I recently had the great pleasure of hearing Mike Ditka speak as the keynote address to the attendees at our annual conference. I have to be honest though, I did not have high hopes for his message. I have every respect for him as a player, idolize him as a coach and appreciate him as a broadcaster but as a public speaker? Let’s just say I was less than optimistic.
To put it simply, he blew me away.
While he shared some great stories, expounded on the current state of the NFL and had many pieces of sage advice, the one piece that particularly struck me was the following:
“If you are out working hard and on the road all week, don’t do some stupid ass thing with your buddies on the weekend. That time is for your family” – Mike Ditka
I wanted to get up and scream “AMEN!!”
You see, it is particularly hitting home this weekend. My family and I have been helping the ‘family’ across the street move to ‘their’ new home. The reason I chose to use ‘family’ and ‘their’ in quotations is because only the mother and the kids who were heading to the house we assisted with. The husband in this case has chosen to move on and move elsewhere. You see, he is on the road a lot and has simply grown apart. However, he is not a RoadWarrior. He is the antithesis of a RoadWarrior.
It appears that through his physical separation, he has separated emotionally from the rest of his household as well. He has other interests, other activities, other priorities. He has separated from his wife and her kids. He has chosen the path of least resistance.
A RoadWarrior does not quit. They move forward but they absolutely do not quit. They understand that life is lived at home and is not put on hold till they get back. The work they do on the road is maximized in order to maximize their time at home. By working their tails off while on the road, they ensure they are able to maximize their time with (not around) their family while they are at home.
That is why we helped the family across the street move and settle in to their new house. Not just me. My wife and both of my boys also. We skipped our normal time on the karate matt. We passed on being a part of the black belt test that was being conducted this afternoon. We put off dinner with the grandparents who we have not seen in weeks. We were present in the lives of those who needed us most, the family across the street and each other and we did it as a family
Iron Mike’s words could not have rung truer today. I love to golf but that is 5 hours away from those who deserve my attention. I am constantly trying to find more ways to be on the karate matt (most Saturday’s involve 5+ hours either doing or instructing) but today that would have been a ‘stupid ass thing to do’. Today, I needed to feed into the lives of my neighbors by my actions and to my kids by my example.
Remember RoadWarriors, we do what we do for our families and friends. Not in spite of them.