Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'X' Marks the Spot

There I was, laid out on my back, gasping for air, beads of sweat pouring down my face and stinging my eyes. I attempted to get up but couldn’t. My body was somehow aching and completely numb, all at the same time. With my life flashing before me, I battled disorientation, as my mind tried to make sense of the trauma it had just been through.

Was it a nightmare? Had I been shot? Was I having a near-death experience? Was I getting my chest waxed like The 40-Year-Old Virgin?

Nope…I had just finished my first workout for P90X.

An “extreme home fitness program,” P90X promises to get you in the best shape of your life over a 90 day period by putting you through a diverse set of workouts for an hour or so a day – and it’s that “or so” that’ll get you – six days a week. You push, you pull, you lunge, you extend, and you hope you don’t vomit, all within the friendly confines of your own living room.

The evil mastermind behind the series is trainer Tony Horton, one of those perfect looking, impossibly fit dudes who sadistically finds pleasure in a burning quadriceps muscle. He’s the leader on the DVDs, instructing you what to do while also doing the workouts himself. And as you’re grinding and grunting, trying to keep your lungs from ejecting out of your esophagus, he’s smiling and laughing, making it all look so easy. The man is an absolute beast. I sometimes wonder if he has any furniture in his house, or if he just gets into a “Wall Squat” when he feels like sitting down.

I first learned of the program about a year-and-a-half ago on sports talk radio, when seemingly every show I listened to began endorsing it. The hosts were all doing the workouts, and you couldn’t flip the channel without hearing somebody going on and on about how great they felt and how much their body had been transformed.

Despite this constant bombardment, though, I never really considered doing it. Beyond the basic commitment that would cut into my “doing nothing” time, I just really don’t like working out. The straining, the sweating, the shaking…it’s not fun. And while I’ve forced myself to do a consistent routine a few days a week for some time now, I always want it to be over as quickly as possible. Honestly, if I had access to a wish-granting genie, the ability to jam all of my exercising into a Rocky-esque montage – where three minutes, some inspirational music and a Russian mountaintop is all you need to become a chiseled world champion – would be on my shortlist.

But over time, like any commercial jingle, the gospel of P90X seeped into my subconscious, growing on me the same way George endeared himself to the “Rat Hat” saleswoman who at first couldn’t stand him.

Opening me up that much more to its message was the fact that I’ve been feeling stressed and a little out of sorts lately, like something just isn’t right. And as a way to cope with all of these fears and anxieties, I’ve been breaking down and bending my self-imposed exercise and diet rules. I’ll skip a workout. I’ll go to McDonald’s. I’ll skip a workout to go to McDonald’s. And while these rebellions have initially been freeing, it never takes long for the shame and guilt to set in, leaving me to wallow in regret, as I poke my ever-softening midsection and try to figure out how to not lie when my mom inevitably asks, “Have you been taking care of yourself?”

Things finally tipped a few weeks ago when I was, of all things, going to pick up my car from the shop. The service station I use is right across the street from my office, and it sits on top of this big hill that, while annoying to go up and down, shouldn’t be anything that a seemingly healthy 33-year-old should even notice. But as I made my way up it, I found myself struggling to catch my breath.

And I was just walking.

Standing in line to pay, I was downright embarrassed, and also a little angry. Here I was, blessed with great genes and a strong metabolism, and yet I was wasting it all on Scrubs reruns and chicken nuggets. How had I gotten to this point? I knew that I was better than this, and I knew exactly what I had to do about it.


After buying the DVDs and spending approximately 83 hours assembling my pull-up bar, the final step in my preparation was determining when I was actually going to do the workouts. An hour a day is a lot, even for someone who isn’t married, doesn’t have kids and whose to-do list often includes watching high school highlight reels of potential Texas Longhorn football prospects.

(I’ll pause here for all of the parents of young kids to shake their heads in “Time…there’s never any time” disgust).

While I’ve always had an allergy to alarm clocks, I ultimately decided that I’d wake up early and exercise before going to work. It was like playing with found time, I figured, and it’d be the perfect way to get the agony over and done with. Plus, I’ve always heard people talk about how good they feel after a pre-dawn workout, how it’s a great jumpstart to their morning, how it’s a natural high that fuels them throughout the day. Maybe I could turn into that annoying, sunshiny person who everyone else quietly can’t stand.

Well, I haven’t.

Instead of being energized and invigorated, I’m just exhausted. I walk around in a haze, and come 9pm, I’m buried in the couch, doing a dead-on impersonation of my early-to-bed mother – sitting upright, my head drifting down, down, down until it snaps back to level, as I violently pinball in and out of consciousness. Once I can finally summon the motivation to get up and go to my room, the sensation of sinking into my mattress is one of pure ecstasy.

It’s the moment that I look forward to all of my waking hours, and it would be, without a doubt, the highlight of my day, if it weren’t for one haunting realization:

The next time I’m awake, there’s another workout waiting for me.

And these workouts are absolutely brutal, punishing every muscle you can imagine with exotic sets like “Full Supination Concentration Curls” and “Flip-Grip Twist Triceps Kickbacks.” There’s a running clock at the bottom of the screen that lets you know how much time is left, both for that particular exercise and for the entire workout. While I barely noticed it initially, now I can’t take my eyes off it, like a 5th grader looking at his watch, waiting for the Recess bell to ring. And I swear it keeps moving slower and slower with each passing routine.

Forget bull riding…do Plyometrics once, and you’ll gain a full appreciation for just how long eight seconds truly is.

I was at a wedding the weekend before last, and there was a single-person restroom right outside of the reception hall. As I was about to go in, I saw that there was a sign posted saying that the restroom was only for people who couldn’t make it down the stairs to the larger facilities. Now, I’m the last person who’d ever take a handicap parking spot or purposefully inconvenience the elderly, but I stood there for a good minute trying to rationalize to myself that the authors of the sign had “people in the first week of P90X” in mind when they wrote it.

(Then I remembered that when you’re faced with a dilemma like this, think of what Larry David would do – and do the opposite.)

Just 10 workouts into the program, I not surprisingly have little to show for my efforts. I’m not even capable of doing all of the required exercises yet, but I figure I’ll see some level of improvement eventually, if for no other reason than that I’m doing something more than I was before.

But honestly, I didn’t decide to do P90X just for the physical benefits. Like I explained here, for as long as I can remember, my life has felt like it’s out in front of me, like my present is nothing more than an inconsequential prelude to the real thing. And this “someday” quality has taken away any sense of urgency. I can sit around and watch TV all I want…the important stuff can wait for another day.

It’s like I’m standing at a crossroads and never choosing a direction.

But the time has come to change that now, and in some strange way, taking on this program is a way to get things started. It’s a first step, a shift in energy, and if I can complete something that’s this far out of my comfort zone, then…I don’t know…who knows what else I can do?

At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m drenched in sweat, my legs convulsing and my will to live quivering as I try to hold a “Half Moon” pose in the Yoga workout. I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but I made this commitment, and as long as my body will allow me, I’m going to keep showing up, keep putting that DVD in the machine, and keep hitting play. Because, as the immortal Tony Horton would say, once you do that, there’s only one thing left to do:

Bring it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In a New York Minute

On September 10, 2002, USA TODAY ran an article describing what life was like on that same date in 2001 – the day before the world changed forever. And when you read it, you get the sense that things weren’t all that different from the way they are today. While terrorism may have seemed like something only other countries had to worry about (there was actually a suicide bombing in Istanbul), the news was still filled with frivolous headlines about Hollywood gossip and adulterous politicians. A Gallup Poll revealed that the majority of Americans were “dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States.”

But what’s most striking about the piece are the stories of how some of the people who would perish in the impending attacks spent their last full day on earth. Some are, not surprisingly, heartbreaking, like the woman whose dinner plans with her mother got canceled. Some are eerie, like the son who, for some unknown reason, made his weekly call to his parents on that Monday night, instead of Wednesday like he usually did. And some are, in a way, touching, like the father who was forced to stay home with his two daughters, because his wife had a meeting; or the man who stayed up late folding a load of laundry, a surprise his wife wouldn’t find until the following morning as he was on his way to the World Trade Center.

Blessed with the benefit of hindsight, though, they’re all haunting, because we know what’s coming next. And that perspective allows us to see how these everyday, seemingly trivial occurrences, decisions and inconveniences add up to make something so much more, something that should never be taken for granted:


But if we spin things forward and apply that same perspective to our own lives, we may see that that’s exactly what we’re doing. Caught up in the tunnel vision of our day-to-day, weighted down by all of the pressures and demands and responsibilities, it can be difficult to be grateful for the small things, to not get frustrated with the never-ending hassles and annoyances, to step back and appreciate the big picture. There are just too many places to go and people to see. There’s too much money to make. There’s too much to do, and too little time to do it.

And while we talk a good game about living today as if it’s our last, that’s not really what shows up for many of us. We say that our families are our priority, that the people we love are what are most important to us, yet we spend the majority of our time away from them.

We’re like the out of shape person who claims to want to be fit, but never works out.

Of course, this neglect is not always driven by greed or selfishness. Oftentimes, it’s just the opposite – we work harder and faster and longer because we care about those who are close to us, to ensure that they have everything we can possibly provide them. But in doing so, we sometimes end up missing out on those precious moments we didn’t know were significant until it’s too late.

It’s a shame that we allow it to get to that point, that it takes something disastrous – an accident, a medical diagnosis, a death – to mute the madness, to strip away all of the trivialities and shift our focus back to finding some semblance of balance in our lives.

Maybe that’s just how it is, though. Maybe it’s impossible to be in tune to the good stuff without experiencing the bad.

So while September 11th will always live on as a time of great tragedy, as a symbol of heroism and bravery, of compassion and the American spirit, maybe it can also serve as a reference point for just how fragile our lives really are. Everything can change, just like that. One minute, our lives are about bank accounts and traffic and deadlines; the next they’re about…well…lord knows what. And by simply carrying that horrific day with us, we will no longer need any more misfortune to remind us about what truly matters.

Because really, for all we know, any day could be our own September 10th.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Swing Thoughts

I know I’m probably alone in saying this, but The Replacements is one of my favorite sports movies. While I recognize its absurdities (the placekicker smokes while lining up a field goal), its inaccuracies (why do they call timeout after a kickoff to stop the clock?) and its inability to decide on whether it's slapstick or serious, it’s still got a likeable story with a bunch of good messages about confidence, redemption and the game day advantages of having a sideline full of strippers.

(And if that’s not enough, it’s got an all-star “Hey, that’s so-and-so” cast, featuring Mikey from Swingers as a cop-turned-maniacal linebacker, Roy from The Office as a deaf, sure-handed tight end, and Tim and Billy Riggins’ future Friday Night Lights love interest as a hot cheerleader who can break down a zone defense.)

What sticks with me the most from the movie, though, is the scene in which the new replacement players are engaged in a team-building exercise where everyone has to open up about what they’re afraid of. When it comes around to Shane Falco, the quarterback and unquestioned leader, he gives a surprising response: quicksand.

“You’re playing, and you think everything is going fine,” Falco explains. “Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can’t move…you can’t breathe…because you’re in over your head. Like quicksand.”

It was a revealing confession, one that we can all probably identify with on some level. But I’d bet that there’s not another quarterback out there who can identify with it more than the University of Texas’ Garrett Gilbert.

Gilbert, like Falco, has always had star potential. A five-star recruit and national high school player of the year, he was blessed with all of the physical skills in the world, but since he arrived on campus, he’s seemed to struggle with a sort of emotional block that has kept him from performing up to his true capabilities.

In 2010, his first as the Longhorns’ starter, he suffered through a brutal campaign, throwing the second-most interceptions in the country and becoming public enemy number two among the UT message board crowd (Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis took the undisputed top spot).

And this past Saturday night, in Texas’ season-opening win against Rice, Gilbert got off to another uneven start.

While he did some nice things early on, like hitting a beautiful deep ball to set up the Horns’ first score, watching him, as a fan, still felt a lot like it did last year. Not only was he forcing some throws and struggling with his accuracy, he looked tight and anxious, seemingly pressing to make something happen. You could sense the tension through the computer screen (I was forced to watch an illegal online feed, because I’m not one of the seven people who get The Longhorn Network). There was no flow, no fun, and you wondered if a face-mask-grabbing disaster was coming every time he dropped back.

And eventually, it (almost) did. On a critical third down early in the second half, as he was about to get sacked, Gilbert inexplicably tried to lateral to his running back, who was trailing the play. The ball went bouncing towards the Texas end zone, the perfect opportunity for a defensive scoop-and-score, but UT fortunately recovered it.

It was a cardinal sin mistake, a play you wouldn’t expect out of a high school freshman – much less a college junior – and it appeared there was a chance that Gilbert could get benched. The word all offseason was how the starting quarterback would be on a short leash, and with the offense sputtering, this seemed to be as good of an opening as any to sit him down.

But I hadn’t given up on Gilbert just yet, and I was hoping the coaches hadn’t, either. Not just because I blindly support anyone in burnt orange, and not just because I thought he was still the best option at quarterback, but for a far more personal reason:

He reminds me a lot of myself.

Several years ago, when I was attempting to play golf competitively, I battled my share of difficult times, just like Gilbert has. Thankfully, I didn’t have a bunch of rabid fanatics depending on me to make their Saturdays, though, because if I had, I’d probably be locked up in a straightjacket somewhere, staring off into space like David Puddy.

For me, my internal expectations gave me more than enough to talk about with my therapist.

I was uncompromisingly hard on myself, and it got to the point where I dreaded going out to practice, because I knew what awaited. Instead of just concentrating on consistently improving, I was trying to qualify for the PGA Tour with every swing of the club. Each shot carried with it this far-reaching, core-shaking conclusion – if it wasn’t good, then I wasn’t good – and, sad as it is to admit, it turned the golf course into my own, private torture chamber.

I’d get up on the tee, and I’d be immediately drawn to all of the deep, dark places where my golf ball could end up. It was all I saw, and it flooded my mind with a million negative thoughts about how I wasn’t aimed properly or that I didn’t have the right club or that I was going to reenact Tip Cup’s performance on the U.S. Open driving range. The tension was utterly crippling, and despite telling myself that it wasn’t the end of the world if I were to hit a bad shot, it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that I believed that it would be the end of the world, and then when I hit it crooked, it felt like the end of the world. Each negative outcome would feed the next, and I couldn’t figure out how to break out of the cycle.

When you’re constantly worried about screwing up, you have very little chance of performing. Driven by fear, your natural ability is muted, and you become so consumed with all that can go wrong that any success you experience happens almost by accident.

One afternoon, I was out playing, and on the first hole, I hit a really nice approach shot about five feet from the flagstick. But as I lined up the birdie putt, I had absolutely no confidence that I was going to make it. The fears of failure, of success, of the gopher from Caddyshack jumping out of the hole and kicking me in the crotch swirled through my head, suffocating me with anxiety. I tried to shut it out by visualizing a positive image, but ultimately, it was no use. I could only see the golf ball finishing above ground.

And sure enough, that’s exactly where it came to rest.

Staring at my disobedient Titleist, I didn't know what to do. Why did I keep doing this to myself? Why was I giving in to such a ridiculous thought pattern? When was it going to register that playing out of fear and worry and caution was guaranteeing the negative results from which I was trying to protect myself?

As I walked to the next hole, though, I felt this anger swell up inside. But for once, it wasn’t a debilitating anger…it was an “I’m not going to put up with this anymore” fire, and it allowed me to see things more clearly. Maybe I was going mental, or maybe I’d just hit rock bottom, but whatever it was, I was a different person when I stepped on the tee box.

Golfers are often taught to focus on one thought as they prepare to hit a shot. Typically, it’s some sort of technical key, a trigger to help them execute a particular move in their swing, like “Rotate your hips” or “Stay down through the ball.” But as I stood over my next shot, armed with this newfound determination, I decided it was time that I go with something a little less sophisticated and a lot more primal:

F*** it.

What if I made a terrible swing? F*** it. What if I put it in that impossibly deep bunker? F*** it. What if I banana ball it through that kitchen window? F*** it. Just hit it. No strings attached. No deep, lasting effects. No nothing. The ball is going to go where it’s going to go, and wherever it ends up, we’ll go find it and hit it again.

Not surprisingly, I flushed it right where I was looking, and this time, it was no accident. For the first time in a long while, my swing had some authority to it. It had acceleration. It had power. It had command.

And more than anything, it had freedom.

When I got to the green, I decided to take things a step further – for the rest of the round, I was going to putt with my eyes closed. I’d read about tour players doing this to get back in touch with their feel, but for me, it was more about disassociating from what could go wrong. If I couldn’t see it, I wouldn’t worry about it. I could just concentrate on what I could control – my putting stroke – and trust that the golf ball could find its own way through the great unknown.

I won’t bore you with the shot-by-shot – I know that most people can’t stand to watch golf on TV, much less read about it – but I played the next 10 holes in three under par. That won’t win you much, but it was the easiest, most care-free stretch of my life. My swing wasn’t a model of perfection, nor was I in the “zone”…it was just that I had finally gotten out of my own way, giving my true talent the chance to take effect. Because I literally did not care what happened, I was able to focus on the process of what I wanted to achieve instead of being obsessed with the results. And with my mind uncluttered, my body could perform.

Naturally, once it registered that I had something going, I immediately wanted to protect it, and my old demons began wreaking their usual havoc again. But even though my back nine scorecard was littered with bogeys, I left the golf course knowing that I’d found the answer.

When things aren’t going well, our instincts obviously tell us to do whatever we can to fix them. We want to feel like we have control, so we dig in deeper, and we fight harder, and we scream louder, regardless of where it gets us. But the trick is really to do just the opposite - to relax, to let it go, to try not to try.

And if I could give Garrett Gilbert one piece of advice, that’s exactly what I’d tell him.

After making that head-scratching lateral, Gilbert was fortunately given another shot to redeem himself. Facing a pivotal point in his UT career, he responded admirably by leading the Horns on consecutive touchdown drives of 72, 99 and 94 yards. By no means was he perfect, and there was still plenty of room for improvement, but he did seem to settle down some, flashing the ability that had gotten him tagged just a year ago as the Next Big Thing.

The jury is still out on whether or not he can uphold the recent quarterback tradition that was established by the genius of Vince Young and Colt McCoy, but I still think he’s got a shot. Because beyond his improved second half production, I was most encouraged by something else that I saw the other night, something you won’t find in the game film or on the stat sheet.

Texas had just scored one of their final TDs, and the camera caught Gilbert on the sideline, reacting to the play. Jumping up and down, smiling, celebrating with his teammates, it seemed as if the pressure valve was finally loosening for him. He was happy. He was light. He was just a kid again, playing a game that was supposed to be fun.

And in that moment, even if just for a second, you could almost see his head poking out from underneath the quicksand.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Reference Point


We can’t help but have them. They’re part of being human, and whether we like it or not, they’re always there, constantly shaping how we feel and how we view the world. They help define what we think is good, and what we think is bad. They determine if we’re satisfied or disappointed. They can make us laugh or cry or vomit, and despite our best efforts, we often have very little control over them.

As a University of Texas football fan, I’ve been conditioned over the years to have extremely high expectations. Considering the school’s motto is “We’re Texas,” why wouldn’t I? With world-class facilities, a fertile recruiting base, chart-topping merchandise sales, its own TV network (so what if no one can watch it?) and a campus full of beautiful girls in chaps, the program has been blessed with every advantage imaginable. So it’s only natural to want – to expect – those advantages to be parlayed into consistent success on the field.

Of course, one of my favorite seasons to follow was 2008, when the expectations weren’t so extreme. The Horns were a little under the radar, a little underappreciated, and nobody really thought there was anything special in store. But one good thing happened, and then another, and then another, and the next thing you knew they were the No. 1 team in the country. And even though they ended up falling one second and a BCS screw job short of playing for a national title, watching them game after game was a thrilling, in-the-zone ride, like gambling with found money and continually getting dealt blackjack.

(At least, that’s what it was like until Oklahoma ran up the score on their final four opponents, the voters fell for it, and the Sooners got to play for the championship, despite the fact that Texas had beaten them head-to-head. Then it was like getting kicked in the crotch. But whatever…I’m over it.)

Conversely, the 2009 campaign was like a weekly trip to the proctologist, which is a little strange considering they went 13-1, had a Heisman finalist and won their conference in exhilarating fashion. But as one of the preseason favorites to win it all, expectations were sky high, and every play was run under the weight of that pressure. So when the offense struggled or the margin of victory wasn’t big enough, you were dissatisfied. Wins were met not with excitement and celebration, but with relief. The team was being held to a different standard, and nothing short of perfection was acceptable. And when they fell short in the national title game, the season felt like a complete and total failure.

But we were spoiled, and we didn’t know it. And unfortunately, we were about to get a whole new perspective on what a “complete and total failure” really was.

Fresh off the 25-2 run of ’08-‘09 and ranked in the top five, the dawn of 2010 was business as usual in Austin. Sure, there’d been some key losses to graduation, but with a talent-laden roster, the seemingly next great Texas QB under center and the Head-Coach-In-Waiting as the Defensive Coordinator, it appeared that the train was set to keep on rolling.

And then the team started actually playing.

They were sluggish from the outset, and in hindsight, critics like to claim that they could see this perfect-storm collapse coming from a mile away. But initially, it just felt like an aberration, and you were sure they were going to snap out of it at any moment. That next play, that next series, that next half, it was going to turn around, and all would be right with the world again.

But as the losses steadily piled up – UCLA, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas State – there was no denying that things had spun completely out of control.

And as a fan, my experience of watching the games became much different, and not just because Texas was getting bent over week after week. It was that my expectations had changed, and I was now just waiting for the worst-case scenario to take shape. Every pass was going to get picked off. Every series was going to go three-and-out. Every defensive back was going to get beat deep. Even when there was a good play, I expected it to get wiped out by a penalty (and the officials were more than happy to oblige). In a matter of weeks, I’d been transformed from a cockeyed optimist like Billy Mumphrey to an outright cynic.

Fall behind 39-0 enough and that’s what happens.

When the season mercifully ended with a Thanksgiving night loss to Texas A&M, it marked the beginning of a long, cold winter for UT fans everywhere. While the likes of Toledo and Troy were competing in bowl games, I was left searching for a holiday 90210 marathon as I counted the days until the Longhorns could take the field again with their record reset to 0-0.

But as I sit here now, just hours from the start of the 2011 season, I can’t help feeling utterly confused and discombobulated. Last year turned everything on its head, and I don’t know what to expect anymore. Will they be any good? Can they be competitive again? Was 2010 just a painful detour that’s now in the rearview mirror, or was it the first step towards a looming disaster, like Thelma and Louise shifting into drive?

At this point, I have no clue. Nothing would surprise me. You could tell me that the big Samoan dude from Necessary Roughness will be starting at right tackle or that the first play from scrimmage will involve Bevo as some sort of Trojan Horse, and I wouldn’t be able to dismiss any of it with 100 percent certainty.

In the aftermath of 5-7, there were sweeping changes made to the program. There are now new coaches, new schemes and countless unknowns. The reasonable, more grounded side of me is convinced that we’ll have to suffer through a transitional phase. You can’t make that many changes and not expect there to be growing pains. You’ve got different offensive and defensive systems, question marks at key positions, and a depth chart that features 15 true freshmen, not to mention a schedule that includes dates with three top 10 teams.

On the other hand, these changes have seemed to cleanse the 40 Acres, giving everyone a sense of hope and renewal. There’s a feeling that we could be onto something special, like the beginning of a budding romantic relationship. Everything is so fresh and so exciting. And because nobody’s been caught picking their nose or wearing their granny panties, there’s not a blemish to be found anywhere. The possibilities seem limitless.

That newfound energy is contagious, and a part of me believes that it will lead to a quick turnaround, that the Horns will be right back in the championship chase this year. Comprised of the best and brightest the coaching profession has to offer, this new staff will not only wreak havoc on opponents with their innovation, but they’ll find ways to get the most out of a roster that’s stocked full of four and five-star talent, athletes who were pursued by all of the top programs in the country. And if that’s not enough, there’s half-man, half-amazing – Strength Coach Bennie Wylie – to will everybody forward with the sheer force of his left tricep.

I mean, would you not do whatever this guy to the right said?

With the scars not yet healed from last year, though, the smart move would probably be to temper my expectations as best I can. And when I think about it, it could actually be freeing, allowing me to just sit back, relax, and enjoy having football to watch again, no matter what the outcome may be.

But I have a feeling that strategy is most likely a waste of energy. My passion for UT is intuitive…it comes from some deep, dark corner of my subconscious – as well as from my grandfather, who’s just as irrational as I am – and trying to control it seems useless. Once that ball is kicked off, I’m sure I’ll go back to living and dying with every play, expecting the Horns to come out on top.

After all, we are still Texas.

About Me

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"It's not a lie, if you believe it." Those were the words of one of my generation's great sages, George Costanza, and the more of life I experience, the truer they ring. And while I still haven't found what I'm looking for, the search for my own personal "truths" is never-ending. Care to come along for the ride?