Christian Ross

Why am I running?

Even more than the question of, “why should I vote for you?” I get asked about my reasoning for running in this election. I’ve given any number of different answers depending on my mood and the situation. As I sit here on the eve of Election Day, I am reflecting back on the last six weeks and all of the highs and lows that have come with it. Since I may never have the chance to speak to everyone directly here in town, I thought I’d list out a few of the reasons why I saddled up for this ride. The following list is probably not exclusive but it feels right for tonight.

1. I am running for myself.
This could come off sounding a little selfish but that isn’t my intention. I am running because far too many (including myself) live with an impostor syndrome that is really hard to shake. “You’re not smart enough.” “You don’t have enough training.” “You didn’t go through the right channels.” “You don’t know the right people.” These are the tricks we allow our brains to play on us to create self-doubt and often limit ourselves in terms of what we think we can accomplish. You aren’t alone, many people deal with it regularly. The best way I’ve found to shake the impostor syndrome? Push yourself into territories you never thought you could.

2. I am running for my city.
We chose Grapevine. Our decision to call it home was intentional. We plan on being here for a long time. It’s in our best interest to get involved and help Keep Grapevine Great.

3. I am running because I believe we are all called to serve.
You don’t have to be on the city council to serve. You can serve your neighbor, your family, your church, your co-workers, people living in distress, the less fortunate, or any number of other causes. When you serve, you get outside of yourself and gain perspective. The opportunities are endless, where do you find yourself feeling the desire to help out?

4. I am running for folks I don’t know.
I’ve noted several times during this campaign that there’s a disconnect between the average age of the current city council and the median age of the Grapevine resident. Almost thirty years. That’s a big deal to me. Families in this town deserve to be represented by somebody that understands them and their needs. I am running for my family and I am running for yours.

5. I am running because some people said I shouldn’t.
Who doesn’t love a little external motivation?

6. I am running because there’s a few things I’d like to see change.
An elected, representative government should listen to – and be held accountable by – the people that elected them. I believe we can do better. If you continue to allow the same folks to be elected, you will continue to get the same results. We can do better.

7. I am running to hear your story.
This wasn’t an original reason for me deciding to run but during this campaign I have had the privilege of meeting so many of you and hearing your great stories. Sitting down for meals, coffee, phone calls, emails, I’ve enjoyed them all.

8. I am running for my boys.
It’s a little counter-intuitive to think that taking on more responsibility is a good way to teach a lesson to my boys but hear me out. I want them to understand that they can do anything they want in life if they put their mind and efforts to it. The first step will be putting themselves out there and setting a goal. If I can’t model that, I don’t imagine they’ll pick it up all that well.

9. I am running for my business.
As a small business owner, it makes sense that I have a vested interest in the future of the city my business resides in. If Grapevine stays strong, my business has a better opportunity to stay strong. In addition, I have a vision for what the next Grapevine can look like business-wise and I’d love to be involved to help put that plan in action.

So there you have it, nine things that have motivated me at different points throughout this election season. I’m guessing if you ask me tomorrow, I could probably list out nine more.

Tomorrow you have one more chance to help direct the future of your city. Usually the voter turnout in Grapevine is less than ten percent of the population. Will you sit idly by and let others decide your future or would you be willing to take up a challenge from me and get out and make your voice heard?

If any of the above has resonated with you, I’d appreciate your support at the polls.

A wonderful surprise

I started coaching baseball to introduce my boys to the greatness that is America’s pastime and to be able to connect to them through something that we could participate in together. Little did I know how much other good could come from it. Through baseball we’ve been able to minister to others, form new/lasting relationships, test our own faith, learn (more) patience, hone our parenting skills, learn to communicate better, and to navigate the murky waters of organizational politics; I’m sure there’s plenty more.

I’ve also had the ability to connect with a bunch of boys who at 4-8 years old may or may not be sure about themselves, their abilities, their desire for playing a team sport, or even have much confidence in general. We’ve won titles and had seasons where we came in somewhere close to last place and yet every season we walk off with our heads held high and smiles on our faces.

I’ve coached with some great guys – guys who I’d go to battle for every day. I’ve coached with some crazies as well; they’ve all taught me something.

Seasons Change
Many times you don’t realize what you’ve learned until you take a moment to step away and examine; while I’m not ready to step away from baseball yet, our situation will probably change a little going forward. This fall will most likely be the first time our baseball family we call the Grapevine Horn Frogs will not field a team in something like 6 or 7 seasons. Most of us already new it but I hadn’t really taken the time to process it properly yet. It’s very bittersweet.

My goal has always been to teach respect, good character, and integrity to some young folks (and sometimes their parents) through the game of baseball. Little did I know what all I might learn from them.

This weekend I was rewarded with a gift much more fulfilling than a gift card or a night out on the town. My Frog family got together without my knowledge and put together a small token of their appreciation for me, they did a great job. Feel free to take 5 minutes and enjoy a few of the knuckleheads I’ve had the pleasure of being around the last 4 years.

Go Frogs.


Cathartic Writing

I’m a bit stressed. It’s been a busy 2015 and the last few weeks have been particularly rough. I’ve found in the past that writing can be a bit cathartic for me and of course there’s only so much space for it on my social network of choice. Chris is blogging again so I figure I might as well. The following is probably going to be in a depressing tone, feel free move along if you don’t want to be brought down. (more…)

Pleasurable Troublemakers

I’ve only checked out one of these Pleasureable Troublemakers so far but I’m throwing this here as a reminder for me to visit them all. Love the concept of the Keymoment, the keychain rack that subtly encourages you to bike instead of drive.

In short, if you grab your car key it spits your bike key out on the ground giving you an extra moment and action to think about your decision. Clever. I’d love to see it developed further to not need electricity to operate.


An open letter to my son

Dear Cohen,

I yelled at you today and of course, I shouldn’t have. You didn’t deserve it. 6-year-olds surely don’t. I’ll admit, I was frustrated with you but you were only the straw; I’m not exactly sure where the build up began but sadly the pressure released on you.

I love you. I have high expectations of you. And to be honest, they’re unrealistically high expectations. You’re advanced in so many areas that I often fail to remember that you only have six years or so under your belt. Wisdom doesn’t come overnight yet I often lay that burden on you like it should.

One of the most important things to me is that you turn out to be a better man than I am. That you make better decisions, that you relate better to people, that you set better examples. When I watch you stumble, I see patterns of my life which could potentially be where some of the unleashing stems from. I potentially get upset because I see you only mimicking my bad behavior.

Without turning this on you, here’s a few of areas that I’d love to get better about teaching you but for you to learn them, I know I have to model them.

I realize it takes a lot of nerve to ask for your patience with me as I get better with these things on a day where I potentially made you feel lower than low. I’m a work in progress.


Be others-centered.
I’m sure by now, you’ve seen me in action – I’m a classic one-upper. Many of my interactions with people in life go on while a good majority of my brain is working through what to say next. I’m a weak listener and I dish advice like a street-prophet. Even if I haven’t been there or seen that, I’ve got a story to match it. I’m prideful, vengeful, inwardly focused, and outwardly cynical. I’m like a mixed cocktail of the characteristics that most people avoid all stirred up into one.

Help me and join me in working each day to become less self-centered. Winning is fun but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. You know what matters? Building your brother up instead of tearing him down or repeatedly putting him in second place. Likewise, your mother has constantly traversed the waters of a husband that has all too often put his own interests first for almost 15 years. They both deserve better of us.

When I – and hopefully you by watching my modeled behavior – quit worrying about how we’re perceived, most of the following areas we need to work on should automatically resolve themselves…