Today the Arizona State University (ASU) Facebook page posted this status:Tell us! If you could go back in time and give your high school self advice, what would it be and why?
My first thought was get better grades. This must be some sort of knee jerk response because I had great grades in high school. I was in the National Honor Society and took honors classes. After graduation I found out that I was ranked 7th in our senior class. Granted, there were only 70 kids in our graduating class but I still think that was pretty good. Either way, get better grades is not something I needed to tell my high school self.
I thought about it for a few minutes and then decided I would have listened to my dad. As a rule, most high school students don’t take much of what their parents tell them to heart. I was a pretty good listener but this wasn’t one of those times. Now my dad was pretty awesome, I always refer to him as a Renaissance man. He played college football at a small college in California, had degrees in Social Studies and Kinesiology, the study of human movement. He later got a masters in Political Science from ASU. He taught in Catholic high schools for over 45 years and coached football for over 20 years, two of his teams being State Champions. Over the years, he also coached swimming and track. Away from work, he continued the trend. He could repair just about anything; cars, plumbing, furniture, you name it. He built cars from the frame up and added on a three room addition to the house from the ground up. He was also part of the church singing group and a published poet.
To say my dad was in favor of everyone going to college would be a major understatement. He knew that in order to get a good job a degree would be required. There were three kids in my family, my older brother and sister, and me. We all knew that he expected us to go to college. I felt that a little more than the others, or at least perceived that I had more pressure because I was the brain of the family. My brother and sister got pretty good grades, mostly Bs with an occasional C every now and then. My brother was literally the All American athlete, four year letterman in football and track. My sister was the artist, she helped work on a school mural and was a big part of the drama department.
So, the advice from my dad, I had a conversation with him when I was in college. I was very upset that a class I needed to take wasn’t going to be offered the next semester. I was trying to explain that if I couldn’t take that class then I would be behind a semester. I was really upset and had already decided that I was never going to graduate. He told me to quit worrying about my classes and get back to writing. I was bit surprised and told him I was going to school so I would have something to fall back on. He seemed fairly irritated with me and said, “Forget it, go write,” and then walked out of the room.
I’d love to say that I sat down that day and started writing again and never looked back, but sadly, that’s not the case. That conversation definitely stuck with me and I definitely feel that writing is what I am supposed to do. I wish I had listened to him more carefully and spent more time writing in the years between then and now. It makes me sad that I didn’t follow through while he was alive. Hopefully, the universe had a plan with all of this.Phase 1: Day 14 I had a great walk today. I walked nearly a mile in over 15 minutes. My goal for the Runkeeper app was walk 4 miles from Sunday to Saturday. I knew I had to walk a little extra, it was my best walk since I started though. I set personal records for time, distance and pace. Yay me! My upper body workout went well. I will admit that I am getting annoyed with my bent row/tricep kickback exercise. It takes so long to get through one set. It’s not really hard to do just time consuming. Water = 72 ounces