By Ryan Lancaster
Let me first start off by saying I have no idea what I am doing.
But don't let that scare you off. I am not a charlatan. Nor am I a snake oil salesman. I am just a dude in search of the truth. Let’s start with a story.
Sometime in the mid-2000s I sat in my grandmother’s kitchen in Comstock Park, Michigan. She had the initial stages of dementia setting in, and I distinctly remember her asking if I wanted a cookie or not. If as she was long in the tooth, she knew the answer was always going to be yes to a cookie. But I digress.
As I sat there, we talked about the good old days: my grandfather (who had passed several years earlier) and my aunts and uncles when they were kids. I was lucky growing up to have a good amount of people that loved and cared for me. People that shared their world views with me that I in turn, helped shaped my lens.
“Your Uncle Mark was the kind of kid that if he wanted to do something,” she said, “he’d pick up a book and read until he figured it out. “
She was referring not to his actual classroom studies but his athletic career. Growing up, a picture of Uncle Mark hung in the hallway of the second floor of my grandparents’ house. It was of him getting his hand raised at the 1978 NCCAA National Championships. He was a national champion Hwt for Olivet Nazarene and I had an almost religious devotion to him as well as my other Uncle Dave (my coach).
What made this conversation with my grandmother stand out to me was the notion of hard work flipped on its head. I had always focus on the brunt of hard work that made my uncles champions. The physical aspect of outworking their opponents to me is what solidified them as champions. But it was always the cerebral side of success that I had forgotten about. As I refer to it to my children as “work smarter, not harder.” Reading and research are just as important as sweat on the brow and should not be overlooked. The older I get, the more I see that the pursuit of knowledge is never obtained, merely chased.
So here comes my website. Self-absorbed? Yes. Complete vanity project? You betcha. But it is also a place for me to formulate my thoughts and make them cohesive strategies for the future. I research all things that interest me and slice and dice the concepts into small baby bird style meals for me to digest myself. I leave them to you the reader to use as you see fit. I will cover my passions like history and wrestling, as well as fitness and political science. Maybe I will rank things? That seems like an option. Kids like rankings. My point being is I do not have all the answers. But if I keep looking, maybe I'll have a few of them.
So anyway, this is my adult Xanga. Enjoy. Or don’t.
(Disclaimer: This is not professional or legal advice. If it were, the article would be followed with an invoice. Do not expect to win any social media arguments by hyperlinking my articles. Chances are, we are both wrong).
Ryan Lancaster wears many hats. Dive into his website to learn about history, sports, and more!