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On The Z-Train: Get the ‘Kid’ out

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:38 a.m. CDT

I spent last weekend doing an evaluation on many aspects of my life. The evaluation brought up a series of questions that, with the help of family and friends, I have been able to find some answers to.

A friend described my journalism career as having two eras, being “Hometown Kid” and “On The Z-Train.” The answer to my evaluation was made clear with the help of an amazing girl, who reminded me that I should strive to give the best of me, which can be defined by Z-Train.

“On The Z-Train” was my sports column that I wrote for Newton Senior High School and Iowa Central Community College. I found myself laughing as I was having a discussion with Newton Daily News Senior Staff Writer Ty Rushing, in which he proclaimed that “Hometown Kid” was my grown man image. When I took time to evaluate the difference between the two eras, it came down to one era being about me being hungry to be the best.

By going back to the Z-Train, I’m wanting to show that, although I am grown, age hasn’t changed my spirit.

I know to most the simple idea of a name doesn’t mean much because in the end what truly makes a name is what you do with it. It was Batman who said it best: “It’s not who I am, but what I do that defines me.”

It was with the help of an amazing friend and dance partner that made me realize, although I am not the same guy I was in high school, my spirit from then is legendary. It’s not legendary by an amazing task but because many people today have told me a story about the Z-Train.

The stories, the loyalty and memory of those who I have had a chance to impact will continue even when my heart beats its last beat and my lungs take their final breath. It will only be who I was that dies with me psychically, but my spirit will live on.

The best thing to do now is to “get the ‘Kid’ out.”

I know “On The Z-Train” will not be a sports column after today, but it will keep one original theme which is passion.

In the first edition of “On The Z-Train,” I wanted to take a chance to celebrate summer with five of my summer loves.

Great Food: I know I am a fat kid, so of course food will be on the list. In my life, I have been spoiled with great food and experiences with food, from working the grill with my dad to watching my Great-Grandma Ruth cook on an old-fashioned stove. My family loves to travel around the state, so no matter where I go, I can always find some great food.

Smooth Beverage: It doesn’t matter if its an adult beverage or a specially made tea, nothing beats quenching your thirst with an ice-cold beverage. My family has inspired me to know what a smooth beverage is, even though we don’t hangout as much anymore. I have to give Jace from the Manhattan a shout-out, as he has without a doubt provided me a beverage that I am sure I will enjoy on the outdoor patio of the Manhattan for the duration of the summer.

Live Music: Don’t get me wrong, I love live music year-round, but summer is a time when, on any given weekend, you can find an amazing live music show going on around the state, not just in Newton.

Summer Girls: It was June 1999, a boy band group name Lyte Funkie Ones (LFO) came out with a song called “Summer Girls.” Its one of those songs on my shame list that I love. Every summer, I seem to meet a group of girls who always seem to just show up and make the summer more memorable.

Summer Vacation: I know many will be sad and have tears, but I also know many will celebrate on the town square when I take my vacation during the Fourth of July festivities. The plan is to return to northern Michigan to embark on a sailing adventures with my family. Once there, the only writing I will be doing is from my Taylor Swift notebook to chronicle all of my adventures.

In the end, I want to thank you, the readers, for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and am passionate about everyday — writing.

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