Every father’s day I think about my life with many “dad-types”. I grew up not knowing my biological father, however, I have never looked at my situation as a disadvantage (no pitty party here!). In fact, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by such amazing role models and strong “father figures” growing up. There have been many who have influenced my life immensely and contributed to who I am in different ways so I want to send gratitude and thanks to them. Here it goes…
1. My highschool volleyball coach, Joe. Between coming in early before school for extra setting reps, to staying late after practice for extra reps, to travelling all the time on weekends, I probably spent more time with Joe than I did at with the rest of my family. No matter how many times I wanted to come in early before school for extra practice, he was there. No matter how many times I wanted to come in after school for extra practice, he was there. He gave me countless rides home after practice when my mom was working late. My god, there were so many little things that he did that enabled me to realize the goals I had set as an athlete. Thank you soo much Joe for everthing you’ve done. You’ve impacted my life in countless ways and I will never ever forget it.
2. My highschool law and social studies teacher, Mr. Nielsen. Ha, even just thinking about his class makes me laugh. I always loved Nielsen’s classes because he was always so frank, it was hilarious. He was the men’s basketball coach and I always felt that my success made him proud. Thanks Ed!
3. The mens highschool volleyball coach, Mr. Olynyk. He made sure us ‘girls’ were never taking the easy road. He let me do jump training with the boys volleyball team because the girls team didn’t do it, however, made it crystal clear that he wouldn’t treat me differently or let me half ass it. He toughened me up – whether it was push ups in math class or jump training with the guys, he was ruthless but I knew he always had my best interest at heart – few people can take on both of these roles and he did it seemlessly. Thanks Oly.
4. My best friends dad, Pete. Pete lived and worked in the US and I remember when Jamie (my best friend back in the day) and I would take trips down to Seattle to visit him. He would always, always, treat me as his own and I can’t thank him enough. Thanks Pete.
5. My university volleyball coach, Doug. I’ve been coached by ALOT of different coaches throughout my athletic career and Doug is hands down one of the most caring people I have ever met. It wasn’t enough for him that you excelled on the court. He took the time to get to know you and made it his business to help you excel as a person as well. Thanks Doug!
6. My brother. Living vicariously through him growing up gave me a clear view of what I wanted and didn’t want in my life. It drove me to be better every day and kept me razor focused and on track. I don’t know if you know that. Thanks Brother!
7. My step dad, Charlie. Charlie is another one of the most caring people I have ever met, not to mention brilliant. I am grateful to have him in my life. Thanks Charlie!
8. My mom. You wore both hats and you are an incredible lady. I love you. Thanks.
Hope all the fantastic Dad’s out there had a great day yesterday!