It is 5:10 in the morning on September 5th, 2023. The house, other than a few lights, is dark. Outside, it is pitch black – the sun won’t come up for another 45 minutes. All should be quiet in our house, but there is activity and energy this morning. From upstairs, the twins are talking as they’re getting ready for their day, and then I hear one of them ask the other this question. “Are you ready?”

Today is the first day of Senior year, and the twins are about to leave to join their friends for Senior Sunrise at the football field. Eleven years of books, classrooms, and “first day of school” moments have led us to this moment. Even sitting down to write this now, there is a flood of unexpected emotions for me as a dad. A freakin’ proud dad.

I find a ton of simplicity and symbolism in those three words. 

“Are you ready?” 

My son asked his twin sister if she was ready, as in, are you ready to get in the car and leave for the day? He’s asking in terms of the next five minutes. Sitting here to write and reflect now that they’ve left, with some time to capture the thoughts and emotions that come with this first day of Senior Year, “Are you ready?” means more.

At seventeen, with your final nine months of high school in front of you, are you ready to make the most of these next days and weeks? Are you ready for what’s next? As one chapter ends and another is about to begin, are you ready to own your independence? Are you ready to become adults, explore the world, and discover who you are? 

Ask it like that, and “Are you ready?” carries more weight. 

As a dad, I find myself asking the same question. “Am I ready?” Truth be told, probably not. Typing this right now with tears streaming down my face, I remember watching them get on the bus for the first day of elementary school. There is a series of memories playing back right now… band concerts, track meets, robotics competitions, Christmas plays, rides to school and pick-up lines, teacher conferences, football games… it has all gone so fast. Those who had gone through this before warned me, and I tried hard to listen and soak in all the moments. Now, as two seniors drive away from my house for Senior Sunrise, I wonder, “Am I ready?”

The interesting answer to that question, for me and for the twins, is this… We’ll never know if we’re ready until we go find out. Just like Nike taught us back in the day, the only way to find out is to just do it. Not knowing if we’re ready is part of the adventure, and we often find out that we are more ready than we’ve given ourselves credit for. 

The Takeaway

Today is a reminder for me, my twins – and for you. Live the adventure. Do new things. End one chapter and start another. Don’t wait until you know you’re ready. Instead, prepare yourself as well as you can, and then go for it. You’ll figure things out along the way, learn new things every day, and meet people who will help you. There will be tons of people who help you – the world is full of them. Above all, step into the unknown, enjoy the moments, and enjoy the journey. It’s cliche, but the journey is the best part, and “knowing” you’re ready is overrated.

Everything you’ve ever done that mattered and all of the great adventures you’ve ever taken began with wondering if you were ready.

The good news? You’re more ready than you think. 

Get after it.

Ready for more?

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