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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ready To Play

Put me in Coach. I'm ready to play. Today.
Centerfield, John Fogerty (1985).

Shaun Arritola, Craig Groseth & Rob Sorge at the end of our 5 day, 300+ mile DED Dirt Ride in 2014,
which was part of Rob's start to his "Second Half."

Several years ago, Rob Sorge, my best friend from college, retired after a successful 33+ year career as an engineer. At that time, Rob thoughtfully created an outline, or perhaps more of a conceptual framework, on how to live the next phase of his life with intentionality and purpose. He called his post-retirement phase "The Second Half" and shared it with family and friends. Ever since, he has relentlessly pursued his "Second Half," just like he pursued a loose ball on the basketball court, a baseline bullet on the tennis court, or a finish in the swimming pool.

In a recent congratulatory note to me, Rob noted that now I was entering my "The Second Half." He then added that, for me, maybe it's my "Third Quarter." At first, I thought he was referring to my playing football and basketball, which both had four quarters.

But, no. Rob wasn't referring to sports. My First Quarter was everything leading to and including a 21+ year career in the private practice of law as an intellectual property law litigator. From the start, I had the heart, mindset and lifestyle of go/go/go, achieve/achieve/achieve, next/next/next. Shoot for the top, the hardest, the best. Excel. Move up. Move forward. Move on. Next.

Eventually, I realized that working so hard to achieve makes it difficult to recognize success, let alone enjoy it. At age 47, I radically changed. All of it. Heart. Mindset. Lifestyle. I extracted myself from all of that and started my Second Quarter.

Centerfield, John Fogerty (1985).

We moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, my wife's hometown, and I began to search for a unmet community need. In a wildly unexpected development, I was led to serve our community as a Correctional Officer at the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. Now, there's a community service need that very few are able or willing to undertake, let alone endure for any length of time. It is a difficult environment that demands interpersonal communication skills and situational awareness far beyond the court room. Despite the challenges, I loved the opportunity to serve and I loved the people.

However, it's also a young man's game, which I played at my best for 12 years. But I can't play forever and the clock eventually expired on my Second Quarter. Closing in on age 62, I recently retired from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

Now, it's my Third Quarter. I do not know where this will lead. I do not yet have an outline, other than a determination to keep an open heart, being especially attentive to a call to serve an unmet need.

Put me in, Coach. I'm ready to play. Today.

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