Rainbows in the Making

by Lance Ekum on · 60 comments

 Rainbow Valley
Creative Commons License photo credit: rwangsa

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” ~ G. K. Chesterton


It must have a thing for me.

Some History

Before we talk about the rain, though, let’s go back just a little bit.  The middle of August, and sign up for this year’s soccer program through the local rec department. We had two kids signing up to play.  A great way for them to stay active in the fall, in a sport they both enjoy very much.  And then we received a call.  Bekah’s team (my daughter) did not have enough kids signed up to field a team.  Because of football, several boys had signed up to play on only the spring portion of this team ( a fall/spring season).   This was my first year coaching her.  It looked like our season was over before it even began.  And then…a couple more late registrations trickled in.  And we had about enough for a team – players from neighboring towns, not just local kids.  Kids who wanted to play, however for whatever reason, they were unable to play in their local soccer clubs (no team, full team, etc).

So, we’ve become a coed team playing in an almost all-boy league.  Playing against kids who have played soccer for many years together, while we’re a hodge podge of players from all over the area – some kids who have never played together before, and some who haven’t played all that much soccer.

So, our games are usually one-sided…and we’re on the short end of the stick.  It’s not for lack of effort.  So our season has been.  And still, everyone has remained completely upbeat – both at practices and during the games.

Fast Forward

September brought beautiful weather for all of our soccer practices…until last week’s practice.  All day had been gusty winds, cool temperatures, and with short bursts of rain showers mixed in.  Still, as we neared practice time, I really still wanted to have a practice. 

And then notice that a football game we were supposed to go to later that night  was cancelled due to the weather…followed shortly by a call indicating that my son’s soccer practice was canceled – again, because of the weather.

Soccer practice, for us, would go on.  For those kids who could make it. 

"…I have found over the years it is those moments when I want to go home or stay home and not go out that I experience the greatest reward. No expectations, I guess, helps to avoid disappointment. But being there sometimes makes all the difference!…" ~ Stacey Shipman, in a recent comment on another post.

So we showed up, eight kids in total (out of 12 if everyone is there).  And the rain was coming down sideways.  No other teams at the park to practice, just us.  Normally we work on some skill enhancements for a part of the practice.  The favorite part of the practice for everyone, though, is the scrimmage we do at the end. Here we were, though, eight kids who had shown up despite terrible weather – to play soccer.  So, I threw out all expectations for that practice.  It was raining, it was cold, it was windy.  None of it very much fun – especially in the face of the "less fun" part of practice.  So we decided we’d just much fun as we could. We broke into two teams to scrimmage each other – really, hardly enough to field two teams.   To just play the game they love.

And we ran, and we laughed.  And the light rain that started practice quickly turned to heavy downpours, coming down sideways with the strong winds.  No expectations.  And soaked bodies.  Soaked with not only rain, with the goodness of "showing up" and being out there despite the terrible weather conditions.  Soaked with the bonding of a team, built around the quality of "showing up".  Of being there, in the good and the bad. 

Will any of this help us win any games?  In all honesty, probably not.  What it does, though, is give our team one more bond between them.  Something they have, a moment together.  A group of kids, united in one more way. 

Our Daily Lives

How about you?  Are you putting yourself out there?  Think about those things that really matter.  Those things that are maybe in your heart, yet it’s taking you out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes it’s just going for "it", whatever "it" is. 

Getting out there.

And when you do this, and with no expectations, being perfectly okay with whatever the outcome – the reward is great.  And it is great, because whatever you come out on the other side with, no matter how much or how little, it’s more than you went in with.  Maybe you gain some new knowledge, or make a new contact, or meet an old friend, or spur on new ideas, or whatever other myriad of things could happen. 

Life is lived when we’re challenging ourselves to be the best "us" we can be.  And sometimes that’s staying at home.  And other times, that’s putting ourselves out there….without expectation.

A great life is there for you!  For each of you!  Your rainbow is is out there – filled with the many colors that shine "you"!  And that’s a journey that is so worth traveling…

Note:  A special thank you to Stacey Shipman, whose comment (paraphrased above) from an earlier post really spurred this idea.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna October 5, 2009 at 7:25 am

I’ve learned some of my most important life lessons on the soccer field or the swimming pool. It sounds like you are helping your kids discover some important life lessons, too.

In all honesty, I do not always put myself out there. I do what’s easy sometimes..I take the comfortable route. It’s time to change that.

Thanks for the inspiration.
.-= Joanna´s Last Fabulous Post ..Pumpkin soup for you =-.


Positively Present October 5, 2009 at 7:31 am

Great post… I love anything having to do with rainbows so I instantly liked this one! 🙂
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..words to live by: i am wonderful =-.


John October 5, 2009 at 7:35 am

There’s a rainbow for each of us out there. We just have to be willing to look up when times get hard.

I’m sure you’re an awesome soccer coach, Lance. Those kids must love you for helping them to have fun, even on such a rainy day. These days, I feel as if I appreciate rain more – mostly because of the rainbows that come after them.

Congrats, Stacey for inspiring Lance to write this great post.
.-= John´s Last Fabulous Post ..Difficulties Maintaining the Balance Between “Online and Offline” =-.


Erin Brooks October 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

Since I was disabled 3 years it could be very easy for me to just give into the constant pain that haunts me and just lay in bed all day praying one day it will go away. But that isn’t me. I do have my times where the pain wins but mostly I fight! I do things I shouldn’t always do to know if I can still do them and if so how well (to my husband’s dismay sometimes). After I am often treated to worse pain than before but it is so much better for my mind to know I tried or succeeded in doing something even though I am paying for it now! So that is how I push my boundaries.
Great post Lance! 😀 I love Rainbows too they make me smile!
.-= Erin Brooks´s Last Fabulous Post ..Stouffer’s Stuck On My Pan =-.


Srinivas Rao October 5, 2009 at 8:17 am

Awesome post. I think that in most unpleasant situations there is always a rainbow. You just have to look for it.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..One brick at a time, Legos, 15 minutes a day, and the path to accomplishment =-.


Erin Prais-Hintz October 5, 2009 at 8:50 am

I agree that the greatest rewards come from the lowest expectations. But it is hard not to have expectations, isn’t it? I know that there is a plan for me and a reason for my being, and that should be all the expectations that I have. Not that I can’t make choices or have some say in the direction that I want to go. So it is more than just sitting back and letting life lead me, I need to show up. I think that how we show up to “play”…whether that is in a game, at school, to our job, or just waking up each day…really does make a difference. It doesn’t mean I won’t be crabby, or want to bow out at times. It just means that I need to be present to what is possible. I like this quote very much because it reminds me that we all need to put up with a little rain in our lives in order to see something beautiful. I am doing that right now…
Thanks for the great post, Lance. You always know the right thing to say!
Enjoy the day!
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Love a Challenge! =-.


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now October 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

Fear has been a big theme in my life. The stuff that I’m really afraid of is the stuff that I need to tackle the most. I was afraid to speak in public. I avoided it at all costs. Then I realized that if I wanted to make my dreams come true I had to at least try. I joined Toastmasters (public speaking club).

I pushed myself out there and now I love it. The excitement and joy that I get from interacting with a crowd is wonderful.

I bet those kids will talk about their rainy windy practice for weeks and maybe even years later.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy at Work Action Day is Here =-.


Keith October 5, 2009 at 9:41 am

“Life is lived when we’re challenging ourselves to be the best “us” we can be. ”

I do believe that this statement pretty much sums it up. The moment we get lazy and cease to challenge ourselves is the moment we have stopped living. Existing is not necessarily living is it?

Your team exemplifies the phrase “Team Spirit” and I bet they share a bind that is rare amongst many sports teams. In the simple act of just “showing up” , the kids on your team accomplished more in themselves thatn they may realize right now. They’re building character inside themselves that will serve them well as they grow older. Great job Lance and many kudos to your team!
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Begin Where You Are! =-.


The Exception October 5, 2009 at 10:18 am

It is living at our highest potential!
Your rainy practice will be one that they remember – and that bond will make a difference. Their dedication to the sport and their love of it is something I love to see – and their willingness to get out there, laugh, and have fun!! So often we get caught in the business of entertainment, sports, work, life, whatever… that we forget to relax and have fun. To take a chance and laugh!!
Sometimes I wonder if we allow ourselves to stop living at times – finding reasons not to be out there or inside living or being at our highest potential?
Great post –
When it rains, grab a coat!
.-= The Exception´s Last Fabulous Post ..It’s Your Fault! =-.


Stacey Shipman October 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

oh, lance. First, thank you for the mention much appreciated. Second this speaks very much to the post I’m working on and what I learned last week from that audition. Yes, I’m putting myself out there, and boy does it feel good! However, it was a long road to travel before I could…

thank you!


Caroline October 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

Lance, you inspire us once again! I love this post. So many times I think life can be like practicing in the rain. We don’t want to do it…but find that once we are out there…we are stronger and happier for it. As I sit here typing I am putting off going out to exercise…but after this I am going to! For I know I will be stronger and happier 🙂
.-= Caroline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Mosaic Monday – Those who inspire me =-.


Nadia - Happy Lotus October 5, 2009 at 11:15 am

Hi Lance,

Great post and aren’t rainbows awesome? 🙂

When I turned thirty, I reached the conclusion that some people in life are cliff jumpers and some just stand at the edge peering over and debating whether to jump or not. Personally, I have always jumped off cliffs regardless if I had a parachute or not. And each time, I landed on my feet. Yes, there were times when there were some bumps and bruises but the thrill of it all made it worth it.

Life is so short and there is no reason to be a slave to fear. Fear is an illusion, a powerful illusion but it is still an illusion. So putting overselves out there may look scary but it really isn’t.

Good for you for going out in the rain and having fun. I wish I could have been there…sounds like you all had a great time.
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..You Are Not Your Past =-.


Nathalie Lussier October 5, 2009 at 11:34 am

Hi Lance!
I love rainbows, and you just explained them so well as they apply to us human beings. 🙂 It’s different for each of us, and sometimes we need to let go of fears to get there. I’ve certainly been doing a lot of that recently, and it definitely feels good. (And scary! Scary good.)

I think we can’t do anything but put ourselves out there. Otherwise we aren’t living life to the fullest, as it was meant to be. 🙂

It’s been raining here too, and somehow when I go out it doesn’t seem as fun as when you do. Time to add the fun back in!
.-= Nathalie Lussier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Healthy Foods vs. Unhealthy Foods =-.


vered | blogger for hire October 5, 2009 at 11:55 am

I’m getting better at putting myself out there. Being married to someone who seems to enjoy getting me out of my comfort zone helps. 🙂
.-= vered | blogger for hire´s Last Fabulous Post ..Bloggers to be Fined up to $11,000 for Not Disclosing Payments =-.


Joy October 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm


How perfect! You are talking about “getting in the game” purely for the fun of it! Forget about skills, rules, obligations, just enjoy it and have fun. Enjoy the moment together. Some days you are extremely prepared/ready, some days you just show up. Sometimes the days you just manage to show up hold the most delightful surprises. Perfect metaphor for life, and exactly what I needed to hear today.
Absolutely amazing picture. Would love to be standing on the hillside taking it all in:)


Laurie October 5, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Many times showing up is the biggest challenge. I find that is especially true with going to work out. If I can just show up, the rest is easy.

I believe the most difficult place to just show up is in our marriages. Instead of being present and being real with your partner, many times people will welcome distraction in order to protect them self and not be vulnerable. I say show up and make marriage better!!!


Hayden Tompkins October 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

“Getting out there.”

You sure know how to get to the point! Getting out there is often uncomfortable and I actually am HIGHLY uncomfortable with the lime light. I guess that’s the direction I need to follow. Karl’s idea is a great one and I think Toastmasters is a fabulous idea!
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s Last Fabulous Post ..DIY The Universe =-.


Angelia sims October 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Wonderful post and picture, great story of your dedication to the kids. Physically being there and showing them, it’s okay to do something out of the norm. The reward is always there if you make it through the storm. The rainbow. The rainbow is so glorious! Sometimes, it takes a storm to really appreciate them. Love this, thank you!!
.-= Angelia sims´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday healthy reflection =-.


Amanda Linehan October 5, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Hi Lance – Hmmm, the rain. Well, the rain can be miserable, if we see it like that, or it can be really fun! The idea of putting yourself out there even when conditions aren’t favorable is an important one because we are often surprised at what we will get. And, after all, if it doesn’t work out the way you would like, all you got was a little wet. 😉
.-= Amanda Linehan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Living Through The Low Point =-.


Lori October 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Keep chasing rainbows, Lance! Way to go!
Your post reminds me of the times I’ve played sports in the rain (or snow, or hail).
And, you know, those are some of my most memorable moments in life.
(I love the photo here, too, Lance.)
Thank you!
.-= Lori´s Last Fabulous Post ..Your Body is a Fortress, Part 6 – The Pectoralis Minor =-.


Lori October 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

P.S. I love your new banner! Awesome! 🙂
.-= Lori´s Last Fabulous Post ..Your Body is a Fortress, Part 6 – The Pectoralis Minor =-.


FatFighterTV October 5, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Lately, I’ve been “staying at home” instead of putting myself out there. Gotta get back at it…
.-= FatFighterTV´s Last Fabulous Post ..Breast cancer awareness prize pack giveaway =-.


brandi October 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

this is an incredible post lance!! What a great perspective and way to look at things. It’s when you give up and say heck with it, I can’t control everything that the deepest moments happen.

wonderful. thank you for sharing.
.-= brandi´s Last Fabulous Post ..mission monday:: appreciating what’s right in front of you =-.


Lisa's Chaos October 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I hate rain – no, i really hate rain – i LOVE snow, but i hate rain! i hated those days when I had to sit in the rain while my kids played soccer and I’m sooooo glad I no longer have to do that. Thanx for making me thankful for one more thing. ;0) I’m glad you all had a good time, and who knows , in a few years I may be sitting smiling in rain watching my grandchildren kick a ball. OH, aren’t there any indoor soccer leagues around here? I know there were in MO.
.-= Lisa’s Chaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Skipper Macro Monday =-.


Tess The Bold Life October 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Why does this not surprise me that you and your team were out there? It says a lot about you as a person, commitment, strength, fun and never giving up. It also shows me how with you it’s not always but winning…there’s more to the game as with the game of life. Each one of those kids will have that practice etched in their memory that will come in handy some day when they themselves are coaches for a sport team, a work team or a family team. They are blessed to have you. Oh and I know what you’re thinking right now…”no I’m blessed to have them!” Did I get that right?

Thanks for another example of how you live and play full out with your heart and soul.
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..How To Make It A Great Day =-.


Wilma Ham October 6, 2009 at 12:14 am

Showing up sure does count and sure we sometimes need a push to get out there.
Either way, saying yes and being there is the way to go.
And then having these wonderful experiences as a result of NOT having stayed at home.
You are NOT just coaching them soccer to win, you are coaching them to win life.
Lance, what a cracker.
.-= Wilma Ham´s Last Fabulous Post ..Accessing the wealth that has me BE a wealthy base camp. =-.


Tom Volkar / Delightful Work October 6, 2009 at 7:31 am

Lance I loved this post. You followed your gut and went for it. Perhaps the camaraderie and stories of that practice will bond your team for weeks to come and could lead to you winning more games. Am I putting myself out there? Absolutely in every way I can and it feels great!
.-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s Last Fabulous Post ..Is Your Business Authentic? =-.


Mindful Mimi October 6, 2009 at 7:56 am

I LOVE running around in the rain 🙂
And yes, I remember times when I did not feel like doing something or going somewhere and having the best experiences despite of it. So much for the power of intention I guess 🙂
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.


Mama Zen October 6, 2009 at 8:17 am

Now, that’s coaching, Lance!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Review: The Turkey’s Treat =-.


suzen October 6, 2009 at 8:23 am

Hi Lance!
What a fabulous example of commitment and showing up without expectations! LOVE this!

You know we take our sunny days for granted a lot of the time. And more often than not they blend into a nice peaceful time of no remarkable memory – or lessons. While I certainly welcome sunshine, it is often the storms that come along that push me out of that peaceful comfort zone and test the beegeebies out of me. I may hate it at the time, but in retrospect it was more than necessary.

Lance, those kids will remember this day forever! Each one of them will be a stronger person for it! What a gift you are!!! Thank you for all your inspiration – ALWAYS!


Tristan Lee October 6, 2009 at 8:24 am

Thanks for this story and beautiful post. I think people see hardships in life and let them stop them. Life is “supposed” to be a challenge where we are challenging ourselves to best we can be. This requires us to show up and be there. As Wooden Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
.-= Tristan Lee´s Last Fabulous Post ..Important Reasons Why You Should Cut Your Time =-.


Evita October 6, 2009 at 9:24 am

Hi Lance

Like Tess, I have to say I am not surprised. You have risen to opportunities like this so many times now and each time I read about them, I get reminded of what a passionate and dedicated individual you are.

The part that really spoke out to me here was when you said:
“Life is lived when we’re challenging ourselves to be the best “us” we can be.”

That is so it Lance!!! I have to say I put that into many areas of my life and I love the results. I can honestly say, not only is it worth it but it gives our life more meaning and depth than we can ever possibly imagine we would have. Thanks for this beautiful rainbow of a post 🙂
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Infuse Happiness Into Your Work Day With Happy At Work Action Day =-.


Conquer The Monkey October 6, 2009 at 11:06 am

Love the message here and the quote that kicked it off. Great inspiring post.
Thanks for stopping by Conquer The Monkey too 🙂
.-= Conquer The Monkey´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Skinny on "Fat Chics" =-.


Jannie Funster October 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Hello you Wonderful Human Being!

Where does one start to comment on a post as great and uplifting as this?

Your team — playing for all the right reasons, a group of kids happy to be there, playing and learning. Awesome!! I hope you will give us updates on how the season goes.

Stace'[s quote — so true, so true! Most great things that have happened to me have been ’cause I showed up when I maybe did not want to, or was initially a little scared to be there. Yes, the BEST things happen then indeed.

Speaking of which, I gotta go! Got to do something right now in the “showing-up” realm.

Cool! Thanks.
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday Thought: Laughter Is Good =-.


Jodi at Joy Discovered October 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Hi Lance!
Practicing for soccer in a torrential downpour could have gone downhill fast–but as I would expect from you, you turned it into a fun bonding experience. Your team is lucky you are the coach! I like the idea of showing up, no matter what. Stories like this really encourage me to get out there. Thanks for this, Lance!
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Opinions, Gratitude and Bridging the Gap =-.


Sharmila October 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Lance, this was right on time, for me 🙂 thanks!
I love your spirit to show up in the rain! 😉 I took a walk today in the rain and was determined to get my walk in! It is true that showing up very much shows our character and our willingness to simply drop expectations and have some fun! Thanks for this uplifting blog! I needed this today, it’s been a rough week ! 🙂
I like this part you shared:
[whatever you come out on the other side with, no matter how much or how little, it’s more than you went in with… also the next few lines you shared about being the best ‘us’] I think too often I set myself to reach a bar and when I don’t reach it then I beat up on myself,.. I forget its all about ‘doing my best ~being the best ‘me’ and that is enough!’ thanks for the reminder! Isn’t it amazing how we can be our own worst critics, even after we accomplish so much!! Blessings to you today and every day! Hugs, Sharmila
.-= Sharmila´s Last Fabulous Post ..Affirmation: To Worry-Free Unfoldings =-.


Tim October 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm


Awesome post. I could really imagine the misery of the weather and the fun that your team had playing the game they love. And you are right, all of us need to stick ourselves out there no matter where we are at in our lives…and get rid of any expectations. Thanks for sharing this with us.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Movie Review: The Providence Effect =-.


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings October 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Lance, this is an incredibly inspirational post you’ve put out there. Showing up when it’s all sunshine and gentle breezes is easy. Showing up when it’s downpours and gale force winds takes courage and commitment. It’s when you face these types of “elements” that the big rewards and lessons are found. You and those 8 kids will have gotten so much more out of that experience than if you’d all stayed at home like everyone else.

Those kids are immensely lucky to have you as their coach. You are teaching them far more than just the game of soccer. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up one of those coaches/teachers they’ll look back fondly on as a great life teacher and remember for the rest of their lives. And what a great legacy that would be.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Ways to Destroy Procrastination =-.


Audra Krell October 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Hi Lance, the new banner rocks! Reminds me of home, where I grew up at the foot of Pikes Peak.
Hopefully the soccer kids won’t remember their record this season, but the day their coach was a joy maker and you all danced in the rain!
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Find Your Strongest Life =-.


Lance October 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm

@Joanna – Sporting activities can be the precursor to great life lessons, right! I hope that they take something away from our season together, and if nothing else – that life can be fun. And I know…I don’t always put myself out there either, all the time. Good lesson for me too, right there in the rain.

@Positively Present – HI Dani. Rainbows sure can brighten a dreary day, can’t they!

@John – Hi John. In those “rainy days” of life, there are rainbows. Maybe they’re not there right away, but the rainbows do exist – even when it seems like darkness and gloom are surrounding us. It’s all in how we approach life. And thanks much about the coaching – I have a great group of kids I’m working with! And if you get a chance, check out Stacey’s site – it’s a wealth of information, from someone I’m honored to call “friend”.

@Erin Brooks – Hi Erin. Thanks so much for sharing about your own personal journey. And that’s okay if the pain wins out sometimes…it does for all of us. I love your attitude, going out there and “fighting”! Erin, I would love to hear more about your story, and how you’ve handled the challenges in life. Again, thank you for sharing so openly here…YOU make me smile!

@Srinivas – Thanks much, Srinivas. And I definitely agree, the rainbows are out there…we just have to be open to seeing them.

@Erin Prais-Hintz – Hi Erin. Yes, it is hard to have no expectations. And that’s a good point. We might have different or lower expectations sometimes but it’s hard to completely eliminate them. Erin, there’s definitely a plan for you. You have amazing artistic abilities, and a heart of gold. And that’s a beautiful combination, and one I’ve been lucky enough to have personally experienced! So, Erin – I know you bring a rainbow everywhere you go – keep shining your light, and that rainbow will continue to show it’s amazing colors!

@Karl – Ah yes…fear. And I suppose those things that we put off are alot because of just that – fear. So, they’re things we know we have to tackle, and yet – they’re challenging to us on very personal levels. Toastmasters is an excellent choice, Karl! I was involved for several years with our local club, and it was one of the most beneficial things for me in regards to both public speaking and leadership. I have regettably stepped down from involvement in the organization now, due completely to a lack of time to commit to it. I do hope to get back some day…


Robin Easton October 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I have missed so many good posts here, was just cruising through some. I’ve been thinking of you often. Things have been really busy work wise, so to come here and read your posts just now made me feel like I was coming home. There is such a straight to heart warmth about you and your writing, Lance. I always feel like I can breathe. There’s no hype or pressure, just Lance being laid back Lance, Lance being who he is. You’ve no idea how refreshing that is, how important that is in a world.

I really just LOVE this line: “…whatever you come out on the other side with, no matter how much or how little, it’s more than you went in with.”

This is a seemingly simple truth that we one would think we all should know, and yet when you stop and REALLY let it sink in it implies GROWTH….always. I really believe that all experiences make us grow in some way, even if it’s only to learn what we DON’T want to do/be in life. And THAT is a big thing to learn.

I am VERY serious when I say that every time I come here there is just a sense of peace. I never feel like you are trying to “sell” something. And by that I don’t mean a product. I mean you aren’t trying to sell a concept, philosophy or idea, even though you share all those things. I think what makes the difference for me is that you don’t “talk at” your readers. You talk “with” then and you talk from your heart, simply, beautifully and peacefully. I can’t tell you how MUCH I appreciate that. I don’t go away drained. Thank you so much dear special Lance. Hugs, Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Whispering Winds Of Energy =-.


diantha October 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Lance, I love this post…my husband and I always say that 99% of life is just showing up. I am amazed at how many people don’t show up…for lots of things, including their own lives. I smiled reading about your practice in the rain…those kids have not only a bonding memory, but a life lesson in what can happen when you just “show up”. Great!


Lance October 6, 2009 at 8:37 pm

@Keith – Hi Keith. Existing is definitely not fully living, that’s for sure. And what has really impressed me about this team is how they’ve bonded together. We have kids on the team from four different schools, and so several kids didn’t know each other. And everyone has pulled together to make this fun for everyone. And I think that shined through when my daughter told me she wanted more practices each week…a sign that they are having fun together. Thanks much, Keith!

@The Exception – I know I’ll certainly remember this practice! And I do think they will too. And we’re a recreational team, so these aren’t kids who aspire to be professional soccer players, by any means. So, that they’re dedicated to being there, is a testament to really the way this team has bonded together already. We all know we’re not going to win many games, and that could be enough to to dishearten them – but it’s not – they show up and have a blast together – and that’s what it’s all about!

@Stacey Shipman – Well…Stacey, I really have to thank YOU. And it was so interesting, really! I hadn’t read this comment by you until later in the evening after this very wet practice – and it was like your words just spoke to me…like you knew…where I’d just come from! And what you did, last week – Stacey, I think it’s so awesome and brave! And, since I also had the opportunity to see the results of that audition, I know (know!) that your showcased yourself excellently! Sometimes the road is long that we travel on our journey, and along that road, though, there are still so many things for us to see…insight into ourselves, and who we really are…

@Caroline – Yes, life, in many ways can be just like this! There are certainly days… Moving forward, even through the rain storms of life, can give so much insight into us. So, as you go forth, Caroline, know that you are heading toward many rainbows that await…including the one at the gym!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. Yes, rainbows are awesome…I am always in awe when I see one in the sky! And that’s a great analogy about the cliffs. Sometimes, we don’t know what’s below, and it can cause us to hesitate, or waffle back and forth – should we or shouldn’t we. So, you’re a wonderful example, Nadia, of really doing it! Life is short, and we never know exactly how short that will be. Fear, which I know can be hard to let go of, is as you say – an illusion. And one that can certainly hold us back from our true potential if we let it. And…had you been here, I would have had you out there kicking the ball around too – the more the merrier!

@Nathalie – Hi Nathalie. Rainbows are such amazing “colors in the sky”! Just like each of our lives can be, even when we encounter “storms” in our days. So – that’s awesome that you’re getting out there, listening to your heart, and really living (as scary as that sometimes is). And well…this was fun, being out in the rain…I don’t think I can say that about “every” rainstorm we have here, though!

@Vered – That’s an excellent point, being around someone who thrives on being out of the comfort zone only helps us to be more comfortable in doing this ourselves….


Lance October 6, 2009 at 9:00 pm

@Joy – Hi Joy. Yes, we’re definitely in this for the fun of it. We’re definitely not a team that’s loaded up with raw soccer talent. What we do have, though, is a real team connection. And yes, just like life…some days we just show up, and that’s enough. And I think that picture’s pretty amazing too – so filled with life!

@Laurie – Hi Laurie. Ah, yes – working out. A big portion of the battle is just showing up to do it. Once we’re there…not so bad! I can relate!! And marriage…wow…Laurie, this is so good. You’re right, for those of us married or with a significant other, showing up in that relationship is so important…and now I’m thinking about where I’m an on this continuum…

@Hayden – Hi Hayden. The lime light can be difficult because…the spotlight’s on us. And if we somehow don’t meet some standard, we feel like we’ve failed, with all eyes on us. I know! And I also know that so many people want to also see us succeed…because they can relate. And that’s definitely where Toastmaster’s can be such a great help! I spent many years in that organization, and have only wonderful things to say about all they do to promote public speaking and leadership!

@Angelia – Hi Angelia. Thank you! The reward, the rainbow, really was the fun! And the memory we’ll all have. And yes, it sometimes really does take a storm to appreciate the rainbow. Many of life’s great lessons, for me, have come from the storms I’ve weathered…

@Amanda – Hi Amanda. Ah…it’s all in how we look at it, or how we approach it! I love that thought! And yes, we can be surprised at what we’ll get. Sure, we all got wet – that was expected. We also got closer as a team, we have a memory that bonds us together, and we probably even improved at least a little bit in our soccer skills. And guess what…we all did dry out!

@Lori – Hi Lori. I’m smiling…I will!! And I know you’ve done this, Lori – in much worse conditions than a little rain and wind! Memorable, for sure! And that photo is pretty awesome, isn’t it! And thank smuch on the banner – it’s something I’m really connecting with right now in my own journey…

@FatFighterTV – Hey Sahar. All part of the ebb and flow of life…some moments are meant for staying in the comfort of our home, and others are meant for living and exploring what’s out there. Listen to your heart…it knows…


Lance October 6, 2009 at 9:29 pm

@Brandi – Thank you Brandi! Yes, it’s as if we can surrender to the moment, and still being in that moment – that amazing things can happen.

@Lisa’s Chaos – Ha!! I’m laughing at the rain comment! Well…and you get lots of snow, so you’re in luck there! And you know, sitting in the rain isn’t so much fun – somehow being the coach seems to make it much easier to take the rain! And glad I could provide a little more thankfulness in your life, Lisa! Those indoor soccer leagues…it’s summer all year long in there!

@Tess – Hi Tess. Ha! You know what…I can recall several nasty and rainy practices over the years…maybe I just love sloppy! And yes, it’s definitely not just about winning. In fact, we won this past weekend (lucky, we were…really we were), and it will likely be our only win. I love the attitude all the kids have – always – games, practices, after the games – it’s all so positive and encouraging (and laughter-filled!). And yes, you did get it right – I really am the lucky one here – in our short time together, there’s so much they share of themselves – and really of life – even if they don’t know it – what examples they are – all of these kids!

@Wilma – Hi Wilma. You know, you’re so right. I debated canceling or not – the phone ringing with parents wondering if practice would go on. And then, I finally decided we should at least try. And try we did – and fun it was. We did end early, because it was raining so hard – but our time together was very much fun-filled moments! So, thank you, Wilma – your words really mean a lot to me!

@Tom – Hey Tom. Being the rugby-playing fellow you are, I really believe this is probably something you can relate to! Each practice has brought our team closer together, a team that has players from four different schools. And this practice was especially good – in that their bond was strengthened by the adversities they worked through. Tom, I know you live your live “out there”, and know that that’s such a powerful example of truly living! Awesome!

@Mimi – For some reason, I’m not surprised, Mimi! And yes, sometimes those moments when we don’t want to do something, but do it anyway – they end up being such great moments for us…a good thing to remember!

@Mama Zen – Hey, thanks much Mama Zen!!


Lance October 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm

@Suzen – Hi Suzen. When we arrived at the soccer field, I had this sudden sense that we should really approach this practice with the expecation of having some skill we’re working on. And I know, had that been the case, amidst the rain – fun would not have been high up the list. And even more important, neither would team-bulding have been. And me too – that sunshine is pretty nice – yet, the real lesson we learned on in the “storms” we face…. Thank you, so much, Suzen for your wonderful words. Many hugs back to you, my friend…

@Tristan – Hi Tristan. Yes, we all will have challenges in our life. What we do…how we handle those challenges…can make all the difference. And I love the Woody Allen quote – so fitting here! Thanks for visiting today!

@Evita – Hi Evita. And thank you, so much for really seeing the good in people…you do! And it’s so good to be the recipient of the love you share so freely! I am blessed to know you. And it can be so easy to compare ourselves to someone else – just like the soccer team I coach can be tempted to compare themselves to the teams we play. And really – considering we’re a coed team with several novice players, playing in a league of all-boy teams with much experience – comparisons really aren’t it. And the neat thing is, they’re seeing this – and relishing in the moments they have, as a team – not in comparison to another team. So, so awesome to witness them doing this…on their own! And that is life, too. being the best “us” that we can be. So, Evita, keep doing that…keep being the best “you” that you can be…it’s wonderful to watch, your rainbow growing brighter and bigger always!

@Conquer the Monkey – Hi Cameron. Thanks much for reading this today! And great to have you here!

@Jannie – Well, hello fellow Wonderful Human Being! Same name? Are we related? So, I’ll give you an update right here. First two games, lost by about 8 goals each game. Third game, canceled due to three players being gone. Fourth game – a win (just this past Saturday) by one goal! And the team relished every moment – when we tied the other team (our first tie) early in the game, when we scored our second goal of the game (we only had one goal all season) and when we won! A fun, fun day for all of them! Happy “showing-up”…and woohoo for Friday!!

@Jodi – Hi Jodi. Yes, and I think it would have went downhill fast had I stuck to the original plan of working on skills practice upfront. When I let that go, and let go of any expecation that practice would be a “learning experience”…the truth is it was probably more of a learning experience than most practices. This team has been so fun to coach…Jodi, I’m truly the lucky one here! Thanks so much for being here!

@Sharmilla – Hi Jen. And good for you, getting out there and walking in the rain. In fact, I went for a short run this morning, in the darkness and drizzle of the early morning hours – and it can be hard sometimes to get out there, but once we do – how good it feels! I’m sorry to hear about your week being a rough one. Know that it brightens my day to read your words here, about how this post was there at the right time for you… So, yes it is enough to be the best you…at this moment…whatever that is. And you are, Jen…you are so, so the best you – and it’s beautiful… always remember that. Big hugs to you, my friend…


Lance October 6, 2009 at 10:17 pm

@Tim – Hey Tim! Thanks much!! It WAS a miserable night, and I remember one girl in particular calling to find out if practice was canceled, almost begging to not have it. And guess what – she had a blast in the rain! Sticking ourselves out there…so good for us!

@Sami – Hi Sami! It would have been so easy to have just stayed home, hot cocoa in hand…looking out at the nastiness in the air. Being out there, though, gave us a bond, something we have to hold onto – and maybe, just maybe – these kids will remember this down the road when they face other “storms” in their life…and how they can weather that storm. And maybe…just maybe…their coach will remember this too… Sami, thank you! You are super kind and wonderful and sweet!!

@Audra – Hi Audra. And thanks about the new banner – it sure feels “right” for me, and where I’m at right now. And growing up at the base of Pike’s Peak – Audra, how gorgeous a setting that must have been! We vacationed there a couple of years ago, and loved the “Garden of the God” park, especially with all the mountain scenery in the background. And you know, they are really taking this losing season in such great stride, even before our rainy practice. And that’s what I love about this team – a team that’s really out there having fun! And that just has made the whole season fun. And that’s not to say we don’t try – we certainly do, but in our losses – we’re perfectly okay, especially when we’ve given it our all…

@Robin Easton – Hi Robin. Your words are so, so sweet and kind. Know that they touch me deeply. Every one of them. And yes, we can always grow, can’t we. Even in what are less than ideal situations. Or maybe especially in less than ideal situations. And I love that you see this as conversational…that’s so wonderful for me to read! Robin, thank you for being you, and for sharing your rainbow with the world! Many hugs to you, sweet sweet Robin…

@Diantha – Hi Diantha. Yes, if we just “show up”, we’re so much further along than “the other guy” who didn’t show. And in this case for us, it’s probably not going to mean any more wins because we had this practice. Wins come in many forms though, and they win because of the camaraderie they continue to build up. Thanks so much for being here today…


Positive Gangsta October 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

“Life is lived when we’re challenging ourselves to be the best “us” we can be. And sometimes that’s staying at home. And other times, that’s putting ourselves out there….without expectation.”

above is the Best phrase within your blog post, i believe. Living life to the fullest comes from attacking daily challenges we fear or worry too much about. t ending pessimistic protruding thoughts with action, not excuses. Its the mind state of happiness which in my book consists of the progressive realization to a worthy ideal. I think if we create an attitude of optimism,mixed with an adventurous mindset, we can really enjoy life to the fullest with out any regrets or hesitation of self doubt.

Great post and by all mean keep it gangsta as along as its posiitve.
.-= Positive Gangsta´s Last Fabulous Post ..Never Give Up Unless Your In The Grave =-.


Lisa (mommymystic) October 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Such a beautiful story and picture Lance, I loved them both. You are so right, about just really being there, without any preconceptions, and the unexpected gifts that can yield. I have learned this many times – sometimes the easy way and sometimes the hard way, by projecting too much and being disappointed. How lucky those kids are to have someone like you coaching their team, they will get so much more from this experience in the long run than if they had a coach who measured everything in terms of ‘winning’.
I also have this special relationship with the rain – actually my husband and I together do. It rained on our wedding day (in Los Angeles, where it only rains 3 days a year!!!) And then it rained when we decided to build our special ‘retreat’ home in the canyon country of Utah (where it also never rains) and almost every time we visited there during building (the contractor thought it was hilarious…) Then it rained when our eldest daughter was born. In short, rain is our good luck!!! And why shouldn’t it be, with all the growth it nourishes, in the land the air?
.-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s Last Fabulous Post ..Chakra Immunity Boost For You and Your Kids =-.


Marelisa October 7, 2009 at 1:30 am

Hi Lance: You’re coaching the underdog team, I see. I’ve always been a fan of the underdog. I can see how it was a great bonding experience for the team players that showed up to play in the rain. I think it helps them to build up perseverance, discipline, and team loyalty. Last week I went out for a jog even though it was raining, and I felt great afterward. 🙂
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lessons from “The Science of Getting Rich” (Part 4) =-.


Hilary October 7, 2009 at 4:33 am

Hi Lance … Rain – we are so desperate for rain here in the South East corner of England – that when it came .. I blessed it .. and said how wonderful. The trees were dropping their leaves so early and looking decidedly sad for themselves .. I don’t like things looking sad and droopy!

As you say – doing the things you don’t want to do ..often turn out to be memorable .. or you regret that you didn’t make the effort because it’s cold and wet.

Long walks along the cliffs, or up on the Downs in the tipping rain coming back drenched for a really good warming tea .. and perhaps crumpets .. so well deserved. Quite often those ‘miserable’ wet or cold times, when you’ve stretched yourself are the things that spring back into the memory more easily. The long hot sunny days blend in ..

Sounds as though and the kids had a great session and will have many happy memories to share for the years ahead .. brilliant ..

All the best Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Rhythm of Life …. =-.


Katie West/The Levity Coach October 7, 2009 at 8:51 am

King Lance,
Really this is all-top. I have been thinking so much about the idea of what is our “edge”. Your story was so beautiful and real. At my last event for The Levity Project, all my participants whos aid they were coming had to cancel last minute….so there I was umbrella hat in hand….waiting for what to do. Within moments, some new people came and said “We heard about it….can we do it” and for some reason that gave me the courage to start pulling people off the street asking if they wanted to create a moment of public levity. And you know what? They did and it moved me. I think there is something in letting our expectations be shattered and instead allowing ourselves to open to the experience that is asking to be lived before us.
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..We are all one….keep laughing. =-.


Lance October 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

@Positive Gangsta – Taking action…that’s it. And that doesn’t mean it has to be perfect action, but action that keeps us moving forward. Great thoughts, thanks much!

@Lisa – Hi Lisa. The picture is so captivating for me, so I’m glad you like it too. And that was it, when I got to the field, the whole focus shifted from being a time to learn new skills, to just really going with a way to have fun “in the moment”. And yes, if we as a team measured everything in wins and losses, our season would be a major disappointment. When we measure by the fun we’re having and the camaraderie we’re building – our season is filled with success. And Lisa, thanks so much for sharing your own special connection with rain. Did you know, when our family visited Disneyland in California a few years back – it rained so hard the day we were there – we jokingly called it the “wettest place on earth!”. And so, I love that you see rain as your good luck! In fact, it’s shifting a thought I’ve had in my head about rain, after reading this.

@Marelisa – Hi Mare. Yes, we’re definitely the underdog. And it’s been so fun with this group of kids! They all take it in stride, and really just have a lot of fun – and that’s a great attitude they’re developing! And I love it – you getting out there in the rain, and running! I’m guessing this is your rainy season, then?

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. Rain can sure be nourishing, can’t it. And sometimes it takes a lack of something to make us appreciate it. And yes, there can be rewards at the ends of these moments, too. For us, it was hot cocoa upon arriving home… Thanks much, Hilary!

@Katie – Hey Katie! See, you have me laughing already (King!!!!)!!! And I love the story you’ve shared here, definitely a moment of “no expectations” I’m sure, as you brought in random people to make this event a success! And that is moving indeed. So, the question is – how often am I willing to let these expectations I have be shattered? Hmmm…you’re challenging me today, Katie…(in good ways!)


Bella/Amy October 8, 2009 at 12:45 am

Oh, Lance, what a GORGEOUS post! I love the soccer story and thinking of the comraderie between the kids afterward! You gave them an adventure! I love adventures 🙂

And, thanks for the push there to go forward with something outside of our comfort zone. I have been pondering something for awhile now and it goes completely out of my comfort zone. Late tonight, reading your post, I’ve decided to take a deep breath and step out and forward, thank you!

Smiles always,
.-= Bella/Amy´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Find Me There. =-.


Patrice October 8, 2009 at 6:07 am

Such a wonderful story. It’s great to live life to the fullest. Our life is as colorful as of that rainbow. Exciting, right?
.-= Patrice´s Last Fabulous Post ..Exercises to Shape Up Your Self Esteem =-.


Danny Clayton October 8, 2009 at 6:12 am

Yeah! I wish I would have read this a couple days ago.

Rainbows are great and I never lose the thrill of seeing one–even when it’s in the water thrown from a sprinkler.
.-= Danny Clayton´s Last Fabulous Post ..You can take everything away from me =-.


Liara Covert October 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

Rainbows emerge from within every moment
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..Stuart Wilde & 33 Steps to find yourself =-.


Angel October 8, 2009 at 8:44 pm

You are quite easily the greatest person I know. (sigh)
.-= Angel´s Last Fabulous Post ..My journey to the Duathlon World Championships =-.


Lance October 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

@Bella – Hi Amy. I love adventures, too! Maybe that’s why I didn’t cancel practice (maybe you’re on to something!). And as you go forward, stepping out of that comfort zone – know that if this is something you believe in, then these are the right steps to take – no matter what happens. So wonderful to read this tonight…

@Patrice – Hi Patrice. If we see our life much like a rainbow, filled with amazing color, then that is certainly exciting! Thanks for stopping in…

@Danny – Hi Danny. I’m smiling…timing, right! And seeing a rainbow in the sky – pretty magnificent! Thinking of the sprinkler and creating our own rainbows…this is much like life – and the rainbows we can create in our lives…and that’s pretty sweet too!

@Liara – Yes, every moment can be a rainbow…if we allow that to be.

@Angel – Angel, you are so, so sweet. And really, I can’t help but think of you, and how this IS you. I know where you’ve been in the past couple of weeks, and you’ve shown your own rainbow, brighly and beautifully! And that (and everything else about you) makes you a truly lovely person. And it’s such an honor to have you here…


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