...to my blog. I already spend dozens of hours a week writing - since it's my job - I may as well spend a few more writing things that are more of a personal nature.
I'm Tim Droogsma, which you probably knew if you made it this far. I'm not exactly in the demographic "sweet spot" anymore, a 52-year-old guy, father of four grown kids, small business owner, golfer, grandpa and a few other things, none of which make me particularly remarkable. So there's our introduction.
Couple of things I'll remember about today, one personal, one business-related, so I'll start with the business.
I attended my first professional indoor lacrosse game tonight, watching the Minnesota Swarm lose to the Calgary Roughnecks. I've played a lot of sports in my life - baseball, hockey, golf, football, broomball, tennis, volleyball, just to name a few - and except for ultimate cagefighting, or whatever they call it, I've never seen a sport where you could just freely smack the bejeeburs out of an opponent like you can in lacrosse. If a guy has the ball, it's open season: Slash him with your stick, hit him in the chest with your forearm, smack him in the head...whatever it takes. Just a vicious sport, which I enjoyed, though I'm not sure I'll ever become a big fan.
I went there because one of my clients - a great company called Velocity Sports Performance - recently signed a sponsorship agreement with the Swarm. Velocity is now the "Official Training Center" of the Swarm, and I wanted to see a game just to see how the Swarm publicize their sponsors...PA announcements, scoreboard presence, etc. I want to make sure my client is getting value for its marketing dollar. It's a well-run operation, and I was very impressed with their co-owner and vice-president, Andy Arlotta, when I met him a few weeks ago. Fun night, and proof that even an old goat can learn to appreciate a new sport. If you're interested, you can learn more about them at http://www.mnswarm.com/.
Now the personal part. Before the game, I went in to get fitted for a tuxedo. It's for my youngest daughter's wedding, which is coming up May 30. And even though she wasn't there (she's off at North Park University in Chicago, from which she will graduate in a few weeks), I still found myself getting a little emotional just trying on the tux and thinking about the day. She's the youngest of two daughters, #3 in the line of four kids, and since her older sister is already married, this is the last time I'll walk one of them down the aisle. And it seems like it was just the other day that she was three years old and I could pick her up, fold her up in my arms and call her "Smooshie." And so, standing in a fitting room, trying on a pair of rented pants, I had a little lump in my throat. The time goes by quickly.
My emotions were on edge a bit anyway, because Friday night I attended the visitation for a terrific fellow named Roger Angstman, father of my close friend Dr. Greg Angstman, who passed away this week at 76. Roger was one of the smartest men I ever knew, and he fought an amazing seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. In 2002 he was told he had only three or four months to live, and he lasted until this past Sunday. Tough guy.
In high school, there were several of us that were out at the Angstman farm all the time. Baseball games in the summer, football games in the fall, and lots of hours sitting across the chessboard from Roger. He loved to play, and he taught us all. He'd "handicap" the match with beginners by playing without his queen, or without a rook, until we could improve. It was a real badge of honor when Roger would finally decide he could play you straight up.
There were four of us who learned enough chess to put together a team, and in 1973 we played in the Minnesota State High School team championships. After the tournament, Roger took all of our notations, and would sit at the board and recreate our games. He couldn't wait to show us where we had gone wrong, or when we made a good move. He was a great man, and a tremendous example of a life well-lived.
So from that on Friday night, to the tuxedo fitting today, I was reminded again of the great big circle of life, and how brief our moment on the stage is (to mix metaphors.) Not a hugely keen insight, I realize, but for someone as shallow as I am, it's getting pretty deep in the pool.