Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
As I’ve discussed in other blogs, I was sexually abused as a child at home and at school. The two places where kids are supposed to be safe, were not safe for me. I was alone, frightened, and felt worthless, but I had a dream. I dreamt of being a professional baseball player.
That dream gave me hope; it saved me. No matter what was being done to my body, no matter was being done to my psyche; my dream somehow stayed safe. I can only speculate as to why my dream was unaffected, but it was.
The dream kept a spark alive in me. Baseball was my salvation; it gave me a place to escape the rest of my life. While I lived in constant fear, on the baseball field and in my baseball dream, I was not alone, I was not worthless; I mattered and people cared about me.
My dream of being a professional baseball player did not materialize and, for a good bit of time, I felt betrayed. Betrayed by a cruel universe that gave me a taste of my dream and then, in a blink of an eye, took it away.
I’ve come to realize that my dream of being a professional baseball player was not about actually becoming a pro player, it was about giving me a path through my childhood that lead me to college. Now, instead of feeling betrayed, I feel grateful for my baseball dream and the subsequent dreams that have guided my life thus far.
For me, a dream is a desire, an aspiration, a fantasy, and/or an opportunity. Some are fleeting that enter my mind, provide a spark of passion, and then fade away. Others repeatedly enter my mind, the passion to pursue the dream builds to a point where I feel compelled to act.
For example, my desire to go to law school was inspired by being sued by a hospital for outstanding medical bills resulting from my infant daughter’s open heart surgery. When I was sued, I could not afford a lawyer, so I had no alternative to represent myself. I did and had a successful outcome. That gave birth to the dream of going to law school. The more I looked into going to law school and the opportunities it provided me, the more I wanted to go. A year later, I started law school.
As another example, I grew up in the Chicago area and had never gone anywhere until, a few years into my engineering career, I went on my first business trip to Long Beach California in February. When I left Chicago, it was cloudy and cold. When I arrived in Long Beach, it was sunny and warm. A whole new world opened up to me and it inspired my desire to move to a warmer climate. About eight years later my family and I moved from Chicago to Austin, and then to Maui, and then to Phoenix.
As another example, I was fortunate to start my legal career at Motorola while still in law school. At their Schaumburg Illinois campus, I had a nice office from which I could see Chicago skyline and I had a great boss. I learned so much about business ethics and being a good patent lawyer I figured I would be a Motorolan for life. During this time, my desired to move to a warmer climate continued to grow so, when an opportunity to transfer to Motorola’s patent department in Austin came up, I took it.
The Austin patent department was nothing like the Schaumburg patent department. For better or worse, I was labeled the “golden boy” for an awarding winning idea I had on how to improve patent writing. My boss in Schaumburg encouraged me to try different things that lead to the idea. My new boss in Austin, however, was not encouraging and, from my perspective, despised me for being the “golden boy”. He went out of his way to make my time in Austin miserable and I resigned from Motorola a year after moving to Austin. This gave rise to starting my own law practice, which I did about three years later.
As another example, about 11 years ago I went to a Pro Ball camp. It is a four-day baseball camp taught by major league coaches for adult players who want to learn how to play baseball better. At the camp, I met Rick Adair and Ty Van Burkleo and they had a philosophy on the importance of the lower half in pitching and in hitting. We talked about the philosophy of shifting the knees inward a bit and the drills they used to achieve it. That discuss lead to a desire to create a shoe that could provide the desired affects, which lead to formation of Athalonz.
As my last example, growing up in an abusive environment, I always knew I wanted to be a better parent to my kids than my parents were to me. I hope I’ve done that. I know that the more I heal myself, I feel I become a better person.
With each dream I’ve pursued and am pursuing, and I usually pursue multiple dreams at a time, I have to overcome myself. I have to face my fears, my insecurities, my doubts, and my lack of self-worth. For me, it’s difficult to trust my instincts; that my dreams are worth pursuing; that I deserved to have my dreams fulfilled and, it’s most difficult, to overcome others questioning my dreams and pursuit of them. Someone saying, “that’s a dumb idea” is a gut punch to pursuing something.
Yet, when the passion is strong enough, I can overcome myself, the questioning of my dreams, and continue moving forward. I’ve found that pursuing dreams is part of my healing process. It helps reduce my fears, decrease my insecurities, and improve my self-worth. It also helps me feel that my life has a purpose, a meaning.
Today, I’m pursuing my dream of making the world a better place through the work we do at Athalonz plus being a vocal advocate for the prevention of all forms of child abuse; by promoting creating thinking; by promote future visioning, and by encourage others to pursue their dreams.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based on Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
Athalonz Supports the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation
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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.