Sometimes we are blessed to have someone come into our lives who changes it and then we can’t find enough ways to say thank you. Today I want to introduce you to one of those people in my life.
Note: This post was sent out last year about this time. The things I have learned about blogging and communication since then makes me want to let it go again. Enjoy! (Mike was also Wausau Whitewater’s President this year and he took most of the year off from his career to make things work and deal with the economic challenges of the year. If you like his instrumental music, you can buy from MySpace Postcards and all his Contemporary Christian music with vocals is at his regular MySpace page or direct from Michael.)
(Mike’s not on Facebook or Twitter so unless someone reading this tells him, this stays my secret, but you can let it go viral, order music if you like it, and help me pay him back for giving so much time to Wausau Whitewater and decreasing my load.)
The rerun part: Though I’m a professional resume writer with 25 years experience, 11 of those years have also been tied to Wausau Whitewater as the Operations Manager. It was through Wausau Whitewater that I met Michael Schroeder (Mike). He came first as a freestyle competitor in the days when Wausau’s freestyle events were mainly Pro Rodeo events around 1999 – 2001. Pros such as Eric Jackson, Jimmy Blakeney, Tanya Shuman, and Eric Southwick put on a really good show and I just figured that was the way freestyle events were meant to go. But Mike and other paddlers really wanted to have an event geared for citizen level freestyle paddlers. Mike lobbied me and the board of Wausau Whitewater and before I knew it, he was running the first ever freestyle citizen’s event in 2002. He followed that up with the freestyle side of Wausau Whitewater Weekend and then in 2004 founded the Midwest Freestyle Championships. Along the way, we grew to be good friends.
I was really fuzzy about what Mike did for a living for awhile. Normally, I’m pretty curious about occupations. It just never came up. At some point though, I learned that he was a professional musician. During our many conversations, I did find out that he was a Christian. In 2003, he recorded his first CD, A Witness. My life had more downs than ups back then and his music as well as his phone calls helped me turn the corner.
Mike continued to expand his contemporary Christian music with more projects (Fuel for the Soul, the Way, and the Christmas release, The Reason for the Season) as well as tours throughout the country, www.michaelschroeder.com
It has been fun being his friend through all of this, watching his career grow. In summer 2008, we were taking virtual walks together, he was in his city walking in the woods and I was in Wausau walking to the river, and we would meet on the phone to walk and talk about Wausau Whitewater projects and some of our own endeavors. It was during those walks that he told me about this new project, a total instrumental project inspired by a trip he took to Europe some years ago. He called it Postcards from the Road and promised I could have a demo of it when it was ready.
I’ve always loved the contemporary Christian music and didn’t know how I would feel about a project without any vocals. But I love this one as much as any of the others. My friend’s musical voice comes out just fine without any words. The jazzy selections like Amsterdam make me smile. Ones like Nadine made me relaxed and thoughtful. You can hear some of the selections from his MySpace page for the project, http://www.myspace.com/michaelschroeder2
Perhaps in another post I will share some of the lessons I learned from Mike. For now, it is enough to say that meeting him blessed my life.