I’ve written about this one before. Rick Redman taught me this valuable lesson without knowing it. When I started the band that became the Invincible Czars, Rick was the first to join me way back in 2002. After months practicing with just his trumpet, my guitar and the Roland R8 drum machine, I started feeling discouraged.


One day Rick called before we were supposed to get together and I couldn’t bear to come over and run through the songs again for what seemed like no reason.  Rick seemed baffled and just came to my place anyway for “some run-throughs.”  I’d never had someone simply come over in spite one of my bouts of negativity.  


He did come over.  We did some run-throughs and I felt better. Rick kept the faith that we’d one day have a whole band. It took months but we eventually did and Rick set a goal to play at Emo’s*. I laughed. It’d be a long time.


Then a few months later we’d done it. I stopped laughing at Rick’s goals.


In 2004, Rick ***hated*** the idea of us doing the Nutcracker music that December. He did it anyway. He didn’t always smile but he did it. There were moments during the lead up to that first holiday show that I lost faith in what I was doing. Just wished the date would come and go and be done with. But I didn’t quit because the band now had a history of not quitting thanks a lot to Rick.


I finished the arrangements just in time for the show. That night, it sold out. And then suddenly a bunch of people knew who we were and we had gigs booked for the next year and we were in The Austin Chronicle and The Austin American-Statesman and even some newspapers out of town. 10 years later we’d played nearly every notable holiday event in the state.


This was another snowball sent down a mountain.15 years later, I no longer think of myself as a quitter and I don’t think many other people who know me do either. Thank you, Rick, for dropping that snowball and teaching me the value of powering through.


*This was the old Emo’s location, not the huge event space it is today.

One thought on “GRATITUDE JOURNAL – DAY 5 – Dedication

  1. Great post! I’ve always been inspired by your practical ingenuity and perseverance. I believe fortitude is a highly underrated skill. It’s one thing to dream something or to talk about it – another thing to take incremental steps toward something to accomplish it. Sometimes it requires ignoring your own inner voices shouting at you to give up, but with dedication, anyone can get there. It reminds me of this Christopher Reeve quote: “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

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