On the Road to Passion

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In my last article I wrote about my mother and her hospitalization.  She is now better physically, having lost 30 pounds.  Given her improvement and the fact that I’ve been with my parents for two months, I’ve been “itching” to get on with my life.

At the end of October 2017 I attended an adaptive sports conference by Adaptive Sports USA in Phoenix, Arizona.  My main goal was to network and meet others working in the adaptive sports field.  Networking is a very important skill in job hunting, developing partnerships and creating new opportunities something which has always served me well.  The key is to introduce yourself and be friendly, ask questions and listen and have no fear.

During one of the conference breaks I noticed a number of people sitting at a table talking and I decided to sit with them.  I ended up speaking with Ashley Thomas, who is the Executive Director/Founder of BridgeIISports in Durham, North Carolina.  Ashley was part of the US National Parakayak Team.  As is my habit with anyone that I meet I ask for a business card.  As part of my networking I always follow up and email saying how good it was to meet the person.  Since I was looking for a full-time job in adaptive sports I also wrote in my email asking if there were any employment opportunities.  

Obtaining what one wants in life requires a great deal of patience, persistence and lots of faith. Desires generally don’t come quickly and if they do they are not appreciated as much.   I began my journey in adaptive sports when I was in India in 2011 and found out about wheelchair basketball when I helped Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide to donate some sports wheelchairs and also conduct clinics.  As my readers know my passion for adaptive sports continued in Nepal and it is how I made my way back to the US to Tucson, Arizona.  This also made me realize that I wanted to do this work full-time. 

Adaptive sports jobs are very few.  But since 2011 my desire to work in this field continued to grow.  After I wrote to Ashley she said that they did have a job opportunity and she sent me the description.  I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to move from Tucson, where I had helped to start the non-profit Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports and was coaching the Tucson Lobos Wheelchair Basketball Team.  However, I also knew that in order to work in the adaptive sports field I might have to find opportunities in other states.  Since I always like to see the possibilities in life, after some further encouragement from my son Daniel, I applied. 

Because I was in Arizona a Skype interview was set up with Ashley and Chanda Ward a BridgeIISports board member.  I thought that the interview went well and after some time, on January 5 I was offered and accepted the job of Director-Adaptive Sports School Program.  This job will begin on March 1, after I drive across the country with my girlfriend Yasuyo, who is visiting from Japan. 

It has taken me seven years to get to this point and obtain this job.  It isn’t easy to be able to get paid for doing your passion.  Most of us have to settle in order to support ourselves and our families.  For years I’ve watched my sister and brother-in-law, Bright Blue Gorilla, not settle and engage their passion for music and movies.  Although money continues to be a challenge, they are currently in Australia for three months and then Europe, performing and filming their latest (7th) feature movie, 36 husbands

In speaking with many younger people in Nepal I know that finding a fulfilling job is very difficult.  Many of my younger friends want to go abroad to work, to help them find a good paying opportunity when they return to Nepal.  It’s not always about passion but about being able to assist their families. 

In life, we all need to find what makes us happy and pursue these things with patience, persistence and faith.  Ultimately our individual happiness, filled with kindness will make the world a better place for all.

Position: Director-EveryBODYPlaysNC

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