Friday, April 25, 2014


While sitting in a dissertation defense the other day, I had a feeling of panic wash over me.  There are so many things that I have not accomplished in these past few months.  Do I keep fighting to achieve these goals - belated now as they may be?  Or do I let sleeping dogs lie?  It would be so much easier to just let it slide - to move on.

Desperate to calm my nerves, I found this article: Ex-soccer pro now high school head (from the Japan News, 読売新聞 より)

The article is exactly as the title suggests - an ex pro soccer player is now a principal at a high school.  While in high school, his own soccer coach suggested that he become a teacher.  This led the now 30 year old obtained his degree and teaching license before putting in 6 years as a professional soccer player at a J2 club.  When he retired in 2011, he was asked to help a private school start up a soccer team.  Now, he has become their principal.

I only found this article because it made a point to mention that this soccer player turned teacher administrator attended and played on the same soccer team as Makoto Hasebe.  And I'm not even entirely sure why I read it, other than the fact that I was looking for a distraction and this was surely one.

The tone of the article was different than I expected - I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting.  But I was impressed to find this man's story overturned a few negative judgments I had formed from the article's title.  (I know: shame on me.)  Most of all, I received some very clear advice.  "Whenever you have trouble making a choice, take the tougher route."

The panic immediately subsided.  If this man that I didn't know but had come to respect in sixteen short paragraphs could make tough decisions and succeed, then so, surely, could I.  I switched off my phone, turned my attention back to the presentation and smiled.

There is work to do.  Let's begin....again.

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