A Little Dosage of Perspective

May 21st, 2015

I have found that perspective often comes in dosages when I least expect it. I may be mid stride in life, then BOOM! It hits me hard and fast. It's probably the best way to grab my attention as I tend to be very directed and intense. These little moments help slow me down and soften my heart. Here is my story from yesterday.

Basketball. I love it. At one point in time, I would play at every single chance I had. Mornings, lunch break, after school, on the weekends. One of my friends would tease me that I only owned tank tops. I think you get the idea. It was a big part of my life.

Working for a family business right out of high school, my basketball days started slowing down. I would play when I could, but it was much less frequent. A little by little, the playing eventually came to a halt altogether. Basketball became merely something that I once did. The demands of work helped keep me occupied enough to distract me from feeling any loss. As in typical fashion, I would be relegated to reliving the "glory days" via memories. Enter marriage and kids, then watching the game on tv was the closest I got to the game.

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Traveling down the road of life, I found myself intersecting with life on the court again. This time, as a coach for my kids' teams. I never coached before and my first teams took some beatings. It didn't help that I got teams with totally green players too. A few seasons into coaching, something clicked. I tapped into my playing days and how my coaches worked with me. I took their best advice and tried to factor out what I didn't like. Then I took a look at the game from the player's eyes which helped me to form my own style of coaching. I try to look at the game as both a coach and former player. Understanding both sides resulted in newfound success as a coach.

To my surprise, I found my this new role equally rewarding as donning a uniform and playing. In fact, there was an even greater satisfaction watching kids grow and find their love for hoops.

The path continued to take me on a ride from beginner leagues, to participation leagues, and now I am at the club level. Our club is rebuilding and has many that are still developmental at best. Not what I expected. The learning curve has started all over again. I also didn't expect to coach; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have taken part of the helm of this club.

Expectations can be high at the club level as competition is more fierce than that of the other leagues. Winning is emphasized much more and personal development is something that is demanded both at and away from practice. I have accepted my yet again new role and have been trying to impart the same intensity that I possess. I demand that from any team that plays under me. Mental toughness and physical toughness are virtues that I continually drill into the players. I don't tolerate weakness on the court. I admit that I am a little caught up in the demands of a club team.

Then it came......perspective.

After practice today, I overheard "single mom" while speaking with a parent. It's not as though I haven't heard that before, but something grabbed me. Two of her children play for me. Then it hit me harder when I went home and took a shower. Both her sons play on the club.

They are not the most skilled and they are not always the best dressed, with the latest KD shoes. In fact, they aren't many things by a traditional club outlook. But....they are mine.

I cannot believe that mere chance has put us together, for my faith says otherwise. We are put together for a reason. I have been trusted to "serve" as a role model, if I can be pompous enough to think of myself that way. I have been placed in their lives to leave them with experiences that they can carry on, wherever they may go in the future. I desire to become one of their stories, to be someone that left a mark on their timeline. Someone that they will refer to with fond remembrance. I have a dad. They don't. This pairing is no mistake.

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Perhaps I am really not the coach, but the one that is getting coached by the one above. After all, as my story tells, basketball comes to an end. Life continues longer than the game does. I will do my best as their coach, but I pray that I am even better to them as a person.

One, I Mean Some of the Good Things

May 18th, 2015

"One of the goood things, about Hawaii-iii-iii. Is wonderful KGMB...." Remember that commercial back in the 70's? Oops! There goes the mystery about my age. I have a penchant for remembering jingles and tv show theme songs with a memory like a steel trap sometimes. KGMB has changed that commercial and has also become part of the Hawaii News Now team. Free plug, maybe I can get my lunch now, RB? Ha ha

Other things don't change too much here in Hawaii, and that's a big part of these islands' appeal. You can always come "home" here.

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OK, so maybe plate lunches have changed a little, but the basic formula remains the same. "Make em big, make em tasty, and they will come." While they're closed for business now, we would frequent Koi, a nice gourmet style lunch place here in Kalihi. Following on the tails of the last trip post, it was so nice to feast on this plate. No explanations needed. The picture speaks for itself.

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Whaaat? More lunch? Indeed it is. One of the most wonderful parts of my job is to eat lunch with people and talk business. It hasn't helped my tummy size, but it makes for wonderful relationships and great business. Unless you eat rabbit food, we're gonna get along just fine.

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When you sprinkle in some custom instruments for our artist ohana, thing only get better. We were finally able to get David Kamakahi's long awaited custom to him. The ukulele is kind of like a tribute to his father, the legendary Reverend Dennis Kamakahi. You'll need to see it up close to see what David specified on the build and can really see his heart and affections for his late father. Being able to be a part of that all was an honor.

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Happy Birthday Doos and BB! Birthdays are always fun at work because it provides an additional day of poking fun while celebrating with one another. "Bear Cat" is our affectionate term for them collectively, as they share a special friendship with one another. It's kind of like watching Animal Planet, like if a bear took care of a cat.....lol

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And of course what Ka Leo post would be complete without something random? I know I've departed from my token "out of focus" picture, so this is my new way of keeping it me. This is a little shout out to my pals Ning Cai and Pamela Ho from Singapore. It's hard to believe that so many years have gone by since their 9 month trip around the world, starting in Hawaii.

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These are pics from my torrid love affair....with Hawaii! I was fortunate enough to take a staycation at one of my favorite hotels, Outrigger on the Beach. They have been not only the best hotel partner for us, but also good friends there. Living in Hawaii, it's easy to forget how beautiful it is. Contemplating a beach view? It's more expensive, but totally worth it! The morning sunrise and sunset are two things that cannot be described.

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And we are moving. Please disregard the "January" part of this banner. We kinda missed the date. It's been a process, but everything works in its time. I hope Kakaako is ready for us, cause we're ready to bring our flavor there. Beware lunch places, we are headed your way!

Before I close this out, I think I should keep you all on my journey. Only fair, right?

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Remember that early Christmas gift that Santa left me? In between all my madness, I got it done. I dried out the subfloor, plotted the new layout, cut, measured, cut again, then voila! Finis. If home repair is your thing, no worry, I get way more to show. It's endless.