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I'm a Quitter

That's a tough comment to make about oneself. It would be a great label if I were professing my excitement of how I stopped smoking or had turned the corner in my drug usage to proclaim that I'm finally clean. It's neither. I don't smoke or have a drug habit to be clear. I will share that my ideal Friday night is popping a Percocet, sipping a bottle of red merlot and melting into my couch. The only movements I make for about 4hrs are occasional blinks, three nose scratches and one or two backhand face wipes to gather the drool off the side of my face, but other than that I'm a 215lb marshmallow. No, I'm a quitter because I get so quickly bored with everything. I'm going to put that out there which is not easy to share.

If you know me well than you may be scratching your head right now. So, yes, I've accomplished a fair amount, but at the same token, let me share a couple scenarios. This year, one of the proudest moments I've ever had came to fruition. I was inducted into our high school Hall of Fame. I graduated in 1999 and for basketball, I still hold the record for most points in a single season and most career points. One honor mentioned at the induction ceremony was that I have scored the most points in all sports combined (Football, Basketball, Lacrosse) than any other individual to ever come through Hereford High School. Great accomplishment and very, very pleased. However, that was something I committed to and applied myself wholeheartedly. But, that's also high school when you're basically stuck somewhere for 4-years and you know that. Fast forward to college. I had a scholarship to play lacrosse and I quit after my second year in school. When I left, I had started a handful of games and was definitely playing pretty well, but I just wasn't happy. I moved from Maryland all the way across the country to LA County where I attended a small college. Everything was great, but my senior year, I got into a fight with the head coach about where my priorities where and after giving him the double bird, face to face in the parking lot outside of the locker room, I was obviously kicked off the team. The coach had little bargaining power when the preseason All-American honors were displayed at the start of the season. I was slotted as a First-Team selection, so I was able to "try out" again. We had a great season and I did receive First-Team All-American honors and was a finalist for offensive player for all of NCAA Division III.

I share those stories because they were sports related and clearly what I was most passionate about during that time of my life. Out of college, I started All-West Lacrosse Camps with a good friend, Matt Ogelsby. I quit that venture because I wanted more, so I took an advertising sales position at Sports Illustrated. I learned a lot, but quit there after butting heads with my boss 18-months in. I immediately stepped into a temporary advertising sales position with the Yellow Pages where I left after talking my way out of a civil lawsuit for choking out a co-worker. It was commission only and clearly a high stress environment. The knuckleheads that worked there were priceless, but one day the prick that sat behind me wouldn't shut his mouth after I was already having a bad day. I warned him three times before I went after this guy, picked him up by his larynx and watched him turn from red, to purple, to white. I dragged him around the office and didn't spike him into the floor until I saw that teardrop trickle down his left cheek. Sadistic, I know...and while I'm being honest, it was extremely gratifying. Still is when I think about it.

After I quit that 6-month stint, I took a gig back in sports, but was fired after telling my boss to go fuck himself and turned my phone off for two days. About the same time, I was playing professional indoor lacrosse for the San Jose Stealth, which no one really knew about in the office, because it only required one weeknight practice and weekend games flying to opponents across US and Canada. Although fun, challenging and my rookie salary was $6,300 for the season, I decided to quit that too halfway through my third season.

So I bounced around, who cares, everyone does, right? Yeah, I guess. I'd say the bigger picture is that I've never had a relationship longer than 18-months, I've never owned any of my houses for more than 2yrs, I've never stayed at a job for more than 3yrs and I've never even lived in the same city for more than 2yrs. At 36 years old, that is a seriously short lease on everything I've encountered.

Furthermore, I've quit on so many business ideas, it's ridiculous. I get all geared up and then I have one phone conversation or coffee shop sit down that completely derails my enthusiasm. I immediately throw in the towel because someone else is already doing a similar version, or I just feel overwhelmed with where and how to start. A good friend, Mike Halow, who will be on the podcast at some point, to this day still tells a story about me from 2006. I was in really good shape and had just finished being released from the professional outdoor lacrosse team, LA Riptide. Back in High School I received a lot of accolades in football, not just from our division, but for the city, county and state, despite only playing one season. I was talking to Mike and we decided that I was going balls to the wall training and I was going to try out for the arena league football team, San Jose SaberCats. He pumped me up big time. He said I had the best hands out of any friend he's ever played sports with. He hyped me up about my Randy Moss'esk height. I was onboard! Training starts TODAY! Within minutes of that several hour long conversation and planning, several friends of mine showed up at the house. Immediately I told them my plan and both said "you're an idiot" and laughed. I agreed and the dream was dead. Forever.

My point is this. I tend to quit on everything and everybody as soon as it's no longer exciting. That's pretty shitty. However, I've also tried a hell of a lot more relationships, jobs and ventures than the average folk. I may not have found something or someone to pin me down yet, but at least I'm fucking trying. Rejection sucks. Failure is even worse. And walking away from people never gets easier. I can confidently say though that I've chased every "dream job", every "this is the one" relationship and every "I think living there would be awesome" opportunity. What it leads me to realize are two very important things.

One, its not about the goal, it's the journey that matters most. Secondly, if I'm not truly satisfied, than why settle? That is an important lesson to me, because it means that sometimes it was the perfect job or perfect relationship at one point, but it didn't sustain. So I moved on. It's not easy to do, but not being completely fulfilled is doing an injustice to yourself.

Okay, so I am a quitter, but maybe being a quitter isn't that bad if you're finding beneficial takeaways from every situation. I am who I am, take it or leave it.

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