Nice People can sometimes be Unholy

But it only lasted about a minute, if that 😀

All kinds of crazy thought this day. Earlier in the day when I was driving I was listening to the radio and then for some reason another song popped into my head and I started dancing in my car. (Who doesn’t do that?!) Then that moment reminded of a super nice, super sweet girl I knew in high school who used to give me rides to school. We would listen to the radio and she would dance while she was driving the whole 20 minutes or so that it took to get to school 😀 Loved that girl.

I have been very fortunate to know many nice, wonderful, sweet, thoughtful people. I know many young humans who also fall under that category too 😀 It is difficult in a competitive activity to get those kids to hit a switch and become ninja assassins who will take to tasks with a killer instinct. One of my early attempts at that many years ago was to pull aside a sweet, shy, quiet girl aside during a break and I gave her this talk. I told her what a great person she was and that I was sure she was loved and liked by many people and that was great. But on the field I wanted her to be Spike, a badass biker who kicks puppies and eats nails and glass. Something to that effect, it was a long time ago, but that was the gist of my message.

Activity continues and another instructor asks me what did I tell that girl. I asked him why he wanted to know. He said because she is crying now D: Oops. I don’t know what part of the message made her cry. I remember talking to her again soon after, next break probably. I don’t remember what I said but she did eventually become the kind of performer that I hope all the students I work with become 😀

Back to nice people. Towards the end of my hike yesterday with my friend we stopped briefly so she could adjust her dog’s collar. As she did that she started talking to him (yes him, not it!) telling him something about he will be getting water soon. A kid (I say kid, he was probably around 22-24, if you are under 30, you are a kid to me) jogging by stops in his tracks. He is wearing one3 of those backpacks that are filled with water and asks us if we would like him to share some of his water with the dog 😀 That was so awesome!

I mentioned before I have been referred to in the past as being too nice a person. OMG. I have talked about this in a long time. It is all about perspective. When you’re aware of the incredible amount of suck in the whole and you contrast that with a person that is consistently thoughtful and respectful of others in all situations, then yes, okay, I can see how another person can have the perception that I am too nice. Really my objection to that phrase when I have heard other people use it is in the context that for whatever reason they believe I should not be so nice. That, from my perspective, seems absurd. Really?! Doesn’t more nice equal less suck? Maybe I need to check my math on that one.

Oh that reminds me. When I went off on some of the battery cats at last year’s Memorial Weekend Camp on a Sunday night (and really it was because they messing with MY TIME) the next morning every single one of the battery got to P/T before anyone else. I think they were all about 15 minutes early. As color guard people started showing up I sent them back to their gym to sleep another 30 minutes or whatever. When all of the horn line was there now with the battery I gave the two sections a brief talk. I don’t remember what exactly. I think it was something to the effect that as an ensemble, they had done a tremendous amount of work. All the goals we had set as a staff, they had accomplished. That day was all about the polish. I gave them the 30 minutes we would have taken for P/T for them to do whatever they needed to do to max that day out. The battery went back to the gym and drummed on pads in sections. The horn line went to the field and did P/T on their own.

One of the other instructors seeing what was going on kidded me about that through the morning. The night before I was super angry at some of those battery kids. They couldn’t see, I don’t remember my voice trembling, but my body was shaking. I don’t think I swore, but I did unleash an unholy brief jagged speech. I used words like whips and knives. I tried to keep my voice down for those who may have been sleeping, but it was apparently heard across the gym by many of the other kids, who I found out later we terrified. When I went back outside to eat snacks and chat with the other adults still up I felt terrible. The words I used were filled with angry emotion. That is not an appropriate instructional strategy. The other adults were laughing at me because they stuck their heads in the gym to hear how I was going to handle the discipline situation for those kids blasting porn audio over a loudspeaker.

I didn’t cancel P/T for the group that morning because of what had happened the night before. I wasn’t trying to “make-up” for being so angry by being “nice.” I was genuine in telling them great job this weekend, here’s 30 minutes for you to make you better.

Be Smart. Max Your Gig. Don’t Suck

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