Goal-driven Life or Life is Bittersweet? On Monday, Casey Eichfeld and his dad, Steve, came to dinner. I’ve known Casey since he was 9 — he’s 20 as I write this in 2010.
Before I even met Casey, his reputation preceded him. I read on the paddlesport e-list that at 9, Casey was an incredible paddler. We reminisced about those times and Casey’s paddling history. He started paddling solo at the age of 5 and worked hard to build his skills in C-1 paddling.
A C-1 paddler sits on their knees in the kayak and paddles with a single blade paddle. Challenging sport with fewer athletes trying to paddle this class than others.
Casey and his dad are here because Casey is competing to make the USA Slalom Team at the USACK Junior / Senior Slalom Team Trials in Wausau. He had sent me a message on Facebook asking about camping during the event and said he was looking forward to seeing me soon. I asked if he had realized that I had resigned from Wausau Whitewater and it was a surprise to him.
I told him he and any one he wanted to bring with him were welcome to eat at my house when he arrived in Wausau if he got here before I left for New Orleans and the Career Management Alliance Conference. Casey called Monday to see if I was still available and to get directions. We had a great meal of brats and hamburgers, salad and chips. Simple, but an opportunity to touch base about all the changes in our lives since we last saw each other in 2007.
Big changes for Casey!
He paddled in the Beijing 2008 Olympics for Team USA as a C2 partner with Ricky Powell. Watching him grow up from a little boy with a big paddle to an Olympic competitor with goals to compete in 2012 and 2016 is hard to believe. Note: As I update this, Casey is getting ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio!
Why the “Bittersweet” title?
Even though I know that it was time I moved on from Wausau Whitewater and it was the right decision, talking to Casey about all the people who are in Wausau right now that I will not connect with again is bittersweet. A little sad. I’ve been blessed with knowing a wide range of incredible “goal-driven” people through my whitewater days.
I love watching a paddler like Casey progress from learning a craft to using it in national and international competitions. When I write resumes, goal-driven is an over-used buzz word but there are just a few people who end up really being defined as goal-driven. Setting goals, putting measurable steps in place, and then achieving your goals takes true dedication and determination.
Though I am not going to see wonderful people like Casey and his dad very often any more, I am connecting with new wonderful people in the career field and in my clients. Life is always a bit bittersweet when you leave one role and move on to another. But new challenges and opportunities are always out there for the truly goal-driven people.
If you are facing challenges within a job search, just know that there are new doors opening all the time and you will find one soon.
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