Stuart Scott is Truly an Inspiration

Last night, ESPN sportscaster and announcer Stuart Scott received the Jimmy Valvano Award for perseverance, which he was awarded for his courage in his 7-year battle with cancer. What happened next will go down as one of the most powerful moments in the history of ESPN – his acceptance speech was, in my opinion, the highlight of his career, and is one of the most inspiration speeches I have ever heard.

Stuart’s ability to live, flourish, and continue to pursue an active life doing what he loves is incomprehensively motivating and compelling. He has never let his disease control his life; he has never let it dictate what he can and can’t do.

Scott does not consider winning the battle to simply be staying alive. To him, it’s much more. Life is how you live. You win by fighting. You win by not giving up. I truly consider Stuart Scott to be an incredible man, one that all of us, all people of all ages and situations, can learn from. This is a man who’s hand I want to shake. He’s a man worthy of admiration. Let us all approach life with the courage and perseverance that Stuart Scott has shown. 

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down, rest, and let someone else pick up the fight for you.” 

-Stuart Scott

I would highly recommend taking the time to watch this video of his story and of his acceptace speech. It’s the best 15 minutes you will spend all day.

Stuart Scott’s Acceptance Speech

 

Teaching Through Example – Why I’m Going Back to School

It’s funny how having a child changes your perspective. Suddenly, I consider the impact everything I do has on my daughter. I think about what she will think of me, if she will be proud of me, if I can teach her positive lessons through my actions. 

I don’t know if you figured this out through the fact that I enjoy writing my blog, but I love writing. I always have. In elementary school I wrote a story about my adoption just for fun. In high school I wrote for my school newspaper and quickly became the co-Editor in Chief and the Editor of the sports section. Writing has always intrigued me and sparked my imagination. The endless possibilities of language to create, inspire, inform, and educate others is a mighty powerful matter. 

I’ve been thinking about going back to school for a while now, but I never felt entirely ready. Now that I have my baby girl, suddenly it all matters that much more. It makes sense now; I feel ready. I’m no longer doing this for myself, but for my family. I want my daughter to be raised to understand that hard work and dedication matter, that doing things right is more importand than doing things easy, and to know that daddy applied himself to doing what he loved. 

So, here I go. I’m jumping head first into another chapter of life by going back to school online while working full time, all while raising our first child. I must be nuts but I’m truly excited for the experience. I have the opportunity to teach my daughter through my actions and to come out the other side with a degree I can apply towards a career where I can use language and the written word creatively on a daily basis. 

I get to do what I love while setting a positive example for my family. What more can I ask for?

Everything Smells Like Sour Milk

My shirt smells like sour milk. My skin smells like sour milk. Somehow a pair of shorts that haven’t come out of my closet since last summer, almost a year before my daughter was born, smells like sour milk. I think my dog is getting offended by it.

This is the reality of babies. They drink milk. Then they spit it up. And it smells. And when regurgitated breast milk lands ever so gracefully – except, you know, not – on your shoulder, sliding down your back, chest, arm, or wherever else it feels like going, it becomes literally the only thing you can smell. 

Can she eat real people food yet?

5 Things They Don’t Tell New Dads

My beautiful baby girl is a month old tomorrow. It simultaneously feels like the time is fleeting, that I can’t grasp it without it slipping through my fingers, while also feeling like it’s been an eternity since the night she was born. Fatherhood is awesome, but there are a few things that they don’t tell you when you sign up for this job.

1) When your baby cries – I mean really cries – it breaks your heart. Babies can’t talk yet, so they communicate through crying. It’s how they let you know that they have a need that needs meeting. Everyone knows that babies cry, and sure, you expect that it will affect you in some way. But when your baby gets frustrated or upset and lets out those cries that pierce your core, it will absolutely shatter your heart. You physically feel your child’s cries.Trust me, you have never known the heartache of your child being upset.

2) Your baby will scratch themselves. Seriously. And their little nails are surprising sharp. It seems like common sense to us grownups that grabbing your own eyeball or raking at your cheek would not be a good idea, but for some reason, babies seem to want to inflict pain on themselves. And no, I don’t know why, so don’t ask. Make sure you buy some baby mittens or, in a pinch, use a pair of baby socks to cover their hands, especially during feeding time.

3) You do not have enough hands. As a new dad, you will quickly learn how to creatively use your body to accomplish tasks, from picking things up with your toes, using your teeth to gently pull that headband that your baby just pulled over her eyes back to the top of her head, or using the vice-like grip of the crook in your elbow to open a bottle. There are never enough hands. I promise.

4) Your job is not to just take care of your baby, it’s to take care of your partner, too. It becomes very easy to focus on taking care of your baby, almost to the point where, to your partner, it can feel like you’re taking over. Don’t do that. Realize that the reality of the situation is that your partner needs the bonding time with the baby right off the bat in order to succesfully breast feed, and your job is to be a supporting cast. You’ll get your chance to cuddle with the baby, I promise. In the mean time, take care of your partner and the house the best that you can on the limited sleep you have.

5) Sleep when the baby sleeps. You no longer get to decide when to sleep. Not even close. You may have been the early to bed, early to rise type, but baby may have other plans. Going to bed at 1:00 AM, waking up to feed the baby at 4:00 AM, then sleeping until 9:30 or 10:00 AM while your partner takes the other feeding shift? No problem. Do what you have to do. Oh, and that reminds me, you will not sleep soundly. It won’t happen. You will toss and turn. You will wake up when your baby has the hiccups. You will roll over to make sure she’s still there. It happens.

It is the most fulfilling job in the world. I’m completely smitten by my baby girl. I adore seeing my wife as the mother of our child. I love when my little girl falls asleep on my chest. The little things somehow turn into the most important things in life. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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