Tag Archives: NBA

Health & Fitness Sports

Marathon Life. Week 6 and 7.

Week before last was week six of my Portland Marathon training, but this was me that Friday night… I might have been a little distracted by the NBA Playoffs.

Wizards Vs. Bulls game with my girls in DC

So yeah.. let’s just say I didn’t show up for my Portland Fit training run on Saturday morning as planned. But I did rally and run four of the seven miles I was supposed to on the treadmill the next day.

PROOF!
But first let me take a cheesy selfie! Week 7 marathon training.. body finally starting to show progress

But as you can imagine that did not really prepare me for my eight mile run yesterday; four up a winding hill and four down. And I remember promising myself to do my mid-week runs in preparation for the big Saturday morning runs, but alas I went to Barre3 four days this week instead. So when I hit the road with a hundred other runners yesterday, I cursed my legs for the first two miles. It literately felt like they were not moving! I couldn’t catch my breath to save my life, and quickly dropped to the back of the pack (which is not all bad, less pressure if you think about it). I was struggling, no way around it.

Started our run with a hillside of stairs…really?

But after about two miles, I found my pace setter.  She was about three feet ahead of me and I swear I road her tailwind all the way up that hill. Every time I wanted to quit I had to stop myself because I knew going this alone just wasn’t gonna happen today. I needed a mentor.  And before I knew it I was at the top of the hill, the spot we’d turned around at on our last run, and the rest of the way was down hill.

That got me thinking. In life, like in running, we need mentors. We need to have someone to follow to give us motivation, we see them doing it so we talk ourselves into believing we can do it to, and we actually do it. It’s such a tangible example of how powerful our mind is. If we tell it we can do it, our legs will keep moving and we WILL do it, the reverse is even more true. And every time I’m out there running thinking I must certainly be the very last one of the group, I look behind me and to my surprise I’m not. Someone else is running with their eyes on my feet, as motivation to keep going. That’s why it’s so important to be a living example of what you believe in. You never know who’s watching you, who’s looking to you for inspiration and motivation.  And when you share what you know that’s when its full power comes into your life and you begin manifesting even faster. So be a light to someone else. Share what you know and don’t be afraid to live your truth every day.

There will come a day when I will be so grateful to ONLY have to run eight miles… Just not today.

#PreparationIsClutch #smh
At least I’m registered this time!! Portland Marathon

 

Divorce Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration My Stories Single Mom Life Vision Boards

#HBRMethod Success Story.

A text message changed my life. On the evening of September 7, 2008, I opened my husband’s cell phone while he was in the shower, to read: I can’t wait ’till you’re finally free and all mine. No more sharing. Those few words tore my world apart in an instant. 

I’d been with this man half my life, since we were sixteen years old. We had an eight-year marriage and shared three beautiful children, including twin girls just over a year old. We’d been through it all: buying our first home, then losing it in foreclosure; being overjoyed when I got pregnant with our second child, then devastated when I lost it six months into my pregnancy. I thought we’d seen everything, but this I never saw coming. 

I never saw it because everyone knew he loved me just a little bit more. They say in every relationship one person does that, loves the other more. The kids and I had always been his entire world. No part of me ever questioned that he’d jump in front of a train to save us if he had to. 

I was all he ever wanted. Until I wasn’t. 

I set his phone on the bathroom counter and without a second thought, threw open the shower curtain, turned off the water, and said; “Get the fuck out.” I watched him pull on his shorts in the hallway, still dripping wet, one leg and then the other as I pointed to the front door. He kissed our son goodbye, tossed his ring in my general direction, and walked out slamming the door behind him. 

He never came back. 

Things had not been perfect between us prior to that day, I can’t lie. We’d been struggling financially to the point of desperation for what felt like forever. We’d lost our home the year before and were forced into bankruptcy after our twins were born. Our life was in a noticeable negative tailspin. Losing everything we’d worked so hard to acquire had destroyed our pride and left us both feeling useless, helpless and miserable. I’d done everything I could think of to cut our budget and make it so we could pay the bills and still eat, but every month we fell further behind. 

On the day he left, I didn’t have five dollars to my name. Our electric, water and gas bills were all past due, with shutoff notices pending, and the rent was late. I hadn’t worked in over two years, and the economy was in the middle of a deep recession. The car title was in his name, as was our bank account. Overnight, I went from desperate to stranded and destitute, with no way to provide for my three small children. 

That night, I laid on the cold hardwood floor in our living room, my hair matted to the side of my head with tears that had finally run dry from my own dehydration. The only thought that floated in my semi-conscious brain was, “How the hell can I do this?” I’d tried so hard to think of a plan, anything, but nothing came, except that question over and over again. It seemed completely impossible. Yet somehow in that moment survival mode also kicked in, and with it came even more questions. Of course we’d have to move right away, but where? I didn’t have family who could take us in. And we’d need to sell everything we owned, but how? And I’d need a job, but doing what? And how could I afford to work when daycare would take up most of my salary?

All night these questions swirled in my head without answers. 

The sense of utter helplessness was all-consuming. I was no stranger to hard times. I’d grown up in extremely difficult circumstances and had struggled all my life. I already knew what it felt like to go hungry, to not have a roof over my head, or a bed to sleep in at night. But this was different. Being resilient and scrappy is fine when it’s just you. But when you have children to feed, it’s a new kind of panic that washes over you in overwhelming waves. In the past I had always relied on #TheHustle to get me through anything; it was comforting knowing that no matter what came at me, I would always “find a way.” But this time, I knew Hustle alone would not save me, and I had no bright ideas.  

In moments like these, I think we are faced with two options. We can give up, fall apart and disappear. Or we can fight. I knew I could never just give up, but I didn’t believe I had what it would take to fight. Not this time. 

That was about the time my girlfriend Charise walked in the door with her arms full of Costco boxes. She’d thought of everything: diapers and formula for the girls, dinner for the next week, and even enough cash to keep the electricity and water on. That is the moment that has defined my #RelentlessPursuit. That is the moment I Hustle and grind for. 

Something inside me snapped in that moment. A light went on, deep in my core, followed by a burning desire to never put myself or my children in this kind of position again. I made a promise to myself right then that I would not rely on anyone to provide for my family. I wouldn’t borrow money from family members; I wouldn’t beg for help. I would somehow pay my girlfriend back, and figure out how to handle my business on my own. Before I’d always just thought I was unlucky and entitled to what little help I’d ever received.  All my life I’d told myself this story, and believed it. Nothing good ever happens to me.  I work twice as hard as everyone else for half as much. That was my core belief. And as a result, that was my life.  No one ever told me that my life was the result of my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions. I believed that the only thing I could control was how hard I worked (#TheHustle), but that on its own left me feeling like I was drowning in quicksand, no matter how hard I worked, the results never showed. It took the catastrophe of that night, when my world collapsed in an instant, to spark within me a desire to drastically change my life. 

That week I sold everything we owned on Craigslist and filed for divorce. I took the money I made from our belongings to pay for first and last month’s rent on a really tiny, super-shitty two-bedroom apartment. I had just enough left over for one more month of rent and a few groceries. That was all the money I had in the world: I didn’t even have a bank account. My sister convinced me to get on food stamps, just until I got on my feet, and though I cried when the case worker took my story, I knew I had no choice. I applied for every job I could find, but interviews were few and far between. When the second month came and my rent money was gone, I sold my wedding rings on Craigslist for a fraction of their value; enough for one more month’s rent. When the women came to pick up my rings, she looked around our little apartment at my twins running around in their diapers and said, “I don’t want to know. Please don’t tell me the story.” She didn’t want my “bad luck” giving her new wedding rings negative juju. 

Things were certainly bleak, to put it mildly. It was terrifying, yet at the same time there was a new spark of hope deep inside me that wouldn’t go away. Now I was in control of my future, and that was a whole new way of thinking about what was possible for my life. I remembered an Oprah show I’d watched where she’d talked about changing your thoughts because they have the power to predict your future. I mentally traced my life back five, ten years, and realized that everything I worried about, feared and stressed about, had become my reality. That was a huge revelation for me. I saw it plain as day: I’d created all those “misfortunes.” I’d created that life. That was all the proof I needed of the tremendous power of my thoughts, even if it had only worked in a negative way up to that point. I knew I had nothing to lose, and the possibility of possibility brought hope in a way I’d never known before.

My book Hustle Believe Receive  is how I went from a newly single mom with nothing, relying on state aid to survive, to an executive of a software company in just eighteen months. It’s the story of how I manifested four vision boards in six years, and completely changed not only my life but my children’s. It’s how I went from living in a “poor me” world, to being a take-charge-of-my-future badass. It’s the tale of how I learned to dream HUGE and what it felt like to live out those dreams quicker, and bigger than I’d ever imagined, often without spending a dime of my own money! It’s how I learned to work smarter and not harder.  It’s how I Changed my Crew. And it’s the story of how, for the first time in my life I learned to truly be grateful, live a “pinch-me moment” kinda life, and how I found my joy. 

 
 
“Anything is possible child, anything can
be.”
–Shel Silverstein


 

CLICK HERE TO READ SUCCESS STORIES FROM REAL PEOPLE
 
*You can read all my posts about these events and all the others as I went through them in  real-time. Look on the left side of my blog and click the “archive” to read what I wrote as I faced these  challenges and celebrated these victories in 2009-and beyond
 
 

 

Ready to work with me? Learn more about my coaching and schedule a free consultation to learn how you can live your dreams!

 

 

 

My Stories Sports Your Life Coach

Fear of Falling.

I have an intense fear of heights, as manifest by my complete breakdown and total panic attack last week attempting to take a flying trapeze class with my girlfriends.  I knew the minute I got the group text from my bestie, excitedly sharing the details of our excursion to celibate her birthday, that it was gonna be all bad for me. But I didn’t wanna be the only scaredy-cat loser in the group, so reluctantly I agreed to give it a try.

I could feel my heart racing when we walked into the airplane-hanger-sized tent that held the trapeze contraption over an enormous safety net.  My anxiety grew as my instructor hooked on my safety harness, then pulled it so tight it nearly knocked the wind out of me.  All the while I’m thinking;  just because I’m here doesn’t mean I’m actually doing this! The thought was so strong I almost wanted to ask him where he got the right to assume I was. But I bit my tongue, and tried to gulp down my rising panic. I watched as he demonstrated our first jump; back-flips, and knee-hangs, as if he was weightless and it was the most natural, graceful thing on earth.

I wasn’t convinced.

Our instructor giving the demo

I stood at the end of the line, as one by one each of the ladies took their turn climbing up the two-story, rickety ladder to the thin, swaying platform perched in mid-air above the net. Each followed instruction, faced their own butterflies, grabbed the trapeze bar and jumped off the platform.  They swung and flipping like seasoned pros, their faces flush with exhilaration as they climbed down off the net.

Suddenly it was my turn.

The instructor was motioning me toward the ladder and it was too late to back out now.  The rest of this experience was an out-of-body one. One where I watched myself, as if in a dream from above.  One where I was no longer in control of my fear, or emotion, or even my physical reactions. I could feel my hands grasp rung after rung on the ladder, looking only at them directly in front of my face. Not down, not up, just dead straight ahead. I knew that to get through it, I literately had to take one second at a time.  One ladder rung at a time. Not think about what it would be like to crawl up on that platform, or then try to stand. Or the moment when I looked down two-stories and swung out over a net, holding onto a metal bar, praying my arms could hold the weight of my body. I couldn’t think about any of that, not even for an instant. Letting my mind go even one step ahead of my body would cause total panic and I knew it.

But I couldn’t breathe.

I was reaching the top of the ladder and beginning to hyperventilate.  My floating-above-self, told my actual self to use my all time favorite mantra, and from then on it’s the only thought I remember cohesively having; “I can do it, I am strong.” I said it over and over, willing myself to hoist my body onto the swinging platform, and then slowly pulling myself to standing. I was shaking uncontrollably and beginning to cry without control, tears blurring my vision, full panic attack in high gear.  My rational floating-above-self, kept trying to tell me to “get it together”, that “I could do it”, but it was past the time for rationalization. The room, which had been buzzing with happy chatter, went dead silent.

I attempted to follow my instructors directions, as he tried to quickly walk me through the steps, again assuming I’d actually go through with it. But I felt frozen, unable to move or talk or react as I looked down for the first time with my toes on the edge of the platform. Bless his heart he was so patient, encouraging my minuscule progress, but I was taking forever, still not convinced I had any intention of jumping off that ledge, and wondering how I’d gotten this far.

And then he said, “You don’t have to do this if you really can’t.  You can climb down that thin, rickety ladder and take a seat.”  And suddenly I knew, there was only one way off that shaking platform. Going backward was not an option.  “I can’t” was not an option. And for the first time since I’d heard of this crazy idea, I knew I was going to find a way to make this happen.  I just had to trust my instructor, lean my whole body over the edge and fall.  And that’s when I realized my fear of heights was nothing compared to my fear of falling.

By this time I could see the second instructor making her way up the ladder from the corner of my eye, she knew the first, was in over his head trying to get me going alone.  She stood next to me releasing my death-grip on the stationary bar, looked into my eyes and said; “You can do this. I would not have let you get this far if I didn’t 100% believe you are capable. We both know it’s the only way off this platform.”

It was go time. I had no choice but to trust them, believe my arms would hold my body and just fall. I leaned over the edge, reached for the bar, let out a loud scream and let my feet slip off the edge.  And suddenly I was flying.  I held on for dear life, past the time I was supposed to drop to the net, swinging in mid-air.  I’d done it. Faced a fear so big it had physically overtaken me.  Done something I’d never imagined I’d do. I was still shaking and wiping tears away when I collapsed onto the mat, greeted by hugs from my girls.  No part of me was remotely interested in trying it again, as I watched the ladies go turn after turn trying all kinds of beautiful, graceful tricks fit for the circus.

I was content. I’d had one goal, to fall.  That was it.  Done.

I’m top left (no crazy flips for me thank you!)

Looking back on that experience I realized what a metaphor it was for my entire life. What was going on inside me was so much bigger than that physical moment. Bigger than trying something new and facing a paralyzing fear. It was the outward reaction to what my internal process goes through when I face emotional fear or life challenges.  I physically reacted the way my brain does whenever I face something difficult and terrifying. I rely on mantras and positive affirmations to get me moving forward. I keep my focus directly in front of me, taking one baby step at a time, leaving the “how can I possibly do this” of the big picture to a later time.  I at some point in the process make a concrete resolution to be victorious in the end and work toward that goal, inch by inch.

But the hardest of all, is learning to trust another human so completely that you take a risk and just go for it, leaving fear on the platform.  You just lean your whole self forward in the direction you want to go, and fall.

… And without the fall, we’d never know what it feels like to fly.

 

The trapeze artists! With my girls, The Wizards Wives

 

*Right to left: My bff Courtney Webster (Martell Webster’s wife), Lauren Hilario (wife of Nene Hilario), Bree Ariza (Trevor Ariza‘s fience), Michelle Harrington (wife of Al Harrington), Me! and April Booker (wife of Trevor Booker)

*Much love to the instructors at the Trapeze School New York in Washington DC for patiently getting me off that damn platform!

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Sports

Joshua Smith Leaves UCLA… So? Get Off His Ass.

Josh Smith with my son Kanen after his best game ever against Huskies

 

*I had wanted to post this earlier in the week when the news broke that Joshua Smith had decided to leave UCLA, but didn’t get a chance.  Now with the events that occurred today it renews my passion for supporting these athletes and getting them the help and support that they need when they need it.

 This week I saw a good friend of mine (I do not Life Coach him) Joshua Smith, the former big man Center for UCLA, get eaten alive in the media for quitting the team. And all I could see was a 20 year old kid who has endured endless media trashing for his weight, and who had lost the love of the game.

When he made his decision to leave the team it was something that he needed to do for him, and for his happiness, and all fans could do was trash him and say what an idiot he is to throw away his future and the chance at millions.  And knowing Josh, I support his decision, know he has a plan, and understand that
he is smart enough to chose happiness above what everyone thinks he should do. He has a great family support system, which many of these kids don’t, so thankfully he can rely on that guidance to get him though firestorms like these.  Yet still it’s hard for me not to get passionate about watching what fans and media did to him in the wake of that decision. It breaks my heart, and makes me angry.

I went a little nuts on Twitter!
Joshua Smith with Kanen Rossi
Just waiting for someone to try and get the ball.. lol

 

Joshua Smith with Sarah Centrella's son
Josh with my son and his friends at our house last spring

Maybe we should stop pretending these guys are superhuman and perfect.  If you are a sports fan, then support these guys, and remember they are human and for the most part are really great people and I’m glad to call so many of them my friends.

Joshua Smith and Sarah Centrella

 

birthday dinner with Joshua Smith

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Sports Vision Boards

Manifest This!

If you don’t believe in Hustle.Believe.Receive. (HBR) you’re crazy! I’m sorry, you just are. I have sooooo many examples of how it’s worked for me all over this blog, but I figured it wont hurt to share one more.

I LOVE manifestations, they give me goosebumps and never stop blowing my mind. But I need you to understand one very important thing: 1. When they come into your life you need to be AWARE so you can spot them! Don’t be dumb and wait for the actual picture on your Future Board to show up live in your living room (though it might!)! Be open-minded and aware or you will miss them and think it’s not working, when in reality it’s been working all along; you just weren’t paying attention.

Picture on my Vision Board of Girlfriends

Example? I thought so, Ok here you go…

About a year ago I updated my Future Board. I had several themes represented and one that was new for me was that of “Friendship”. I knew that the last few years I had become rather isolated as a working single mom, and that friendships with girlfriends where hard to find and even harder to keep and maintain.  Finding one who really connects with where I’m at in my life right now has been difficult, as most of my close girlfriends live far away. The ones I have close by (200 miles away now) who I also adore have a lot going on in their own lives, and it’s difficult to always keep in touch.  I knew that I needed to make it a goal to get out there and socialize and work to make that a priority in my life.

So I put this picture alone with a few others on my Future Board. It’s of girlfriends sitting front row at a fashion show or an event. To me it’s not the “fashion show” I see when I look at this picture it’s the girlfriends doing something FABULOUS together that they love, and doing it up big! Those are the two things I thought about when I looked for a picture to represent the EXPERIENCE I wanted to have with my girlfriends:
1. Doing something amazing and 2. Doing it up in style!

That brings us to today when I get a call from my new girlfriend who I met through mutual friends “randomly” (nothing is random, we know that by now right??) on Facebook a few months ago. We instantly clicked in a way I didn’t even realized I had missed. Just silly and funny and get each other. We are both moms both juggling a lot, both into the same kinds of things. It’s been great to have that. So anyway… today I’m listening to her voice-mail where she says that her and I will be sitting court-side for the upcoming NBA game this weekend in Portland, when the Blazers play the Timberwolves!! I’m freaking out in the car hearing this, because of course I’m a huge fan of both teams and its court-side baby!! I’ve never sat on the court before for an NBA game! It will definitely be another Pinch Me Moment!

Then tonight we are texting, I’m frantically trying to brainstorm on what to wear that wont make me look fat on the court since there is no buffer zone! She is telling me how ridiculous I’m being and I’m cracking up at our banter… then I look up at my Future Board which sits framed above my fireplace, and see this picture.

Holly shit.

“OMG I just had an epiphany!!” I text. I tell her the story and think WOW… this still really does blow my mind! I will be sitting front row with a new girlfriend doing it up VIP style… if that is not HBR working I don’t know what is!!

But do you understand how I could of missed all those dots connecting and otherwise maybe gotten discouraged? If I was only waiting for four girlfriends who looked like the chicks in Sex in the City to sit front row at NYC Fashion Week I might of missed that my “dream/vision” did in fact come true! I wanted girlfriends in my life; I got a new one! I wanted that big over-the-top experience and it showed up…. it’s so easy!

Be aware. Always look for the magic in your life. Look for it every single day. Count every single tiny win. This to me is a huge thing, it’s a dream come true! But it was a lot of little things over the course of a year that lead up to this big “aha moment”… see what I mean? Don’t give up. Give it time and patience and recognize when the little things are falling into place, and be grateful for them and celebrate them. The more you do, the more you will receive.

Happy manifesting!!

Oh and BTW… I got to wear those $3,300 CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Red Bottom shoes too!!! Yep!!

Dream Christian Louboutin’s!

 

Checkin the score, sitting on the court!
sarah centrella court side NBA games
Rockin the Chanel Shoes and LV bag on the court!
court side at nba game
View from my court-side seat!

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Single Mom Life Sports

A Gift for My Boy

Kanen Rossi and Oregon Duck Players
Kenjon Barner (OR RB); Ed Dickson (Ravens TE)

I have a great son. I know, I know all mothers say that (or at least should!) but it’s true I really do. He’s kind; he has a gentle spirit, a good heart and a fiercely protective nature. He’s an amazing human, not because of his parents or his environment, but because it’s who HE is.

Because of his parents and environment the past 2 ½ years he has been through more than an 8 year old should have to go through. Being the child of a broken home is something I can’t even relate to or understand what his vantage point has or will be, but I know it’s been a very difficult adjustment for him as it would for a child of any age. But through it all he has remained his beautiful self, my friend and helper who I would be lost without.

So that is why this year I really felt he deserved a little TLC and some special attention. He’s never really had a birthday other then when he turned 1 and 5, and this year he was acutely aware of that fact more so then ever before. So as he began his month long count down in December, I began planning and plotting of ways to make this year hopefully the first real birthday he will remember.

Being a single mom, finances are always difficult so this required some out of the box thinking. I’ve been fortunate the past 2 years to of met some pretty amazing people who have become the kind of friends that you just know have your back, and lucky for me they have some pretty cool jobs! I’m not one for calling in favors, but without hesitation everyone I told about my plan to make this the birthday Kanen would never forget, said “what can I do?” So I began dreaming bigger and bigger.

After his first “official” birthday party at the bowling alley with all his friends, (the first time he’s had a party with friends from school), the fun began!

Anthony Tolliver and Kanen Rossi
Anthony Tolliver

A friend of mine plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves,(Anthony Tolliver) and as a gift to Kanen got us the player 100 level seats to the game when the Timberwolves came to play the Blazers. It was doubly exciting for Kanen because he could watch Martel Webster play again, (Kanen went to his basket ball camp this summer) so he was very excited!

The night got better with passes to the club level for dinner before the game and more snacks during the game then an 8 year old should be allowed to eat (a hook –up from our amazing sitter)!

After the game, he got to go down and meet some of the players,including Kevin Love. Kanen actually sat on the NBA player’s bench right after the game! Truly something to remember.

Martell Webster and Kanen Rossi
Martel Webster

But the best moment of all was seeing his face light up when Martel Webster not only recognized him (from summer basketball camp) but remembered his name. He came over and gave Kanen a high five and said “Kanen what’s up my man!” That was priceless. A picture and big “thank you” for Anthony, and I had one happy kid with visions of what is possible when you believe swirling in his little head.

That night we walked hand in hand through downtown Portland about 20 blocks to the car (yeah I got a little lost taking the MAX, oops!), but it was the perfect opportunity to teach life lessons.

I told him this is what happens when you believe in magic. This is what is possible when you expect the amazing. He recapped every moment of the night, eyes bright and then said, “and mama! You didn’t even spend any money! It didn’t even cost a penny!” And I realized he was right, I’d just given my son the kind of evening that millionaires couldn’t buy, the kind with no price tag, and it didn’t cost a cent. That is why I believe in magic! That is why I want to pass that on to my children.

kanen rossi Blazer game
Kanen on the NBA Bench

He then asked me, as we walked through the dark streets of downtown if I was scared and if he should be scared, walking outside late at night in downtown, and it was the perfect time to teach him, that when you are strong and hold your head height and look people in the eye, you create your own safety zone. You create and demand respect and you get it. I can only hope that he remembers to walk with pride regardless of what life throws his way, and respect himself first, so others will follow his example.

Then I got a crazy idea…..

He loves football! It’s our thing, him and me. We watch all the University of Oregon Duck and Baltimore Raven games together (his 2 favorite teams, because his favorite player Ed Dickson played/s Tight End for both). He’s about as nutty a Duck fan as me, knows all the players, and understands the game better than I do. We practice almost every single night for an hour or so in our living room, him running all kinds of formations learning to catch the ball (gotta say he’s pretty good!). So I knew what would be the ultimate experience. When I asked Ed, he immediately said, “Sure, what do you want me to do?” My idea started with, maybe Kanen could meet him and take a picture, maybe have Ed sign a ball.

Then it grew… and grew..! When I asked him if maybe he’d come out and throw the ball with Kanen for a few minutes, he said “No problem, just tell me where”. It was a difficult secret to keep from Kanen and he was catching on. Which meant I’d have to add an additional surprise, so I asked Kenjon Barner, Oregon’s star Running Back (and one of Kanen’s favorite current Duck players) to come join us in a little pickup game. And again without hesitation he said “of course, how can I help?” I was blown away!

Kenjon Barner and Ed Dickson with Kanen Rossi
Kanen playing ball with Kenjon and Ed

But of course we’d need a place to play and it would be dark by the time we could all meet up, so I called my dad who runs the softball facility at Oregon to see if we could have the lights turned on and have the field to ourselves, and just like that…a little idea became a big reality.

I can’t say enough about how great those 2 were with my son, I don’t remember a more amazingly happy hour with him, ever. They treated him like a rock star, put all their attention on him and played some great ball. He’s such a focused little guy he just went out there and went to work with them. He’d been really nervous before hand, but to see the effort they put in to making him feel comfortable and special, is a night that neither Kanen or I will ever forget. It was truly a moment that made me so proud to be his mama and to have such good people in my life that when asked will come through 110%.

Last night Kanen got the last of his birthday celebration surprises with 4 tickets to see the Harlem Globe Trotters, where he and 3 friends got the VIP treatment. Not only did they get great seats in the front but they were the only people allowed on the court behind the rope to get autographs from the players. They had their own security escort and the floor announcer as their personal tour guide. Thanks to a great friend who is the lead announcer for the team, and who wanted to be sure this would be something Kanen wouldn’t soon forget. I wont ever forget look on my son’s face as he walked around meeting the players standing on the Blazer court, and hearing him say to his buddies over and over “this is AWESOME! this is so AWESOME!”.

Kenjon Barner and Ed Dickson

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this little boy smile, and make his dream come true. He will carry it with him for the rest of his life. My hope is that each of you continue to realize what the gift you’ve been given enables you to do;which is make a difference in young children’s lives. An impression that lasts for a lifetime.

*Ed Dickson, TE for the Baltimore Ravens #83
*Kenjon Barner, RB for the Oregon Ducks #24
*Anthony Tolliver, Minnesota Timberwolves #44
*Martel Webster, Minnesota Timberwolves #5

Blazer Game Photos

All Star Football Game Photos
Harlem Globe Trotters Photos

Video of Kenjon Barner playing ball with my son

Video of Ed Dickson and Kenjon Barner playing ball with Kanen

Kanen and his buddies getting VIP autograph session on the court for HGT


Written by: Sarah Centrella

 

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