I am often asked by new clients and old if I have any children. My answer is always the same, yes many and…no, not yet…Any of you who know me know exactly what I mean.
As someone who has the blessed opportunity of spending a lot of time with young people ranging from grade school through early thirties (young is relative), I’ve been given a great gift to connect and develop friendships with so many young folks, at so many different stages of maturation. Watching them, learn, change, improve, make mistakes, grow, struggle, grow… is one of the greatest privileges of my life.
This blog is about one very special young man, an east coaster, I have had the privilege of spending time with for the past 6 or 7 years who turns 27 today! He is a friend, teammate, student and family member to me. I call him Pat Wildwood cause his name is Pat and hails from the jersey shore.
We were introduced through a mutual friend at a paddle board workout, the mutual friend ended up largely discontinuing those early morning workouts due to schedule but not his buddy big Pat Wildwood, after the first workout, he kept reaching out and showing up, morning after morning, all summer. It was a very simple arrangement, I bring the boards he brings me hot, black coffee, and we hammer. We got fit that summer…
Over the last 7 or so years I have watched this disciplined, committed, persistent young man lean into his goals and dreams and continue to develop as an athlete, young professional, leader and as a man.
As much as I’ve enjoyed the many morning battles on the board and some of the head to head racing we’ve done, I’ve especially enjoyed the many meals we’ve shared at my beach bungalows. Time to simmer, vent, laugh, over indulge and reflect on things east coast and west, but mostly just spend time.
Like the coffee/board arrangement, at our dinners Pat chops, does the dishes, and usually brings some grape juice and I provide the high quality chow and cook it up in a healthy hearty fashion, his favorite, is potatos, chips, mashed… patatos!
Over those many dinners we’ve let each other into our best selves and ambitious plans as well as let the guard down, bouncing our mistakes, fears and disappointments off one another. As a coach and as a friend it’s simply the best to watch people learn and develop who they are from the inside out and sport along with the time off the water, cleaning up, eating meals is a great vehicle for just that.
Pat Wildwood continues to cover ground and make impressive progress in every area of his life, not perfect progress (as if that really exits) but real progress, the kind that looks like small improvements, set backs, unplanned pauses and more small progress. Such determined progress really does lead to monumental personal results, and it’s how winning in any arena is done.
The city of SD recently made the brilliant choice to employ Pat as a full time, year round lifeguard, additionally this open hearted lifesaver and hard worker is developing his real estate investing portfolio and more importantly perhaps, stepping up big time as a leader and role model to the young people he surrounds himself with in his job and in his athletic passions.
Over the years he’s earned recognition as the athlete of the year for the SD lifeguards, earned himself multiple open division surf racing finals and multiple formal leadership positions within SD lifesaving.
If/when I have kids of my own I hope my 27 year old son is the kind of man that Patrick is, tough, brave, loyal, hard working, honest, reliable, and a gentlemen.
Here’s to the next 27 big guy, I love you.