Make Your Own Bowl Super – You’re Never too Old to Play

My family is pretty competitive. It started with dad beating us out of our lunch money at cards. And, having an athletic twin brother also raised the competition in the family sports department.

During this year’s Great Christmas Migration, we renewed one of our oldest family traditions. Instead of staying inside and watching a bowl game we grabbed a football and created our own bowl – one we call the “Red Beans and Rice Bowl.” We headed outside to play a mean game of “touch football.”

Don’t let the name fool you though – in my family, it’s touch in name only – we treat it pretty much like a full contact sport. Plus, we play football in the street, not on some wussy, grass-covered soft field. Traffic stops while the ball is in play. Gutters form the sidelines, parked cars and curbs become obstacles or advantages.

This was our first family game of football in almost six years – our last ended when my older sister, Karen, tried to throw a cross-body block on a community mailbox (you know – those big ones with about 20 boxes) resulting in no visible destruction of federal property but some very visible bruises and a squashed ball.

It was great to have the family together – my twin Vince, sister Karen, her husband and their sons, our two twenty-something nephews Josh and Matt, Tom and I, all tying on our sneakers and ready to go. Even my dad, Sal, came out to officiate (for a while anyway). We squared off – the three Milazzo siblings versus the guys – Tom, Rick, Josh and Matt. As I said, Vince is the real athlete in the family. I like to tease him that as children, while I read business books he played with his balls. We thought that having Vince on our team would make it fair – three of us versus the four of them.

Vickie and Vince

Karen, Vince and Vickie

The game started and we realized that the last six years hadn’t been exactly kind. Before long, one of us was limping from two torn tendons (he’s currently recovering from surgery), one was holding her hip and two were huffing and puffing from the running (the twenty-somethings). It seemed prudent to periodically stop to let some of the traffic go by, so we could all catch our breath. We weren’t dashing as far (or as fast) for the long passes and the passes weren’t even that long! The twenty-somethings did learn it can be pretty hard to catch someone twice their age any time they went after Vince. They also learned it can be quite easy each time they went after Karen or me. The ball changed hands and we were scoreless until finally Tom beat me in the backfield, making a shoestring catch (stoically thrown by Rick, playing through the pain of his torn tendons) and the only score of the day (he scored again later, too).

Sal immediately declared the game over and we all headed for the house for a cup of healthy green tea (who am I kidding? – cold beers). One of us crawled, one limped and one we had to drag. We were bruised, battered and broken but we were all glowing because we’d gotten out and done it. Even Sal was glowing. Of course, the pot of red beans and rice waiting for us inside added to that glow.

The survivors (sort of) – Rick, Karen, Joshua, Vickie and Vince

We had some great family fun and we did it at our speed. What did I learn that day (other than I still can’t outrun my brother)? An important lesson – you’re never too old to get out and play – even if you have to go a little slower. Sometimes you’ve got to limp to the attorney’s office. Sometimes you’re going to be making a shoestring catch, but no matter what you’ve got to go all the way in your legal nurse consulting business. Enjoy your own Super Bowl®.

See you in the end zone!


10 thoughts on “Make Your Own Bowl Super – You’re Never too Old to Play

  1. Vickie,
    Thank you for sharing your family photos. We all need to be reminded to take time for ourselves, enjoy life and our family. I like to share that every Super Bowl Sunday, my church takes up a special collection. They pass around two baskets, one decorated in each team color. You put your offering in your favorite basket. The totals are tallied and announced. The best part, all donations go to the local food bank.

    The past 6 months have been busy. I did the home study course, took the certification exam, had my 3rd child (5 months old) and set up my business, while also working full time as a nurse practitioner. I would not have been able to do these things without reminding myself to “play” (and the support and encouragement via VMI and the CLNC® Mentors. I take time to play with my kids, sports with my husband or time for myself. It is important to maintain balance. You are never too young to play…

  2. Thanks for the encouraging and timely words, Vickie. I just passed my CLNC® Certification Exam yesterday, and I am (more than you) on the older side! At the beginning of my game, I’m not limping, but going in strong, and hopefully, not too slow! I can attribute that to the greatest personal trainer I’ve had. And, from what I’ve seen and heard, this is a personal trainer that will be there to help and encourage me as I get my bumps and bruises along the way!

  3. It was the summer of 2007, I was 6 months post partum (yes, my last 2 kids were 20 months apart, but I am done), I and just ran in the Komen 5-K with plantar fasciitis and left hip bursitis (yes, I am bull-headed) and then played a game a softball a few days later without proper rest from my injuries. During the softball game, I tore my right plantar fascia in half and was out in a walking boot for the rest of season. I love to play sports, so this was distressful to me. Instead of sulking about my injury, I decided to “find the silver lining.” The “rest” gave me time to reflect on how you can actually do too much at once (which I have always done), the need to pace yourself and rest when needed. In preparing for my CLNC® career, I paced myself with working, having young children, being pregnant, working full time and marketing Heckman Medical-Legal Consulting, LLC. I do not want to “injure” myself to the point I can’t enjoy my new CLNC® career, and I do not want take time away from raising my family. Pacing yourself is a key concept for success.

  4. Vickie – I love the family photos and I thank you for sharing them. What you shared is a great analogy to what we all should think about as we navigate ourselves toward success! Stay strong and keep sharing. It’s great motivation. Thank you again.

  5. Thanks, Vickie, for sharing the personal and family side with your CLNC® “family!” I know I learned a great lesson from playing softball as a kid. Even when the game goes poorly (you strike out, you flub an easy catch, or you trip and skin your knee), “there’s always next game!” I’ve applied that to all different areas of my life. Everyone makes mistakes or “plays” only so-so sometimes! But you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and come back next time to play again!! I’ve decided that I’ll keep reminding myself of that as I go through these initial stages of starting my CLNC® business. If I make a mistake, I’ll use that as a learning tool. Because, “there’s always next game!”

  6. My game has just begun. I am in the early stages of studying my CLNC® material and loving it. A few times I have had to take a deep breath and say,” I can do this.” I am a nurse…..

    I already feel a part of the “family” of CLNC® ‘s and am in it for the long haul. I never really played an organized sport but was a cheerleader..sure have used THAT in my nursing career..haven’t we all?

    Thanks for your motivating spirit .

  7. Thanks, Vickie. I enjoyed your story and photos. I also appreciate your motivating and encouraging comments. They always seem to arrive at precisely the right time.

    In terms of sports, I am not what you would call a fanatic about them, but I do get exercise when I am out taking pictures of anything and everything. Photography is my passion, much to the consternation of my friends, coworkers and family, who usually fall victim to my constant need to take pictures.

    What I have learned in my quest to take the perfect picture is that from a distance, a scene might not be interesting at all. In fact, it may present such an intimidating challenge that first impulse is to look for something else that will be easier to portray in a photograph. But the closer one gets to that scene, the more one sees, and the more interesting and beautiful the parts of that scene become. And then, for me at least, an obsession replaces the intimidation. It now becomes my assignment to capture every single interesting component (from every angle) so that I can make the overall scene, itself, become a thing of beauty.

    That is sort of like taking the CLNC® Home-Study Certification Program, which I am currently working on. The Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting textbook and all the DVDs, when they arrived, seemed overwhelming. Going through the modules at first was very intimidating. There was so much to know, and being an obsessive “A” student, I had to know every word. I often felt like I had taken on too much. But then I adjusted my perspective and began breaking down the lessons into smaller components, just like breaking down large scenes into much smaller sub-scenes.

    That worked. I am now four lessons from completion of the program and already planning how I am going to break down the review in a way that will allow me to see, more clearly, the “big picture” once I have finished. I will spend some serious time putting this picture together, just as I spend serious time putting together my photo scenes. And I know for sure, now, that I can do this because I am a nurse and I can do anything.

  8. Vickie, when I read your book, Inside Every Woman, and the more information I read about you, the more I realize that we share so many experiences. So I ordered the VIP CLNC® Business System and have been pluggin away at the CLNC® Home-Study Certification Program diligently.

    Again with this latest Blog I find similarities. I am the youngest of seven, and I have five older brothers. (I’m the “baby.”) So of course we have “super bowls.” Ours are “touch” as well and being the youngest and smallest is a disadvantage, but I can usually out maneuver them. They are well trained athletes, as for me not so much. However, I choose to fight “smarter not harder.” While they are skilled in the plays, I’m skilled at anticipating what they will do and use that to my advantage. I find that I am using this same philosophy in my CLNC® practice. While the attorneys know the plays, they don’t have my knowledge and skill set so I feel I have an advantage. (I can play offence and defense; they must choose one or the other). I have always felt confident and powerful, but having the CLNC® Certification has intensified it. Thank you and all your staff Vickie for expanding my scope of practice and advancing nursing.

  9. Vickie THANKS. What nurse doesn’t appreciate family stories, I LOVE them. I was really enjoying YOUR family time & YOUR bonding, smiling along w/ you. Then your dad called you all to come in (okay, enough bruises, & punishment) for another reward of fellowship, bonding, and a hot pot of RED BEANS & RICE! I have to admit (reluctantly, but okay) the gist of the story didn’t hit me until AFTER I read, “We were bruised, battered & broken, but we were all glowing because WE’D GOTTEN OUT & DONE IT! I should have known I wouldn’t be reading your story UNLESS there was something in it for us! That’s who YOU ARE! That’s what THE INSTITUTE IS! It’s PERSONAL, WE ARE FAMILY! We all have bruises (can I say, that’s life).

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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