I married Maria McGarry on June 24, 1995. We just celebrated our 25th Anniversary. It is incredible how fast time goes by.
Maria, during the past 11 years, will tell you that she is a baseball widow for she was home about 10 weekends a year as we tracked around the country for travel baseball with both of our sons. In writing about the impact Maria has had on my life and McLaughlin Chiropractic Center and other business ventures as well, I thought I would parallel her least favorite sport in the world: BASEBALL. Maria is a lot of great things. What she does not like is slow paced things and very hot days and being bored. Well, you can see why she does not like the game of baseball (of which I thoroughly enjoy by the way). Nonetheless, there are some great parallels with the game that describes our relationship through the years and I thought I would ironically use these metaphors to describe her importance not only to me but McLaughlin Chiropractic Center.
PLAY BALL. Maria and I first met in April of 1994 and of all things our first date was a blind date. Where would I take her? Of course, I would take her to a baseball game. We both lived in Charlotte at the time and I took her to a Charlotte Knights AAA baseball game for our very first date. It was awesome. Hardly anyone was there and we sat in a third base section basically all by ourselves. As I tell Maria often, she knew what she was getting into with both of her boys playing the sport and the aforementioned travel baseball world we temporarily lived in. We ended up getting married 14 months later and the rest is history.
CURVE BALL. As the one pitch my son Sean has difficulty hitting in college, life will throw a lot of curve balls and sliders at you. Maria has been a tremendous partner in life in dealing with the pivots we have made professionally and personally. Really, I could not have asked for someone who has had the courage and guts to make some of the life decisions we collectively have made over the past 25 years. Once we were married in late June of 1995, we had an opportunity posed to us 12 short weeks later to move from Charlotte to Morehead City. We never even heard about this place, yet, with faith and courage both decided to take the plunge and make it happen. When we had an opportunity to assist with new business ventures in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017 after living here in Morehead City for 21 years, she had the courage to pick up and move. This year, with the mission of culture transformation there complete, she had the courage to move back to Morehead CIty. We had other curve balls through our life with multiple businesses and raising four children. Unlike Sean (who is in his third year on the baseball team at the University of Cincinnati), Maria can hit the curve ball.
STRIKE OUT. Life has plenty of opportunities to fail. You have heard all the cliches and wisdom regarding failure. You have to Fail Forward. To double your success rate, you have to double your failure rate. Success is driven through adversity. All gifts are wrapped in problems; the bigger the gift, the bigger the problem. Maria and I certainly have endured plenty of trials and tribulations through both our married years and prior. Like the famous proverb states, Fall down Seven times…..Rise Eight. Maria is tough as nails. She has weathered a lot in her life and has been a great person to fail forward with as a life partner. Through the tough times and doubts and struggles of starting and growing McLaughlin Chiropractic Center and other business ventures through the years, her support during some of these “strikeouts’ in life has been an incredible backbone for me (no pun intended).
HOME RUN. When someone comes into your life, you always wonder if that person was meant to be your soulmate. Greg Stanley states in his book, “The Principle is the Path”, that life must be lived going forward but can only be understood looking backwards. In essence it is like looking behind you and seeing all the dots connected and realizing, “Oh, that is why that happened and this happened……it all makes sense now”. This has happened numerous times through my life and our life together as a married couple. Certainly, when I look back and see our four grown children and the roller coaster life that Maria and I have shared together, there is absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, that I married the right woman. Someone, who could pivot. Someone who had courage. Someone who took risks. Someone who could handle failure and rise again. Someone who supported me and our chiropractic mission these last 25 years. Someone who believed in me. Someone who could hit life’s curve balls as well as handle life’s strikeouts. I hit a home run in finding Maria. Without a doubt.
Maria was always there for me and the chiropractic practice. Always there to support me. Always behind the scenes. Quietly in her non-Maria way.
Thank you Maria from the bottom of my heart for all the support you gave the practice during the past 25 years!
I could not have done it without you.
Happy 25th Anniversary!
I love you.