October 10, 2010

Three years ago, my daughter’s long time boyfriend Allen Reisner (TE, #82) got his first touchdown as an Iowa Hawkeye. It was a thing of beauty and made ESPN’s “Plays of the Week.” There is a lot of pressure on Allen because he’s often likened to his predecessor at Iowa, Dallas Clark. As Allen bolted towards the end zone, my own fists were clenched and my arms were in the air. I remained silent until he made the end zone. Once Allen’s own clenched fist went in the air, I joined in with the crowd of 72,000 people who were going crazy…celebrating. I found myself hugging and high-fiving people I’d never met and would likely never see again. My cell phone logged a 1/2 dozen text messages from people in- and outside of Historic Kinnick Stadium. That first TD was a rush.

Big moments cause us to celebrate. It doesn’t matter if it is sports or business. What about the little moments? As an umpteenth time start-up entrepreneur, I do a lot of celebrating this time around. Every little milestone gets recognized; some even warrant champagne and pizza.

In time, we’ll probably stop celebrating every break-through moment, but we shouldn’t forget them. Allen has made many more catches since the first one and while I still high-five whoever is nearby, I don’t remember them as I do the first. Early successes are golden. They are “baby’s first steps”, watching your oldest get on the bus to kindergarten, moments when you pause to note the momentous moments.

For Allen his first celebration likely started sometime back in the Spring of 2007 with a pat on the back by his coach after a simple five yard grab in practice, the kind he’s done a million times. In a few short months we’ll be watching him make his last catch as a Hawkeye. Then another first will roll-around, somewhere in the NFL.