So as many of you know I coached cross country at the middle school a few years ago. I loved every minute of it. Working outside of public education in the “real world” was part of my daily routine. However, the highlight of my day was cross country practice. I was able to be around kids I loved and coaches I connected with. It was an amazing experience.

Soon after the end of the 2011 cross country season my business began to lose customers. It wasn’t long that my business partners and I could see that we would have to shut our doors. We shut our business down in the spring of 2012 and I had to search for another job. I found one quickly, thank God. However, the downside was that the new job was in Des Moines. Not only did I have a two hour commute I wouldn’t be able to coach cross country.

Now, as you can tell from the title my ONE WORD is ENGAGED. What does losing your business and not coaching cross country have to do with being engaged? Everything! See, one of the issues I have been struggling with over the last two years has been having less involvement in my families activities and less involvement in the things I love. I haven’t been engaged.

When Coach Cutler gave Coach (Mrs.) Hammann and I the book called One Word to read and then challenged us to find a word, I took it to heart. I spent a few days pondering the concept. I slept on it, prayed on it, and mused over it. The word that came to me was engaged. When you are engaged in something you are fully in tune with it. You are FOCUSed on it. You find it hard to separate yourself from it.

This is what I wanted. I wanted to be engaged in my family member’s lives. I wanted to be engaged in things I love to do. I want to be engaged in simple things like conversations with my wife. Not just nodding my head and thinking about other things but shutting down external distractions and really listening to what she is saying. I wanted to be engaged in my son’s life. He has only a few years left around our house. I don’t want to miss times with him. If I focus on being engaged I will hopefully get the most out of the next few years.

Getting back into coaching is one of those ways I get a chance to be engaged. Not only to I get to see my family more since both of them are on the team, I also get a chance to be a positive mentor and fan of the coolest students in the state of Iowa or dare I say even…the world! So once again I’m back in a spot where the highlight of my day is cross country practice. I again get to experience the positive atmosphere that IS Pella Cross Country.

I hope that when you consider your One Word you are able to find one that helps you find your FOCUS for the year.

I look forward to being FULLY ENGAGED in your season.

GO DUTCH!