Ronda offered to help raise money to send some of the kids from Gompers Middle School, and I just talked to the teacher who sponsors the program (we need a certified member of the school staff to provide adult supervision) - and he said he'd be willing to come along.
What I'm really most excited about, though, is seeing my friends, Steve and Becky Scott. My lovely Julia Rebecca is named Rebecca after Rebecca Scott. (She's named Julia after Gaston Julia, who came up with the Julia set of fractals. Obviously, her father picked her first name.)
Over on my other blog where I usually write about statistics and small business, I mentioned the hard lesson I had learned about the difference between business associates and friends. The same is true of judo. There are hundreds of people I have trained with, and now that Ronda is getting more and more successful, every day I hear from someone else that hasn't talked to me in twenty years saying,
Hey, we should get together, and bring your daughter with you.
The young (and idealistic) intern working for my company this summer asked me if I thought any of those people could be sincere. I told him, no, if they were sincere, they would have looked me up some time in the past twenty years.
I called Becky (who is a physical therapist) for advice, when Julia tore her Achilles tendon, and I was skeptical of the doctor who said it would heal without surgery if she went to physical therapy. Becky, and the doctor, were right and Julia was back on the field after several weeks, played the rest of the season and hasn't had a problem since.
Steve read early drafts of Winning on the Ground, and gave me insightful advice on everything from photo shoots to juji gatame to self-publishing.
So, yeah, the tournament will be good. Kansas City has great barbecue. We're planning on taking a riverboat cruise on Sunday. Most of all, though, you don't get to have a lot of 40 year friendships, so I am super-excited to be going to Kansas City.