Spokane Hoopfest In Reflection

My First Spokane Hoopfest started when I landed at Spokane Airport at 11:55 PM on Friday night. I gathered my belongings from the overhead compartment, walked out of the airport, and boarded the shuttle to my car. I was excited for the upcoming weekend, and exhausted from a long week in Anaheim, California. I was in Anaheim building a stronger PE program thanks to Anaheim City’s PE department head, Tammie Bernal, and the company I hang my hat on, Focused Fitness. The shuttle dropped me off; I tipped the driver, and headed for my ride only to find my window broken out. I was upset for two reasons. The first was because I was raised to respect things, and breaking out a window is not respect. The second was because there was nothing to steal…literally. There is no use crying over spilt milk though. I reported the incident, and got on with my night. I was tired, and I needed my sleep. After all, game one of Hoopfest was in less than 532 minutes, but who’s counting? Down the road I went, window broken, and rain coming down (can’t make this stuff up). I got home and went straight for bed.

As my head hit the pillow I expected a REM cycle to kick in immediately. No such luck. My eyes wouldn’t even close. I was giddy. I was like a young child at bedtime Christmas Eve. I was so excited for the day to come I could hardly stand it! Instead of waiting for Reindeer paws and a “Ho Ho Ho,” I was waiting for the dribble of a ball and the crisp ‘snap’ of twine as it splashed through the net. Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3-basketball tournament on earth, and this was the 25th anniversary. Instead of counting sheep, I realized the only way I was getting some shuteye is if I counted ‘mid-range J’s’ (a jump shot from a middle range). It worked, and I woke up ready to go. Hoopfest was upon me. A few stats for your mind to digest: 6,905 teams; 250,000 people rolling through the streets of Spokane, Washington.

If you have read this far, you are a trooper, and I won’t bore you with the details that don’t entertain. Such as, my personal play in the tournament, the play of my amazing teammates, or the results of the teams I followed religiously…You are reading because you want to feel something, you want to be moved, and if this doesn’t do it for you, you won’t hesitate to close the link and check a social media status of some sort. 😉

This tournament (Spokane Hoopfest) creates smiles, memories, and relationships. This tournament is a stamp of fitness on society, and a vehicle for an Old School Social Network (OSSN). An OSSN is a network of people that can communicate and interact without technology. Now, I understand that the entire tournament is online and has Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Apps, #’s, etc. However, I’m calling Spokane Hoopfest an OSSN because it would still happen without all of the technology. Would it be as big, as widespread, or as interactive? No. But, the Hoopfest show would still go on. People would come to Spokane, and play 3-on-3 until the cows came home.

My team made it to the second day. We played early, and lost early. Life goes on. It was an absolute blast, don’t get me wrong, but there is more to this event than playing in it. It is a culture. Dare I say, a religion. Hoopfest makes you feel like a kid again!

I met up with friends, new and old, watched games of all levels, and most importantly…I exercised.

That is what this all comes down to folks…exercise. Hoopfest is not about how good you are at basketball. Hoopfest is an OSSN that promotes exercising. I’m enamored by it.

Even though playing and losing in the tournament was a great workout, my exercise for the day had just begun. I walked well over eight miles after my tournament life was over.

We need to create more OSSN based on exercise. I could ramble on about why Hoopfest stands for so much more than just basketball but, instead, I would like to pose a challenge to you.


Schedule a time with friends or family to play and exercise this week. Once you have planned the activity, don’t mention it again (technology wise). Assume, just for a moment, that you can count on the people you are suppose to count on, without sending them a text five minutes before said event…

I wish you smiles, health, and plenty of exercise!


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If, for just one day…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. I wish you the best of health in your mind, spirit, and your body. I encourage you to exercise, live active, and smile a lot.

Casey Martin was a PGA tour golfer and is currently the head coach of the University of Oregon’s golf team. When he played golf professionally, he had to ride in a cart because of a condition called Klippel–Trénaunay–Weber syndrome (KTS). Long story short, he basically has one good leg and one really bad leg.

Before I dive in, I am not writing today to try to make you feel guilty. (Even though I felt really guilty after I read what I’m about to share.) I write to inspire you. I write to invigorate your soul.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know that exercise is important. If you have the ability to exercise and you choose not to do so…(I will refrain from speaking my mind here) then, please read on. I know that exercise makes us smile. I want you to smile and be happy and fun to be around. So when I came across a question in a book I was reading today, I wanted to share it and hope that it may inspire someone the same way it did me.

The book I was reading is called Who’s Your Caddy. It is written by Rick Reilly. I came across a passage where Rick Reilly asked the above mentioned Casey Martin: “If, for just one day, you had two perfectly normal legs, what would you do?” This is what Casey said he would do…

“Oh, man,” he said, rubbing his hands together. “Ohhhh, mannn! OK. Wake up and play dunk hoops with my buddies. Then go throw the football around in the park. Then I’d go for a long, long run. Then I’d ride my bike up to the mountains and go skiing. Then I’d go dancing. Buddy, I love to dance. I’m a very good dancer. Ask anybody. I used to be able to get down. Oh, then I’d go workout. Do an aerobics class. Then, let’s see…”

Rick and I both felt guilty. Again, I do not share this with the intention of making anyone feel guilty. My aim is to help, not hurt.

Help yourself today, and by golly; gee whiz; gosh darn, if you can…GET UP AND MOVE!


Speed Stacking

In life, I encourage you to stack your dreams high (the up stack).
Life will knock you down and you will face challenges (the down stack).
Don’t give up on what you believe in (the cycle). Practice success and before you know it, you will find it (remember to breathe).
Smile and keep doing what makes you happy.

Find time for yourself

We all have talents and ways to make ourselves feel alive. We have habits, hobbies, and traditions. I challenge you to get out and do something you love. Sew, go for a walk with your kids, stop and smell the roses, look at the stars, shoot some hoops.
Whatever makes your heart pump and turns on your smile, do it! Some day I would like to learn how to sew and knit. Until I make time for that day, this will have to do…


If you are a coach you understand what people mean when they say something like, “winning is everything.” If you are not a coach, it is a safe bet to say you still have heard something about winning being the most important thing. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

I would like to suggest the following about winning: It is not a matter of the scoreboard, or the win column, or a stat sheet that is “everything.” The true measure of a win is the heart, the desire, the passion that is invested into the game, battle, workout, goal, etc. It is the feeling within the individual of maximum effort towards greatness. If we lead with our heart, we cannot lose.
Good old Wiki helps us understand winning as the act of obtaining something, as in a contest or by competition. To win means to defeat or conquer. These are accurate definitions, but somewhere along the line society has made winning a numbers game. There is no stat, rank system, or board that can measure your heart. You are the only person that can measure that.

I would like to suggest a new way to look at a win. In this way there is no room for a loser. There is only room for personal reflection. Which is more important than any win, by a “winning is everything” model. The new way is to see win as the acronym What’s Important Now. If we live in the moment, if we have desire to become better, if our heart is all in…we win. We are focused on the task at hand and fully involved in accomplishing our goal. The WIN.
Whether you are or have ever been a coach is irrelevant. The purpose of WIN is to incorporate everyday life. It is to help you reflect upon yourself, your choices, and where you are leading yourself in life. Focus on What’s Important Now and you will win. Lead with your heart, and you cannot lose.

So, What’s Important Now?

Health and Fitness Night Success

Wildcat Country’s first annual Health fair and second annual Fitness night was a success last week. Thank you to all the parents, community members, and staff members that volunteered their time to make this event possible. Living active is a choice we each make each day and it is great to be a part of a community that embraces healthy living! This Fitness night had some new sponsors and activities to engage more students. Fast Lane indoor go carts was passing out free races, Caldwell BMX was getting the word out to kids of all ages to come race, Caldwell wrestling (thanks to Adam Freeman) turned the library into a wrestling room showing students how to control their bodies, and Offthefield.com was back to promote fitness on and off the sporting field.

Exercise is key to happy healthy living. Living active is not about running until to fall over, or doing push ups until you collapse. Living active is about finding a way to enjoy getting exercise and repeating it. Maybe it is a walk with your friends, maybe it is gripping the steeling wheel of a cart at 40 MPH, maybe it is shooting a foul shot, or stacking cups. Whatever it is, find something active that you like to do and do it often!

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Thanks again to all the Health fair sponsors and volunteers as well as the Fitness night sponsors and volunteers. Together we have the ability to make a change.  This community is working together to make quality changes to grow and develop the kids.