First things first. This post has some “language.” If you’re out. You’re out.
If you care to stick around, cool beans.
I’ve had this post for more than a month and have tried to change the words a bit, but it just doesn’t work. If you are an *ss-kicker, I know you feel me and understand why any other word just doesn’t work. If you aren’t one, I hope you know that we all have something that drives us.
Mine is an inner *ss-kicker. Simple as that.
Are we good? Cool, moving on.
I’m a very driven person. Part of that is genetics, part is personality and part is external forces working in my life – relational dynamics, barriers, obstacles, etc. Regardless of the genesis, there is not a day that goes by that I am not driven by my inner force. It breaks through in almost every aspect of my life. When I find something I particularly like and am relatively good at I will knock stuff down and go after it.
Much of my success as an athlete came from this drive. I was not the best athlete, but I found a way to be a pretty successful volleyball player – (I don’t need to hear the argument of why that makes me a good athlete as well. Most good athletes know the difference between being a good athlete and being good at a sport. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I was a good volleyball player, not necessarily a great athlete. But let’s move on).
Once I finished playing at a highly competitive level (Division I, professional) it was a little hard for me to find my way. I coached a season of Division I collegiate ball as a volunteer 4th assistant at Long Beach State University (ahem, California State University at Long Beach – says husband) and got to hit a lot of balls off Debbie Green. I also coached club for one of the best clubs in Orange County, CA and also tried to stay connected by playing in whatever local indoor and beach stuff they had going on.
I was a little aimless for a while toeing the line between playing and trying to earn a living doing something with my degree (laughs), since my professional sports career had ended.
After a few years of doing this, I stepped way off the court and into a cubicle in an effort to move on and pay my bills. Because in case you were wondering, the volunteer 4th assistant coach doesn’t get paid in anything except awesome sets by a former Olympian setter, and quite frankly that was enough for a while. I mean, have you ever even seen Debbie Green set?
So, I worked in a cubicle.
If you are an *ss-kicker this is the equivalent of dying inside a little bit. But, bills need to be paid and food needs to be bought, so I just re-purposed my drive into six-figure salaries, commission checks and health benefits. It worked.
For a while.
Soon, I decided that I just needed to shut down the *ss-kicker. It was too much of a load to carry. All that un-manifested energy, quotas, goals, glass ceilings and corporate ladders. I didn’t want that game. I just did my job and went home. I eight-to-five’d my life for about six years. I didn’t go in early, I didn’t stay late. I just did what was expected of me and because most other people do only 5% of what is expected of them, I looked like a superstar. But, I knew that somewhere deep down that the *ss-kicker was alive and well and it was just a matter of time before that thing came knocking again.
It’s been quite some time since I started ignoring that voice inside. Getting married and having children was no place for the *ss-kicker.
That’s not to say that I don’t instill drive, passion, integrity and all the rest into my parenting, but being a mother is not about bulldozing my kids. It’s not about me or my goals. Priorities change whether we like it our not. Back burners get set to low heat and personal goals are left to simmer slowly while the pots and pans on the hotter front burners get attention.
So, I let them simmer.
But simmering pots eventually get hot.
Today, the *ss-kicker is alive and well.
I have found amazing, healthy, ways to express the passion and drive I have within. I am able to surrender to the main priorities in my life and also knock out my personal goals in this new season. I refuse to sacrifice the interests and passions of my children for my own, but I also know they are watching and learning from me too.
I know there are some of you out there who have had to shut down the *ss-kicker within. I’ve been there. When the timing is right and drive and passion begin to bubble up and beckon for you to do something about it, listen to it. Maybe you need to wait a bit for things to line up, but one thing I know is that God does not waste one tiny little bit of your life or your experiences.
Not the struggles, not the pain, not the successes, not the set-backs, not the sadness or the joy, not the years you spent being an idiot.
He doesn’t even waste the inner *ss-kicker.
He just teaches you how to use it.