember literally sleeping with a soccer ball on a nightly basis, tearing a cast off my broken wrist in order to play a tournament and working with a doctor to specially form hip pads the size of pizzas to wrap onto my hips due to the immense contusions from diving on the Metro Rec surface (sorry for the long sentence). Nothing could stop my love of competition and the strong desire to kick a little round ball.
As I look back now it was odd that I loved the game so much. Quick history lesson…in the late 80’s and early 90’s it was rare a soccer game was even televised including World Cup matches. The games that were televised had commercial breaks. We have come a long way as a soccer nation!
While in high school I dreamt of playing soccer at the D1 level. I didn’t proclaim this to anyone except my parents for fear of embarrassment and possible ridicule from teammates. Yeah it’s true, even teammates can be cruel to each other. So my mom and I had a plan to video tape all my games and send them off to colleges. Every game she would set the camera up and let it roll throughout high school games and while playing club soccer with Red River.
During my senior year in high school I personally produced a highlight tape while taking a video editing class. I sent the video off to Liberty University and patiently waited for them to call but it never happened. After a few weeks which felt like months I called the school to track down the coach. I dreamt of playing there and wanted to prove to them I was capable. After a few persistent phone calls I finally connected with the coach who invited me to fly out (on my own dime) for a visit. I began to get nervous…
I remember flying to Lynchburg, VA by myself. It was an awfully uncomfortable flight. Most of the flight was spent questioning myself and my capabilities. I remember the thoughts going through my head telling me to stay in my comfort zone and don’t rock the boat. I reminded myself that I was from ND and nobody goes on to play D1 soccer from ND. I remember thinking that I should just not show up for the meeting and return home. I even recall telling myself that I should just enroll at the only school (junior college in KS) that had shown an interest as it would be much easier. I had to make a decision, will I continue to daydream or will I go and do? This sounds silly but remember, I was going into uncharted territory.
I ended up going to the meeting carrying a stomach full of butterflies. In that meeting Liberty did invite me to play for them. This was an incredible experience. I ended up starting for Liberty halfway through the season my freshman year. After accomplishing that goal I had to either raise the bar or settle in and be happy with being a college keeper. The problem was…how do I prepare for the next level? What do I do? Well I returned to Fargo which consisted of daydreaming while landscaping. I would daydream about what my heart wanted to do.
After my sophomore season and splitting time with another keeper I remember fearfully thinking that I wasn’t going to get any better as I had no resources or knowledge of how to get there. It was the second semester of my sophomore year when my world was changed. I was approached by a teammate (yeah Mike! This is your shout out! I love you man!) that said he had come across a coach in San Diego, CA that was willing to work with GKs and field players alike. He went on to tell me that the coach was assembling a group of players to train all summer long in preparation for college seasons or professional seasons. Oh no, do I give up the comforts of daydreaming or do I go and do?
Some would think this was an obvious decision but you need to remember that daydreaming is easy. There is no risk in daydreaming. Things were easy in Fargo. I had a girl I started liking from Fargo. Everything was normal in Fargo. I had to make that decision to either continue in the comforts of my dreams or get into the game and DO.
I chose to go and do. I committed to going to San Diego. My next challenge, how would I pay for it? What I did next still makes me laugh. Well, I ended up selling the Jeep I received for graduation and bought a 1976 VW bus (no lie). I bought it in Fargo on a Wednesday and left for San Diego on Friday with my dad (I was an idiot again as I didn’t even get the oil changed. This is a whole other story though). This was and still is quite possibly the most memorable road trip I have ever taken. Ask me about it someday.
In each of these scenarios I had to go. I didn’t and still don’t want to be a daydreamer. I couldn’t sit and dream anymore. I needed to continue my dream and do what I could to make it a reality. It wasn’t easy. Going and doing rarely is easy. If it was easy your goal, dream or idea wasn’t big enough. There’s no reward in easy. Anyone that decides to go and do must know that the road can and will be tough. No matter your dream, idea or goal, you need to begin taking steps to go after it. We don’t need any more daydreamers. You are unique and those dreams have been placed in your heart for a reason. Don’t listen to your friends tell you what you can or can’t accomplish. What can you do today to make your daydream a reality?
Live your dream.