When we stop asking questions, we stop learning, we stop growing, and we start stagnating in a slimy pit of acceptance of “what is” even if we’re not sure why it is.
The things I never thought I would question became primary targets of serious questioning. Every profession I’ve had started with an extended honeymoon. My football coaching honeymoon lasted almost 2 decades. I was a full fledged addict. Long before the texting addiction, I was drawing Xs & Os on napkins in cafes trying to map out the unstoppable pass play while “doing coffee” for one reason or another. When my daughters were children, their cereal boxes were full of Xs and Os. I replaced the windows in my gym office at X Fitness with white boards to get my fix of Xs and Os. I have a post-it notebook in every washroom at home and at X Fitness, to draw more Xs and Os. Formations, blitzes, pass plays, running plays. I was an Xs and Os junkie. Even during Mass – I brought a pen and notebook and snuck in a few during the priest’s halftime speeches.
Then the honeymoon ended. The best way to break an addiction is when the pleasure becomes painful. When bliss turned to hell, no rehab was necessary for my coaching addiction. I put coaching where it belonged – a part of my life, not my whole life. I was left with cognitive constipation clogging my system. I needed to purge. My detox started by writing a book called 4th & hell: Season 1. That book only made my addiction worse. It was a fun, cheery look behind the scenes of a real-life true story of David versus Goliath in pads – a Canadian collegiate football starting from scratch playing in the USA. The reviews made it worse. Readers found the story to be inspiring and entertaining. I didn’t feel purged. I then wrote 4th & Hell seasons 2, 3, 4, and 5 because each season included had-to-be-seen-to-be-believed stories that forced me to question why the hell I do what I do.
All five books raised more questions than they answered. I learned my lesson – some mysteries aren’t meant to be solved. They’re meant to be lived. And loved. Even the hell parts need to be lived and loved because in the long run (no pun intended), that’s where true meaning is found. The honeymoon is great. The honeymoon is easy to love. But it’s not real. Real-life hits hard when the honeymoon ends and it’s back to the grind. The tough part is loving what needs to be loved when it doesn’t deserve to be loved. It works both ways – imagine the hell we’d all be in if we were loved only when we deserved it.
On a different note, here’s my next back-to-basics workout song from my Top 100 Classic Rock Hits for the gym. The link is after my initials. May we all continue to be loved when we don’t deserve it and continue to love when it’s not deserved.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com His books include: 4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur . He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. And a new 8-volume interrogation book series, soon to be released.