Final Vlog from Chargers minicamp. I talk about the depth on the defensive line, what the offense is looking like and more.
Plus, my beautiful drawings. 😉
I talk about the Antonio Gates/Manti Te’o matchup (which came to fruition today during practice), plus I give you the lowdown on the secondary and what practice is like.
I thought I’d bring the Vlog back. Why not?
(Are they even called “Vlogs” these days? Is that so 2005?)
I plan to draw a lot in my Vlogs now. You’re really going to see my artistic ability shine through in these things.
In this Vlog, I talk about the first day of Chargers minicamp, Manti Te’o and the media hoard, a little Pagano, and some Padres. Check it out. What do you think?
Last week, I had the opportunity to co-host a sports talk show with Ben Higgins since his usual partner-in-crime, Chris Ello, was on vacation.
Although I love the pressure and rush of being on TV, I really enjoyed the “slightly-more-casual” rush that comes with doing radio. Yes, you don’t have to worry about what you’re doing with your hands or your face or whether your hair is sticking up or your lipstick is smudged on your teeth BUT you do have to keep an audience engaged through JUST … YOUR … VOICE. For THREE hours. That’s tough. I think about all the times I’m in the car and I turn the knob because I’m bored … so hopefully I didn’t bore too many people. 😉
A big thank you to Ben for the opportunity!
So, I had a goal to run a half-marathon.
And I achieved it.
I’m proud to say that I ran the Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon on June 2. I trained hard for it. I followed a program that had me running 3-4 times a week, including long runs on the weekend (which I never missed, even while on the road). I had only one goal during the actual marathon: To NOT stop. I didn’t want to walk. So I didn’t. I jogged — sometimes really, really slow — until I crossed that damn finish line.
Notice the hair. The hair is a WRECK.
All of this came about last year, when I did a video on Bill Johnston (Chargers PR Director) and his daughter, Hayley, who run the marathon each year to help raise money for Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disease that affects their family. Last year, I told them I’d be back the following year to run with them … and I kept my promise.
Not only did Hayley and Bill run this year, but they ran while pushing Ramona. I can barely write that without tearing up. I mean, 26.2 miles is tough enough for anyone … but imagine doing it while pushing a stroller that weighs about 150 pounds. It’s unbelievable.
Watch this video … but grab a box of tissues first.
I’m so proud to have been part of Team HD. It was an amazing experience and as cliche as it sounds, it taught me a lot about myself. I had never run more than five miles before this little adventure — (and I only did THAT once) — so it was grueling for me and definitely a challenge. But I did it … and now will be cheating on running with a little elliptical for a while, which makes my knees very, very happy. 😉
A HUGE THANK YOU to all the people who supported me in this quest and donated money to help find a cure for HD. You guys are AWESOME!!!
Whenever I chat with Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks, I always walk away from the conversation feeling a little bit smarter about life. The guy has mad perspective. It could be the multiple injuries he’s had, or the tough road he’s faced since his major league debut in 2009, or the fact that his middle name is Nathaniel. People named Nathaniel always have pretty good perspective, don’t you think?
No? Just me? Okay.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with Cameron Maybin about his wrist injury, and when I asked Cam if he was frustrated about not playing, he told me to go ask Kyle about a thing called “Happy Time” in baseball. … So I did.
Happy Time is, in essence, looking for the positive in a situation. Baseball is a game of failure, a game where even when you’re succeeding, you’re still failing in so many ways. It’s probably the only sport that exposes that failure on a daily basis. Now, add that to the frustration of going through multiple season-ending surgeries like Kyle did, and it can make for one bitter, negative ball player.
Kyle refused to be that guy.
Instead, he started to look for the good in the bad. Instead of beating himself up about going 0-4, for example, he focused on something he did well … and then he let the bad stuff go. He didn’t dwell, he didn’t commiserate … he let go of the last at-bat, the last surgery, the last setback, the last WHATEVER … and he moved on and focused on the positive.
Sports draws so many parallels to life. As Kyle was talking to me about his approach, I thought of several areas in my own life where I’m guilty of pushing too hard or wanting to beat myself up about something I could have done better. And when has that ever helped? It hasn’t. If anything, it just paralyzes me more.
I think about how tough it is, especially in baseball, to make it as a professional athlete. Kyle’s story is so incredible … Not just because he overcame his physical injuries, but because he overcame his mental ones. He’s had some bad luck since making it to the majors at age 22, and he could have stayed bitter or resentful in a lot of ways. But he just worked and persisted and matured with every resistance.
Most players, if they have overcome a slump, credit the comeback to relaxing a little bit. “Not living and dying by every pitch, at-bat, etc” is what I hear a lot. But there is a HUGE difference between saying that and really being about it when adversity hits. And I love that a 6-foot-6, 260-pound slugger like Kyle Blanks isn’t afraid to embrace what he calls the “Happy System.” 😉
Here he is talking about it: