Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Man Up

This phrase has filled our lexicon for the past 15 years. What does it really mean? When I was growing up and getting in trouble with my friends, it usually was followed by "... and tell the truth." In sports it was usually an encouraging phrase for someone to step forward and take on the tough task, whatever it may have been. More recently I've heard it used as a forceful backhanded comment, or often a command. "Man up and do it." Where the "it" is usually something that the person delivering the message wouldn't be willing to do himself.

It is this most recent harsh use of the phrase that had me hesitate to use it for the project, no, movement that I will tell you about later. In a well needed, boot-to-the-pants, get-your-head-on-straight pep talk from one of my coaches, I realized that I was pulling my punches in an attempt to make everyone happy and not turn people off. In actuality I was pandering to the bleak middle and not really resonating well with anyone in particular. Now, I know I haven't fully described what this Man Up movement is all about. That will come soon enough. What is important right now is being strong in your convictions and, as the country song by Aaron Tippin (which coincidentally I heard twice this morning as I was landscaping our backyard) puts it "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.".

I'm not suggesting a stubbornness so blind that you turn 'compromise' into a four letter word. I am suggesting, just as much to you as myself (and Audrey when she gets around to reading this), to take notice of what you passionately believe in and what you do well (don't sell yourself short either). How can you take that combination and change this world for the better. (Lord knows it won't be coming anytime soon from the government! :)  Not all changes have to be earth-shattering. In fact all ideas start small. You never know what ripple effect you may have.

Let me interject a bit of inspiration I recently took from one of my players. She is a very small town gal, who is attending a small private college. This summer she took the huge jump to an internship for the nonprofit World Vision in downtown Chicago where she is working on publications and marketing for a huge fundraiser and running a half marathon this fall. All this from a gal who never voluntarily ran a mile in small town Iowa just a couple years ago.

Many may ask "Why me?" or "Why should I care?" The change in perspective Audrey has brought to Tracey and my's life has been indescribable (for all the parents out there, perhaps you can relate to the instant change of feeling you felt when your children were born. It was a big wow factor!).  I have been focusing more internally by spending time with her at home, yet at the same time so much more externally about how I can shape the world so that she has the best future possible.

I am serious about the charge I made earlier about changing your world.  Of the people I have been blessed to grow up with, to meet at school, to work with, to coach and many that choose to read my blog I have been impressed with the different types of great potential in most all of them (you).  I don't doubt the huge significant betterment our communities would see if we would "Man Up" and be the change we wish to see in the world.  If you are so inclined, I would like to hear, in the comment section or via email, what change you would like to see in this world".

Man Up.

Coach Campbell

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