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Night Swinging

When I was younger, I loved playing on swings. My best friend Ryan and I would spend all of recess on the swings, making up new tricks and seeing who could jump further. Eventually it got to the point where ankles were being sprained and we had both perfected the backflip off the swing.

Now, many years later, I still love swinging despite encountering fewer opportunities to do it. One of the distinctive features at my new building is a large metal terrace hanging over the rooftop patio. Since moving in I've wanted to build a swing on it so that I could swing over the edge of the building.

I'm not sure why, but yesterday inspiration struck and I decided that it would be that day I built my swing. Evan and Jonah were with me. Evan was upset by the idea, worried that I might die. Jonah was also eager to swing, and helped me assure Evan that I did stuff like this all the time, and that I wouldn't die. She wasn't wholly convinced.

Hines Ward

On Stuff in a Notebook

Hines Ward is a cool dude. No, really, I saw him speak. In case you don't know who Hines Ward is, he's a former half-Korean, half-black, American NFL player who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He saw two Super Bowl wins, was the Super Bowl MVP, made four Pro Bowl appearances, and had 1000 receptions. He talked about growing up, and challenges he faced as a biracial child. He talked about making it to the NFL, and how he doesn't have an ACL. He talked about giving back to the people who supported him, and he talked about how he's a mama's boy. He also talked a lot about choices.

Hines talked about the good choices and the bad choices he made throughout his life. He said he made bad choices when he joined the NFL, like spending his first paycheck on a Mercedes convertible (although he did buy a house for his mom, too). He said he bought all sorts of things that he didn't need. He made a lot of bad choices, but he says he kept smiling because he knew that he had to learn from his mistakes. He said he didn't mind making mistakes because he learned from them. He also said football gave him a lot of great things. It gave him a family, the opportunity to be on Dancing With the Stars and The Walking Dead, as well as in Batman The Dark Knight Rises and Celebrity Cook-Off. He is able to spend time with charities and he started his own foundation, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which helps biracial kids living in South Korea. His motto for life is Will Always Rise above Difficulty (or WARD).

People always recognize Hines Ward because of his smile, but he said he hopes people get to know the man behind the smile.

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