In a day and age, where life seems to be moving at the speed of light and success appears to happen overnight, we would like you to meet Dan in real life. No, not the character that Steve Carell so brilliantly performed on the big screen. Our real life Dan is Dan Redwine who lives in Washington State with a beautiful wife, two darling girls and a dog named Charlie. Many times discovering who you are and what you want to do with your life can be a journey. There are moments that define you and then there are moments where you have to risk it all in order to define what you are put on this planet to do. This is a story, a real life story about discovering the dream that is within you.
From an early age, Dan loved sports. He wanted to be a professional baseball player just like his hero Ken Griffey, Jr. Like few, Dan was able to take his childhood passion and translate it into a reality of working in sports as an adult with a career as a soccer coach.
Dan had a great coaching record taking his under eighteen girls team to three State Cup finals winning one and going onto the Regional Tournament finals as well. Dan also owned a soccer camp business, Redwine Soccer, that hosted up to 130 kids at a time with his wife, women’s soccer head coach at Northwest University and professional women’s soccer player for the Seattle Sounders, Erin Redwine.
Dan also had a love for history that in his twenties blossomed from hobby to passion. Dusting off his textbooks from his first attempt at college Dan fed this interest with many late nights. One of those late nights Dan woke Erin up at 1:00am to tell her “I am going back to school.” She was immediately supportive, but neither knew how challenging this decision would be.
For most people this is a major decision but for a thirty year old with a mortgage, a full-time coaching job, a three year old and a newborn this decision seemed like a major obstacle. In the new economy the future is given to those who take on obstacles. He wanted to put his family in a better position thinking that a degree could offer him a good foundation for a stable career.
At first, he went to school part-time thinking he could get a teaching degree that could fold nicely into his coaching career. This was the plan even when he went from part-time to full-time and even joined the men’s soccer team at the university where he was attending. But as in so many stories our hero, Dan, would be faced with an all is lost moment when he went for his coaching A license. The difference between a well scripted work of fiction and real life is that the road of real life is scattered with the corpses of dead dreams from many such a moment. To coach at the highest levels and earn higher pay coaches need to obtain United States Soccer Association licenses. Dan had earned his D, C and B licenses, but on his first attempt he failed his A license, so he decided to try again.
Dan had spent 10 Days in Southern California at his second attempt at the A license testing camp. As the week came to a grueling close of long days consisting of marathon lectures and field testing, Dan felt that he had tested well and performed up to the level of an A licensed coach. Many of his esteemed peers felt the same way about his performance, but to his surprise the result came back and it was a FAIL.
Instead of retreating back into the comfort of his previous plan of coaching and teaching, as even with his several season record of coaching and B license Dan’s resume was marketable, Dan decided to ask himself some tough questions. Was teaching a means to fulfilling a coaching passion or was coaching getting in the way of a passion for history. Was there more? Dan was at a crossroads. He could either follow a path of safety and comfort or he could follow a path of passion that had no map or markers. Dan summed up his courage and chose the path less traveled.
After completing his degree, he began the job search for the perfect teaching situation. But after many attempts nothing came about. He decided to jump feet first into finding a new position by quitting club soccer and taking a job as a waiter to help provide a bridge. Transitions in life are rarely smooth and in Dan’s case his transition provided a real life moment where one finds himself having let go of the rope behind flying through the air stretching out for the rope ahead saying, don’t look down. Dan in his own words:
“In the middle of my hardest days waiting tables I spilled a 30 gallon drum of soy sauce all over my pants and shoes, and the kitchen floor when I was trying to refill some smaller containers. I had to go through my entire shift with soy sauce slushing around in my sox; on top of that I had the rudest tables ever and my manager yelled at me for something really trivial. When I finally got done I had a $30 parking ticket on my windshield because I parked in a spot that wasn’t designated for employees; I had just made $30 dollars waiting tables so I broke even that day. That was a hard day and I had no leads on anything different…I couldn’t even get an interview for a teaching job. The only person that seemed interested in “helping” me with a “new career” was a psycho Amway guy that I waited on at Wild Ginger. I think I cried the whole way home that day.”
But even in his darkest moments, Dan never gave up. He continued to apply to different positions outside of his degree. Even finishing second for a position at Boeing. He didn’t quit. Finally, he met a gentleman at a wedding that offered him a position at a start-up company. All of the sudden, Dan found a place to meld his passion for history by writing animated/interactive children’s books based on the classics in the public domain such as Moby Dick and A Christmas Carol. Now Dan spends his days working at a company with unlimited upside potential, an office on the waterfront on Seattle’s Eastside and pinches himself every day that he actually gets paid for something he would do for fun anyway. His wife commented that she had never seen Dan so happy. From this side of the story it would seem that it happened all of a sudden overnight, but for Dan it was a process that required a lot of faith and perseverance. For more about Nation9 visit: www.nation9.com
Oh and by the way, Dan still uses his coaching skills he acquired by volunteering with the organization Play For Hope www.playforhope.org having taken two trips to Rwanda. On his last trip Dan was teaching Play For Hope coaches how to run profitable soccer camps that can help fund the charitable work of the organization.
He also continues to be involved withRedwine soccer as much as possible which includes two weeks of summer camp this year. This is Dan in real life.