Clarity; Purchased with Euros. Lesson 1- Teamwork


There is nothing quite like a vacation and some downtime to give you a chance to take a step back and think big picture.

Am I were I need to be?
Am I focused on the right things?
Doing them the right way?

I recently had the good fortune to spend two weeks in Europe with the love of my life.  I embarked on the trip seeking a chance to recharge the batteries and re-connect with my wife, not out of a desperate need for any soul-searching.

That’s the thing about vacation though; if you are doing it right your soul-searching tends to find you.  This is the first of several posts – Five Life Lessons my EuroTrip Taught Me

Lesson 1- Teamwork Trumps All

Who knew that a bunch of flopping European soccer players had anything to teach me?  Yet there I was in a beer garden in Munich for a public viewing of the World Cup Final.  I have never cared for soccer, in my opinion it is fun to play but brutal to watch.  Yet on this night I found myself intoxicated, not by the beer, but by the local’s love of their team.  Shockingly, a 0-0 tie after regulation not only maintained my interest, but actually drew me in.  Big time players in a big time moment, dripping with drama as we headed for extra time.

I figured overtime was a trap, the entry point to an inevitable Vikings moment for the Deutsch.  I hoped I was wrong but it seemed I was getting emotionally invested just moments before a figurative kick to the groin.  After all, Germany’s team was devoid of any stars and facing the greatest player in the world in Lionel Messi of Argentina.  Surely that dude would find a way to will his team to victory.   I half expected Gary Anderson or Naufahu Tahi to trot on to the pitch.

(What is happening  to me, did I just say pitch?)

Well there is really no Paul Harvey needed in this story, because you already know the rest of it.  Despite injuries and substitutions an unlikely scene unfolded.

A bit player came up huge, scored an improbable goal, and led the Rhinelanders to the cup, and a night of partying and nationalism for a country that’s great at the former and uncomfortable with the latter.  It truly was a site to behold– and in some small way to share.

It was great because even though I was thousands of miles from home, I got to see a universal truth validated.  One that is as true in Brazil as it is in Bavaria or Bemidji;  Teamwork Trumps All.

It made me hearken back to 1999.

Thinking back 15 years, I’ve certainly come a long way.  I’ve grown, I’ve adapted,  I’ve balded, and maybe I have even matured, but I’ve definitely changed.  If I am honest, I’m not sure I’d have a heckuva lot in common with my 1999 self.

Yet I thank that simple SOB every single day for assembling the most important team of all, my marriage.   Two weeks in Europe were just the latest validation of that decision almost 15 years later.  The rare decision I have never doubted for a second.

How many decisions that you made 15 years ago still stand the test of time?   I can’t think of too many more for me, but that one stands out.  It turns out every once in a while the Mize man comes through, it’s too bad it took sitting through a soccer game to remind me.


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Christian. Father. Hawkeye. Male pattern baldness survivor.

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