Challenge: Me, in 5 Words, and Why


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My friend Tammie Brown of The Graying Chronicles challenged me to describe myself in five words.

The idea brought on the twitches. It’s that uneasy feeling I get when people cram file folders and binders into a tight backpack. (The idea of) paper/folder/binder cuts make my skin crawl.

The problem with a five-word challenge: I’m a multiples-of-three kind of guy.

That’s a thing. The whole three-posts-a-week, 6 words, hat-trick life suits me. A five-word challenge juts out like a hamburger in a hot dog bun. Like soccer on a football field. Like a price check at the dollar store. As they say in Stanly County, “It don’t fit.”

I got this, though. Go Ask Daddy delivers five questions every Friday, and that doesn’t bother me.

Damn. Well, it didn’t used to.

1. Dreamer

dreamer quote

You can’t live the life of a Rockies fan without a dash of John Lennon. I dream. Often, ill-advisedly. Always whole-heartedly. Dreams can defy logic when they’re loaded up with soul. Live without dreams? That’s like ordering a burger without cheese, isn’t it?

My dreams? They’re very wow. You’ll see.

2. Explorer

exploration quote

Dinosaurs and planets, art and writing, soccer and blogging. All my life. Often, into the storm. Always, achors aweigh. That’s enough to keep Indiana Jones and Vasco de Gama plenty busy.

I believe in what’s around the bend, the ground under my feet, and the importance of packing snacks for the journey. Exploration is as much thought and writing as it is maps and telescopes.

3. Impractical

impractical quote

I wish as a kid I had a new Star Wars figure for every time a teacher told my parents, “Eli sometimes takes it a little too far …” I’d have, like, a bunch of Star Wars figures. Often, idealistic. Always, improbable. I’m a soccer coach who never played.

I toss distance drivers as putters. Crazy. This part of me isn’t a dare, it’s not an effort – it’s as divisible as the number 11 and as practical as the stegosaurus’ walnut-sized brain.

4. Incorrigible

incorrigible quote

I wear incorrigible like a general’s stars. Or at least the captain’s C. Often, it’s mistaken for hopelessness. Always, it feels easy like Sunday morning to me. The incorrigible can’t reform from incorrigibility. It’s in our fabric.

It’s not an equation to be solved, but a condition relish, if you must know. Never been branded incorrigible? Don’t worry. There’s time.

5. Hippie Coach

hippie quote

My parents were hippies. Real ones, only they didn’t go to Woodstock. But they listened to Dylan and named me after a Three Dog Night song. This designation came from someone who knows me as coach, who understands what I do, how I do it and why I do it.

It’s not for everyone. It works for me.

I quote: “You’re not all full of jock and aggression.  You don’t bark like a sergeant in the army.  The kids don’t practice like robots. You want the kids to learn, play well and have fun, even when they’re 14.”

It’s true. And I’m beyond reform. Want to change me? Good luck. For practice, separate seven colors of Play Doh that’ve been mixed together. It’s an exploration of where my dreams will carry me.

Now, to challenge pass the challenge on. I’ll choose a blogger you might not know, but should. She’s Britta, of It’s A Britta Bottle! blog. She’s fresh and introspective and about to embark on life’s next journeys. Go get ‘em, Britta.

challenge quote

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45 thoughts on “Challenge: Me, in 5 Words, and Why”

  1. “Incorrigible” – love it. It brings to mind good old Han Solo. You definitely needed some Star Wars figures. 🙂

    1. I’ve always felt “incorrigible” to be a compliment, Kim. That scruffy nerf herder was a bit incorrigible, wasn’t he?

      I had so many figures, but I’d bury them in the yard with my plastic dinosaurs. I played with them, hard.

  2. Not easy to describe yourself is it? But your choices paint a pretty clear picture of you Eli. You’re the kind of hippie coach I would want my grandkids to have.

    Love the Willie Nelson quote. So very true. We ARE all the same, and we have to be concerned about each other. We are all we’ve got.

    Loved the post, Mr. MultiplesOfThree. 🙂

    1. Especially not without blue language, Cath. This set seems to fit me. I’d consider it an honor to coach your grandkids. Willie Nelson is an underrated philosopher! We just have to see the similarities, too.

      Maybe if I had a third challenge to go with the A to Z and 5 words, that would round out my universe.

  3. I love these quotes and your 5 words… it is never easy to encapsulate an entire person in so few words, but I think you’ve done a creditable job. I especially love the bit about enjoying the game even if you;re 14 and not practicing like robots. I bet you are great fun as a coach!! 🙂

  4. I LOVED the incorrigible statement- Don’t worry there is still time!!! hahahahaa!!!
    Great Post!!! Thanks for sharing these things about yourself- you met the challenge and then some!

  5. Okay can I just say that when you said 5 words I thought the post was literally going to be 5 words. For example you would say, “I’m a pretty great dad” and that would be all….BUT this is awesome, I like how each word you used to describe yourself was more than that. It was a description of your core values and beliefs. Pretty great!

    1. I like that idea though, Kerri – I could be done with a post like that in, like, an hour! I don’t know about pretty great dad, but I could go with, “I’m hungry with messy hair.” Or, “I need to write something,” or “Where are my animal crackers?” (I like this idea).

      So glad you liked it. It does my heart good to know that I am these things, without apology. I’ve never had that before.

  6. This would be a very interesting exercise! Your first three words seem to go together, but throwing in “incorrigible” and “hippie coach,” mixed it up a bit. You’re an enigma, Eli – don’t ever change.

    1. You should do it, Dana. I felt like each one delved a little deeper, these words. I think I’m an enigma wrapped in a contradiction – or bacon, either/or.

      I couldn’t change if I had instructions and a wiki-how, Dana. I’m glad I’m all right in your book.

  7. What a great way to describe yourself. I really enjoyed learning about you this way…..abstract and yet very concrete. I think Dana stole my word…..enigma……that’s exactly what you are….a smashed-up Play-Doh, Stormtrooping, soccer-ball kicking, non-reformable enigma.

    1. I didn’t even use the term ‘dumbass.’ Glad you enjoyed this. Would you consider taking on the challenge?

      Don’t forget taco-eating and belly-itching.

      1. Ugh. Eli, my life is just not my own right now. I appreciate it and I could do it at a later date, but right now, it’s all I can do to keep up with things. If I took this one right now, my 5 words would be: busy, tired, busy, tired, asleep. LOL! Keep me in mind down the road……I admire your posts so much I’d be flattered to be in same league with you at a future date.

  8. What great words! I agree that we all need to dream at least a little or what’s the point?? I am probably the opposite of Impractical – actually I’m practical to a fault, never much of one for “going out on a limb.” And, if that quote is the kind of coach you are, then I hope my girls always have coaches and teachers like you.

    1. Thanks Lisa! When life gets rough, that’s when we especially need our dreams. I don’t always live my life out on the limbs, but the way I get up the tree is rarely the same twice.

      That quote flattered me, and again with what you said!

  9. Now I need to think about five words for me. Kale eater should be there. Kale Eater Only On Tuesdays.

    1. Thanks Janna! I feel there are variables, sure, but these five seemed to be attached pretty determinedly to my core.

      What would your five be today?

  10. well done!! I don’t think I could do this challenge. only 5 words? I need at least 8 to further describe the First One! LOL
    I do like the Dreamer one though, I think I’ll definitely take that. And since I am limited to only 4 more, I guess I’ll just scratch that Taurus one “stubborn” off for something better. 😉

    1. Thanks Rore. It wasn’t easy, and I wanted to find the core set, not just ones that fit. Dreamer is the one that catches the most thorns in the world, I’ll say.

      I think you should blog this, Rore. Get your five out there.

  11. Choosing just 5 words wouldn’t be easy, but you did an excellent job of it. It’s amazing how much insight into a person using just 5 words can provide – especially when you describe them the way you did. I love it and thank you very much for linking your post with #1Word this week. 🙂

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