Monday, December 13, 2010

10 years in the making: The highs and lows of Mr. Lamperski {part 1}

  After explaining to several people why I have traveled to Western Australia (even I, am still figuring this out), I had a thought about how my life has had so many layers and then I was thinking about this point in my life I was just starting my journey through college 10 years ago!!! You know how you can hear that certain song and think "summer 2002, Miami with the boys"?  or you smell a scent and you think about that woman that used to come into your grandmothers house when you were like 12? Well I have had a few sights, sounds and smells like that, which have reminded me of these last 10 years of my whirlwind life. I want to reflect on a few keys points that have changed my life drastically for the better even though they may have not appeared to do so at the time( note: this is not based solely upon athletics but meaningful situations in my lifetime which have involved athletics often)

  August, the Summer of 2000, fresh out of high school and making my exciting journey into the world of college academia. I remember when I was on the Harding University high swim team my senior year and we had our conference championships at Pfeiffer University in the fall of 1999. What a crap hole, I ragged on that place the whole ride home, who would think about going to school at such a small, run down place? Fast forward a couple months, I receive a call from the head cross country coach in the winter about running cross country for the university. Wow, I always thought I would play soccer and perhaps tennis in college if anything, but running? I applied to UNCG, UNCW, NC State, and Pfeiffer of course. After receiving acceptance letters from all of the schools and paying a visit to each I decided that Pfeiffer's small religious community was the best bet for myself as I didn't want to get drawn into the alcoholic haze of those larger universities, PLUS I could participate in college athletics with the Cross Country and Tennis Teams! AMAZING!!!

Check out the hair!
  As the years rolled by, I made some of the best friends I ever could ask for, I will refer to them as brothers actually, I know that when it comes down to it they will always be there for me if I ever need anything. After college I found out that on the first day of XC practice my new friends were talking amongst themselves and all said "who is the new fat kid, look at his gut! There is no way the fat kid will make it today". After the captain let the reigns off, I took off and rolled everyone on that 1st day of practice, the fat kid was in the house and ready to rumble!!! Back then I had NO CONCEPT of training or racing, I would just go harder whenever someone else did in practice. As an example of our prime coaching in the early years, we did suicides in he gym or 50m sprints on the soccer fields. That showed the lack of running knowledge from our 23 year old coach who played college basketball and failed to realize we actually ran 8k and 10k in distance. Each year, I began to learn more and more about the aspects of real training and the pros and cons of each technique while researching online and in books. Since we were in a smaller conference setting I was fortunate enough to be named conference runner of the week twice, was named 4-time all conference XC runner, broke several school records in track, won a steeple chase conference title and even managed to win a collegiate cross country race at Erskine College.  I had 2 brief stints with the Pfeiffer University Tennis squad, the sport I truly loved but ended up going back to running. My Senior year, I made one last attempt to capture my well rounded collegiate athletic experience with playing for the soccer team. After 13 years of soccer, my true passion from an early age, why not give it a go while running cross country? I learned quickly that both were very difficult with trying to maintain my goals and most importantly remaining injury free, so soccer was also out of the window and I dedicated everything to cross country out of respect for my team and our amazing coach Bob marchinko.

   While in college I remember just floating by, making some C's, maybe some B's even, just enough to get through with no worries. Approaching my Jr. year it hit me, "I am paying thousands of dollars to get a mediocre education that I just don't frankly care about ". From then on I essentially made straight A's with a B or two mixed in, finally focused to get my money's worth before departing into the "Real world". I was ready to make my impact on society while making the big bucks with a bank in uptown Charlotte, after all that's the measure of success, especially in Charlotte. Seemingly everyone works for a bank or works with the banks in some fashion it seems. Upon graduation I finally found a full time teaching position at a Union County High School through the lateral entry program. My reason for getting into the teaching profession was simply because it seemed that the benefits were great with summers off as well my long time girlfriend at the time was teaching and it would fit into our schedules perfectly.

   After about a month of teaching geometry, algebra and computer applications to 14-18 year old kids, I realized that since they were in the 504 or IEP program, that the teachers basically let them sail through school prior just passing them worksheets and asking them to be quiet. I wanted to truly make an impact on these kids life somehow, I tried my best to be an authoritative figure while also finding a common ground to bond with each kid. Everyday after school Ii was amazingly exhausted in every sense of the word, I would go home and fall on my bed and pass out for 90 minutes EVERYDAY, then wake up to study lesson plans late into the night. At this point I was not working out very much thus gaining weight and losing my fitness, along with gaining stress daily. One day I went into school and decided that it would most likely be my last day and expressed my conflicts with the principal in charge and he completely agreed that if I didn't feel the right fit, then I should venture elsewhere to find my place in the world, so I did!!! Seemingly taking a BIG STEP backwards.

  Luckily, the local running shop "Run For Your Life" was grateful enough to provide me with enough hours to cover my bills in the meantime, while I searched for another position. After a couple months within the organization, I really began to love running as I would see several dedicated runners day in and day out. It was an inspiration, plus I was working with some of the best runners in town/country, Josh Baker and Vince Sherry, two UNC-Charlotte Alumni whom had achieved so much that I could only aspire to reach at my max potential someday. After doing very well at the shop, I eventually transferred out to the satellite location in south Charlotte and became the assistant manager. In my attempt to get ahead of the game and to be a responsible adult I put in a bid to buy a condo in south Charlotte then before I knew it, I was a home owner!!! Wow, what happened, No one else I knew from college had purchased a home yet, I was on the right path, or so I thought. After a 3 year live-in renovation process, my condo was finally looking pretty damn good, new floors, paint, kitchen cabinets, tile, lighting, sink, plumbing, you name it, I did it, mostly with the assistance from my amazing grandparents mary jane and stan,  and also with help from wayne and robby saxon, my grandfather and uncle. This investment property was going to earn me some good $ for the down payment of my next house and everything would fall into place as it was, then BOOM....BOOM BOOM....recession time!!!!
Piecing together my home

  • My next entry will continue with the stepping stones to where I am and between this time, I would experiment with different ways to train for running, one of which was very interesting built around the cardio dancing concept zumba. Over the next 4 years, I broke away from the running shop in an attempt to open my own version of what I thought could be much more while operating an online running store and coaching a group. All of this happening while I ventured into the world of financial information within a credible institution. 
  • My ups and downs would continue to bless me with life's true experience, lots of downs in order to understand how to take advantage of the "ups". Over this span, I am thankful that I can truly take a back seat and understand my journey in much greater detail and patience. Depression, fitness, god, drinking, ownership, coaching, unemployment, and taking a deep deep breath will follow in my next continued blog entry for

"10 years in the making"(part two).

Note of interest:* "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that men and women hold an average of about 14 jobs by the time they turn 40. The majority of these jobs are at the beginning of their working lives - when they are teenagers and in their early twenties. Job longevity tends to lengthen as the employee ages. However, longevity does not always mean that the employee is happy with their job.Kelly Services, a major temporary staffing agency, reports that almost half of adults are not completely satisfied with the requirements, lack of flexibility, risks and compensation of their current jobs"

Stay in tuned!!!

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