Last Saturday, my basketball team, the Tennessee Heat, sacrificed their day putting in A LOT of work choppin, haulin, and splittin some very hard-barked Black Cherry tree. They did this all to help a neighbor and support their teammates.

For me, personally, the day was at once surreal and also extremely natural. On the one hand, 3 years ago this time I was on the campaign trail working in politics, relatively miserable, and only dreamt of coaching, leading, and being part of a community EXACTLY like this. While at the same time, it felt completely natural, as if I had been doing it my whole life, or as if my life was meant to be led this way -- I had a blast working hard with the guys, organizing the squads of workers, joking with the dads and guys there. I wasn’t tired, I didn’t view it as work, and I sure didn’t wish to be anywhere else at that time.

As I write these words, I’m sitting in front of a fire with wood we split that day. The back yard is more organized, the neighbor helped, our guys learned some skills, and we’ve sold over 20 bundles of wood. The world was made just a tiny bit better because of our work that day and I love that feeling.

This may sound nostalgic, but I feel like stuff like this doesn't happen anymore -- swinging axes, manual labor, toil, being in nature, carrying a big chunk of a disassembled tree uphill. We broke 3 axes in the first half hour and had to bring in a splitter to make sure we could get it all done.

It was WORK. And it was fun. Check out this video of the day.

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon old timer that believes in critical thinking, having skills outside of social media or a desk job, and bringing structure and order to the world. But this day was awesome!

They got to put their fitness to good use -- helping an elderly neighbor clear a fallen tree from her property. Being strong is useful as @zevenesh always says.The guys worked hard, carrying a tree up a hill chunk by chunk, zercher style till we had finished the work.

The guys got to learn practical skills, got to problem solve, and work as a team off the court to accomplish a goal. Now they get to learn how to do sales as they reach out to their friends and family and their networks to sell the wood. (I’ve set a very ambitious goal for them to meet and I am

also training them up in sales work.)

All in all, it was an awesome day. We removed all the top part of the tree up a big hill to the road so it could be hauled to the compost. We cleared most of the major branches. We split a lot of wood made and made about 60 bundles of firewood (we still need to double that to hit our goal.) After all that was over, the guys and some dad's got to bond over hard work and a well deserved meal from the grill.

I’m darn proud of the all the team accomplished and I'm honored to be part of their team.

If you’re interested in buying a bundle of firewood, please let me know! If you are local to Nashville and would like to support the Heat -- here is their home game schedule. They’d love to see you there!

If you’re interested in me coaching your son or daughter, please send me an email or give me a call anytime. It’d be an honor to coach them and pour into their life, make them stronger, more resilient athletes, and even better people.

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