March 2023 TeamMates of the Month: A “Marvel”ous Match
When 3rd-grade Isaac met Bryce at Cavett elementary, he was surprised, “We didn’t talk like you’d expect people meeting for the first time. It wasn’t surface level. And I’d come back the next week with something new to talk about. I could spring on him whatever was on my mind.”
Bryce laughs, “The first thing he sprang on me was superheroes. He made me watch all of the Marvel movies in chronological order. To this day, my wife and I are huge Marvel fans.”
Asked if he is still into Marvel, Isaac lights up and leans in, “Yeah! Absolutely! Yeah!”
It is one of the things Bryce names as a strength of Isaac, his passion and energy.
One of those passions is sports. “I know on the court, on the football field, that is a driving factor for Isaac,” Bryce says, “And, I’m just a sports addict. I played soccer for 16 years. I watch just about everything there is.”
No surprise they listed throwing a football, shooting hoops, and ping pong among their favorites over the years, but talking sports has been just as important. “We’d argue about who was the best player overall,” says Isaac, “and [Bryce] would say ‘look who he’s playing with’ and those kinds of things, and I’d say, ‘well if you look at the numbers, they don’t lie.’”
Bryce turns the conversation back to 9th-grade Isaac’s strengths, particularly his talent with numbers, “With his being very smart with numbers and math, I’ve been telling him, there are jobs in sports analytics. You can combine those two things. We’ve got a few years to talk about that though.”
No doubt Isaac will have an opinion about that idea of Bryce’s, “We have a lot of these little debates about this and that,” says Isaac. “He’s always down to debate and it’s crazy cuz we’re always on opposite sides, so we learn from each other.”
Often, the trust they share takes the form of listening. “I sort of let him dictate where the conversation goes,” says Bryce. “I want him to just feel comfortable. That has always been my goal, that every time we meet, he walks away feeling comfortable.”
That approach has built trust on Isaac’s end, “Before we talk about sports or whatever, I gotta tell him about how my week went. I can talk with him about the good things and also if something went downhill during the week.”
Their match has a chemistry, like long-time friendships do. They interrupt each other, finish each other’s sentences at times. Smile and laugh. A lot. It is clear they enjoy each other.
Isaac puts it this way, “It’s easy to talk to someone when they look like they want to talk to you.”
Maybe that is because Isaac has remained true to himself (and to Bryce) since they met in 3rd grade, “The topics of conversation, the knowledge within that conversation has changed, but Isaac’s identity and who he is hasn’t changed.”
Integrity like that is something you hope you find in…well…a superhero.