Posted by: Ethan Johnson | April 16, 2010

For the Ladies/The Road Ahead

(Originally published at Actionless Activity. New content will be posted to this site shortly.)

Les Brown, the motivational speaker, is wont to urge people to live their dreams, and in so doing, asks, what can you do today to make progress toward your goals?

This may seem strange to erstwhile readers of this blog, but a big step was realized over my oatmeal this morning: I found my calling. Don’t just call me Mister Women’s Sports. I want to be Mister Women’s Sports.

I’m happy to share the story that bolstered my resolve, courtesy of the CBC sports page.

A few good men step up for Canadian women’s hockey

What what what? Women play hockey?

I mean, I sort of knew they did, and saw something breeze by once about the Frozen Four tournament, but I’m so not into hockey played by anybody and didn’t give it a second thought. I now find that I am more receptive to hockey, and spent the greater part of my extended morning researching all things hockey. Which led to the discovery of the Clarkson Cup, and by extension, Women’s Hockey.

From the linked article:

Last Saturday night, a dinner was hosted at the Calgary home of Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson. Guests included the 26 current members of the national women’s hockey team, who are training full-time in Calgary and vying for a position on the final roster of this year’s women’s Olympic team. These players have been training extremely hard during centralization in Calgary this year, and will continue to train as February nears.


Each player was presented with a cheque for $10,000 and when the announcement was made the entire room went silent unsure if the announcement was for real. McEleney, who represented the golf tournament’s board, which also consisted of Peri Luel (XMC Marketing), Viti Gomes (NIKE Golf), and Tom Bitove (Hockey Canada Foundation) presented each player with their cheque. It was an emotional moment for all involved.

Really, read the whole thing. Perhaps, like me, you will be circling dates on your calendar to check out Olympic Women’s Hockey.

Last night, I was lamenting the state of my personal affairs, most notably that I am squeaking by on the barest minimum of funds, week in and week out. “Travel” for me means that I had to drive to the next town over. I literally can’t afford the gas to go anywhere except to and from work 6 days a week and the grocery store once a week. In short, I so don’t have $10,000 checks to dole out, to anyone.

But I want to.

One day, I had a moment of clarity where I decided to use good ole Kaizen to improve my financial standing. Part of my job involves cashiering, and almost every day at least one customer walks away and says “keep the change.” I decided, okay, I will. I got out my old change jug and put it on my kitchen counter, and clink clink clink in went 13 cents. Clink a dime. CLINK a quarter.

My goal was to empty the jar (old Snapple bottle) when it was full to the “shoulders”. I was going to buy a fancy wine, but screw that noise. I downgraded my goal to a comforter so I’m not shivering at night, but screw that noise too.

No, the contents of that jug are destined to aid and abet women’s athletics somehow, somewhere. Maybe I’ll buy official team merchandise. Maybe I’ll buy a Baylor basketball ticket, and they get the proceeds whether I can make the drive or not. Maybe I’ll really get rootsy and donate it to a local girls’ team. We’ll see how helpful I can be once the jug is emptied.

I have toughed it out living on what I call the razor’s edge for six months now. I can tough it out some more while I seek out more gainful employment.

I asked myself what is important to me, and ultimately I’m very passionate about Women’s Athletics. It’s very easy to complain about how little support female athletes receive in the grand scheme of things, but instead I asked, what can I do today to support my passion?

Those aren’t coins in that jar. They’re seeds.

(Update 11/1/2009: I not only added 62 cents to my change jug today, I made a small donation to the general US Olympic Team fund. Every little bit counts.)



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