I’m a firm believer that everyone is out there searching for purpose. Purpose may look different or come in different forms for each person. However, those looking for it and open to it will ultimately find it.
When I went to college I started out as a music major. I’ve been blessed to play music most of my life and the experiences gained through that has made a deep impact on my life. However, I quickly realized that I like playing music far more than practicing, and I also wasn’t that interested in much of the curriculum. As I started searching for another path I had always thought about teaching in school. At that time my grades weren’t superb, especially to get into our college of education, which was highly competitive at Western Washington University. All hope of teaching was not lost. Little did I know that over time I would be given many opportunities to teach, and in ways I didn’t necessarily see coming.
Jump forward many years later and I’ve been able to impact many lives of those around me. Some of them I would see often while others I would see one or two days, or never again. One of the things I love about being involved in sports, specifically youth instruction and development is that I get the privilege of working with so many kids. Don’t get me wrong, at times it’s very difficult work, and I’m forever grateful to full-time teachers and educators who teach our kids on a daily basis. Every teacher regardless of what they do has those moments and experiences that show the impact they’re having. Most of the time we don’t get to see the fruition of our work, but every now and then glimmers of it come up and remind us why we teach.
This spring I was invited to the U19 Men’s World Floorball Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The company Premier Floorball, out of the area, brought me out to be part of the event. Aside from getting the chance to support Team Canada and Team USA, I got to just be a spectator. Which isn’t always the case as of late. It was wonderful watching all the teams play in such a fun atmosphere. As part of the event I put on some clinics for local kids. A few things struck out to me while I was there.
It doesn’t matter the size of the group you’re in front of you can still make an impact. While the number of kids wasn’t much for some there always lies an opportunity to make an impact. One session I ran included one child in particular. His mom and he showed up to the clinic and he seemed a little nervous. We even coaxed his older brother to join us even though he reminded me that he was a hockey player. Immediately I jumped into teacher mode. While I had two kids I ran them through a number of drills and games to get them moving and having fun. The family was there because they were looking for something for the younger son to do and Floorball sounded like something he would be interested in. In a 35 min time frame he took to the sport quite well. It wasn’t much time, but at the end it was apparent to me that he had fun. I encouraged them to sign up with the local club and give it a shot. I don’t know it they ever did that, but I’m hopeful that through a positive experience with Floorball that he might down the road.
We never know the impact we will make on people. Sometimes we have a lifetime with people, and others we have fleeting moments. We have the opportunity each time to make a lasting impact. Hopefully that impact is a positive one, and while it may not always work out that way we still have the chance each day. I’m grateful for every moment I get to explore my purpose and share it with others. I hope if you’re reading this you’ve found yours, or are open to seeing what that is for you.