Clifford The Big Red Blog

2017 Good Reasons

My kids are learning wrestling. One of the parents in our school was a near Olympic wrestler and he uses his passion for the sport to teach kids. Pretty cool. Our kids - all 3 of them - told us - OUT LOUD - that they wanted to try. Super cool. The kids come home jacked after practise to scrap. Not as cool.

One of the big things that I noticed about how they engage each other is that they are often flat footed and swiping to grab their opponent. When theydo that, they are off balance and vulnerable, which makes it way easier for me to knock them down and elbow drop them... wait, what? To have success they are being coached to push into and through their opponent. It's called shooting. "Jo, shoot your sister!" When they do that, they are able to fully reach the challenger and apply their full force into a slick take-down move. Will they receive push-back? Absolutely! BUT, now they have a grip and with feet pumping, they can control the movement... at least that's the idea. 

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We Are All Losers.

Pretty harsh title. I get that. It’s true though. “Can’t win ‘em all” is also true but doesn’t quite capture the importance of the fact that we all must come to grips with defeat.  

When the Canadian World Junior Hockey team lost to the USA a couple of weeks ago, my 8 year old daughter wept. “I didn't want them to lose.” Get a grip, honey… and go to bed. Trust me. It will help. 

I am a Canucks fan. The Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup. I mean, they have made it to the finals a couple of times in their history, but they have never won. What does this mean? They have lost every season of their existence. They fall short every year. Their motto is “We are all Canucks.” In other words, “We are all not-winners”. 

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Crash Clifford

On October 28th 2016 I was heading West on Hiway 1 in Abbotsford BC to have lunch with a friend. I was just past the McCallum Rd Exit when a pick up truck swerved into my lane. I avoided the collision by pulling onto the shoulder and accelerating past the danger and as I attempted to pull back into my lane I overcorrected. It's hard to know exactly what happened because as they say, "It all happened so fast". Long story short is that I believe I had almost gotten back on track when I was tagged on my back end twisting me directly towards the concrete median and BOOM, I became the most amazing stunt driver that never was filmed. "End over end" is what I was told by the first responders who were surprised to find me in one piece. For some stupid reason I couldn't get this photo upright, but I suppose it is fitting.

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CONTENT

I am an actor and comedian, BUT I used to be a pastor. Yup, people paid me to go to church. If you go to church and noone is paying you, I fear you may be doing it wrong. Ha! But seriously, I don't go anymore. It's not a rule, we just don't. I don't NOT believe, because I do. I still believe. I don't NOT have people that I love and respect and trust that still attend church and serve in churches, because I do. However, church has become a place of anxiety for me. It became a place where I felt the pressure to perform. Since I am a performer, I would prefer to reserve that *serene sense of suffocating stress for when I am receiving a check or wad of cash (*mercenary melodrama intended).

All of this to say, my soul has been thirsting for depth. My spring and summer and September were full up busy with being funny, filming, and fatherhood and as I started into the fall I was feeling spent already. Facebook warned me of an upcoming men's retreat meant for faith and re-focussing and I said yes. I was a little nervous about the aforementioned performance pressure along with maybe not knowing people, but I took the risk and was pleasantly surprised by the quality collection of dudes, the fun we had, and the all around special time it was.

Here are some reflections:

(Note: if you believe something different than me, I still wholeheartedly believe we can be friends and learn from each other... cool?) 

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(Frolfing Photo: the Right Reverend Robin Mauthe on the Left, Me in the middle, our retreat facilitator and weirdo, Steve Klassen on the right.)

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Am I good enough?

REJECTION is a big part of acting and comedy and well... a bunch of other jobs (talked to any car salespeople or telemarketers lately?). 

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