Authentic Manhood

The First Thing High School Wrestling Taught Me:

popewrestlinglogoFor my entire high school career, 2001 – 2005, I was a wrestler.  Yes, I realize that was over a decade ago and even thinking about that is still wild to me, but the lessons I learned back then are still impacting me today.
In 2001 my friend and I joined the wrestling team because we wanted to do something after school and wrestling sounded fun.  Not sure how we thought sweating and grappling with other hot sweaty men sounded like a good time, but we signed up for the team.  A week or two later my friend ends up quitting, and honestly I am surprised that I didn’t do that as well since I had already tried the sport out in middle school and I hated it. I had mild success the first year, if I can really even call it that, and as the first season came to a close, I thought I would hang up my wrestling shoes and and never return.
My coach, Jim Haskin, had a different thought running through his mind.  As I came up to him and told him my thoughts on quitting, he took me for a lap around the halls of the school and said something that has forever stuck with me.  “Stippich,  this choice is the start of the rest of your life.  This choice of quitting or staying with the team will set you up for how you view commitment the rest of your life.  This will set up your future relationships, and even the type of commitment you hold in marriage.”  He told me to think about it over the weekend, and let him know on Monday what I decided.
I wrestled with what he said all weekend, pun intended.  It consumed my thoughts, and even though I was on a church retreat that weekend, all I could think about was commitment, and how it all started with small decisions like the one I was having to make.  Come Monday, I let coach know that I would stay with the team.  That lesson on sticking with your commitments, no matter what, has shaped how I view my word and the bond it creates when I agree to do something.  I don’t go half way on anything.  I am all-in and fully committed to what I say I will do. 
I never thought high school wrestling and what I would learn through that sport could be so integral to my life.  I am grateful Jim Haskin pushed me to stick with my commitments, because it has forever changed my life.  

I am dead center just behind the first row.  My big bobblehead is blocking my team mate. Wow… What a picture.

Dad Life: Husband

What I Learned From Watching The Bachelor

The words you are about to read are not my own because I would never be caught dead watching The Bachelor.  I hired out a ghost writer who goes by the name Luap. So without further ado… here is what I, I mean here is what HE learned from watching The Bachelor.
When watching The Bachelor, you get to see so many things. All the way from city drama, to men crying in every episode and everything in between.  Surprisingly enough, there were some actual things I learned and took away from watching it.
First things first, mind your own dang business.  It is amazing to see how these girls are trying to manipulate the situation and talk about what someone else did instead of worrying about themselves and their personal relationship with the bachelor. When you are focusing on everything else around you except what you are doing, that is a prime recipe for disaster and for you to end up without a rose.
As a man, it’s ok to cry, even on national T.V.
Don’t get swept up in the moment and just stay there. Life may be made up by moments, and we need to fully experience them when they are happening, but they will come to an end.  Heck… even Bachelor in Paradise comes to an end eventually.  Make sure you are fully present where you are so you can fully experience the moment, but remember that it will come to an end. So take away what you can, but remember that it is just another step in this journey we call life.
Life isn’t a fairytale. It is hard work.  Once the cameras, free trips, and free alcohol are gone, you are going to go back to reality and live with the choices that you have made.  Remember, life is not just one long moment, so make smart choices that will help be a building block for a better tomorrow whether you end up with a rose or not.
Lastly,  ladies love roses. When ladies don’t get a rose, they start boohooing and walk away.  When they get that beautiful flower, they are all smiles and give you smooch. Tears or kisses, not a hard choice.
#ProTip Get your lady a rose.

Dad Life: Family

Free Is Pretty Alright With Me.

As those of you who have read a post or two from this blog may know, I love free. It is perhaps one of my favorite things, probably to my own detriment. In fact, if you mention the words free and food together, I may even run over a small child to get to where you are.
Case in point, forgive me Lord for admitting this, the Chick-fil-A’s in the Atlanta market had a large breakfast give-away these past two Tuesdays and I may have driven to three separate stores just to get that perfectly fried piece of chicken in-between those buttery pieces of goodness.  Now before you all get all judgy, I gave two of the three biscuits to my coworkers as a little morning surprise.

Another example, surprisingly with nothing to do with free food, was when I was invited to go golfing with a carrier who we use to ship product for the company I work for a couple of Sunday’s ago. Yes, you heard correctly. I had the opportunity to celebrate the Lord in the very best of ways, out on a golf course in the middle of his creation.  Well it just so happened that my wife and son were feeling a little under the weather and I was faced with a literal crisis, shirk my responsibilities as a husband and father, or get on on the course and enjoy a beautiful game of golf.  Now this choice was fairly easy, shirk my responsibilities.
But for serious, I called the carrier and stayed home to help take care of my wife and son, plus I finished putting up a chandelier in our dining room. BONUS!
I tell this story not to brag, well… not totally brag, but because it illustrates a great point that I read from Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership book. The point was that free is nice, but if it doesn’t fit within your priorities, it isn’t worth it.  This was a nice gut check for me, and I will be doing my best to use it as a filter as more free opportunities come my way.

Dad Life: Family

How To Give Your Wife The Perfect Night Out.

My wife is a beautiful, kind, caring, and giving woman.  I mean, I am not exactly sure what I did to deserve her, but let’s just say when I realized she was way out of my league, I went and put a ring on it. Thanks for the advice Beyonce.
I wanted to share some tips and tricks with all the men on how to give your special someone a perfect night out with their friends without the kids.
The first bit of advice I have is for you to realize that giving that special someone a perfect night out is all about perception. Just as in magic, it is all about perspective and the perception you create.
Tip Number 1:  Send updates throughout the night. Maybe a vague text talking about how great your kids are doing and how much fun you are all having. Rookie Mistake: Don’t take this too far saying that you wish you could do this every weekend, because when you use phrases like that you start to set off alarms for your significant other and they can sense that something is up.
Tip Number 2:  Send picture / video evidence of only the positive things. Just like Facebook and Instagram, don’t post the poo. Post only the good stuff.
Post pictures like this:

Not This:

Tip Number 3:  Don’t let a text from your significant other go too long without being answered, that can cause worry. Rookie Mistake: Don’t answer the text too fast either. What if they text and you are in the middle of dealing with a crying baby? Please, don’t be a dum dum and answer right away.  Wait until the baby stops crying to text, and then tell her how your baby isn’t crying and you all are having fun. (Review Tip Number 1)
Tip Number 4:  Make sure you don’t check in too often, that shows weakness, that the kids are breaking you, and you are counting down the seconds till she gets home. Even if this is the reality, hold out soldier, because just as we learned in one of those batman movies, the night is always darkest before the dawn.
Tip Number 5: Show evidence that the kids are still alive and being put to bed. Yep, this one is pretty self explanatory.
Tip Number 6:  For the love of all the things good and holy, make sure you clean up the house. I am talking no toys everywhere, counters wiped off, food put away, human waste put in the trash.  Make sure the place looks better than when she left. This is perhaps the most important tip, please don’t forget it.

So… there you have it. Six tips, with a couple of rookie mistakes to avoid, on how to give your lovely significant other a fantastic, worry free night out with her friends without the kids.
Enjoy the magic.

Dad Life: Family

A Great Toilet Read

I love reading.  It is something that I am glad that I grew to love again.  I say again because back in elementary school all of those programs designed to help kids read more really killed my love for books.  I’ll tell you what, one way to kill a passion is to force yourself to do something you love for a grade.
But I digress…
A couple of weeks ago I went to the cabin with my in-laws and my  father in law had a book up at the cabin by Ken Blanchard called “Simple Truths of Service: Inspired By Johnny the Bagger.”  It was a really thin book with pictures and large font so I decided it was a book for me.
As I got into the book I was just slapped across the face time and time again with some simple truths that I knew I had to share.

  • What can you do to create memories for those you work with and your customers.
  • Go out of your way to serve.
  • “Aim for service and success will follow” -Albert Schweitzer
  • “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” – Linus Pauling
  • No one can make you serve customers well.  Thats because great service is a choice.
  • Don’t be like everyone else.
  • “Always give the customer more than they expect.” -Nelson Boswell
  • “Some men see things as they are and say ‘why?’ Others dream things that never were and say ‘why not?'” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “We do not remember days. We remember moments.” – Unknown
  • “The customer is the most important visitor to our premises.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I mean seriously, are your cheeks hurting because I know mine are?
As I kept reading it was like a little golden nugget fell into my lap with each turn of the page. As I kept thinking over this book and reading the notes that I took from it, I was struck about one more thing, these concepts that the customer is the most important person and that we need to create moments and memories for those we come into contact with can directly relate to my family.

I need to stop just focusing on work and pour into those that are most important to my life.  If I really want to build up my family and build a legacy, I need to start applying these concepts to Lindsay and the kids, because they are the most important people on our premises.  I need to not just create moments for others, but focus on creating moments for them as well, because my legacy and the impact my family can have on this world depends on it.