My coaching colleague and I finally wave down a taxi and jump in. We are in China and we don’t speak Chinese and he doesn’t speak English; this is going to be interesting. Thank goodness we downloaded translators on our phones, or else there is no telling where we would have ended up. We show the driver where we want to go, he starts the meter, and we are off. Then all of a sudden, the driver starts talking in full paragraphs to us like we know what he is saying. My colleague and I look at each other with a smirk and began to speak back about every random thing we can think of. This is done with lots of animation and energy and goes on for a couple of dialogues without anyone knowing what anyone else is saying; it was quite humorous. It ends with lots of laughter, pats on the shoulder and smiles.
We have been coaching a program called Train the Trainers with anywhere from 200 to 500 coaches. When walking into a gym where there is a language barrier, it can be a question of, ‘how am I going to teach and speak with everyone for four days with two sessions each?’ Again the translator saves the day, but they don’t always portray the emotion that I’m are trying to get across. There were times that I would say something with lots of enthusiasm while running and jumping and the translator would say it standing still in a monotone voice. I usually busted out laughing when that would happen. Basketball is a universal language, so most people can understand what you are saying with your actions and attempts of informal sign language (and may I say, it’s lots and lots of informal sign language lol). But what makes it all enjoyable is how you speak with the people around you and the interaction. Sometimes words don’t do your actions justice. So when I am coaching, I am constantly moving around smiling, enjoying what I am doing, encouraging those who are with me, having a great time with all and any situation that is dealt. This comes from within. Whatever is in your heart is what spews out of you. Do you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness? People can see those characteristics that you have and usually mimic the excitement and joy of it. Yes, being collected and professional is something that we should encompass, but don’t forget to be real. These days you always have to be politically correct and articulate in a business fashion, but in all honesty, I say, encompass what is needed for that situation, but don’t get lost in all the jib-jab. Be you, don’t be afraid to let your personality show. It’s all about your attitude and being the light in your own life, so you can be the light in someone else’s and lift them to a place of inspiration and hope.
I went downstairs to grab some yogurt for breakfast. As I grabbed it in the container, I was looking for the spoon, and there was no spoon, only straws. So a new place with different ways than my own to eat yogurt. I am totally down. So I stuck a straw in the top and drank it like a smoothie. I think I might adopt this back in the States, less silverware to wash lol. I love trying new ways for me to experience life. Although I will say, chopsticks can be a bit of a struggle, especially when my hand begins to cramp after trying so hard to use them… They won’t get the best of me lol. I did take a break from them and ate some amazing Mexican food the other day. I can neither confirm nor deny that it was actually Taco Tuesday haha…(and for those that need to know, Mexican food is one of my favorites!).
Stay Blessed and Uplifted!
One day between flights, talk about a quick turn around. I arrived back in Dallas, Texas from working an amazing basketball camp in the Caribbean and was trying to gather my thoughts as I recollected on what has happened this past year. 2019 alone I have lived in India for 4 months, trained athletes in Louisiana for 1 month, went on a mission trip to Montana where I ran the basketball portion and helped work with the horses (my first love) for 2 weeks, participated in the NBA Summer League in Vegas for 2 weeks, traveled to the British Virgin Islands to run a clinic for a day and then back to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a camp for almost 2 weeks. My head is spinning as I walk off the plane into the airport to grab my luggage. It is midnight and I am ready to get some zzz’s. I have lots to do before I board my next International flight in less than 27 hours.
Ever since I have let go of my dreams and career and gave it all to God, my life has been so much more relaxed and spontaneous at the same time. Let me explain, I do not worry about if I am going to be successful by fulfilling my dreams, because whatever happens, I know I am doing God’s work and am where He wants me to be. Anytime He calls me to stay, I sit and if He calls me to go, I am outta here. So with this lifestyle, it is way more fun! I do keep working towards my long term goals, because Faith without Works is dead, but I have no worries and no expectations within it all. The only pursuit is building my relationship with Christ and serving His people.
On my way to Oklahoma City, where my next flight flew out of, I pulled off the highway into a small town. “What a day to get my wallet stolen.” I thought as I shook my head. I had just finished calling the banks and cancelling my cards and was on my way to get a new drivers license. I always like going to smaller towns to get important things done, way less traffic and shorter lines. I figure it’s a good philosophy. I began to drive down Main Street and thought how quaint and quiet the little town was. It was so pretty. I parked a good ways from the tag agency so I could walk the downtown area a bit. It was great to take it all in and just breath before I had to move on. Sometimes you just have to slow down, go at your own pace and take in the fresh air. So that’s what I did.
As I am refreshed, packed up and ready to go on my new adventure, I am excited, prayerful, and relaxed. I can’t wait to begin another journey in a new place. Pray for me and my travels as I am visiting a country I have not been to before. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences.
Next stop China….