Before the kickoff of what will hopefully be an award-winning season, an aspiring high school football player must master a five-step approach to a basic tackle progression. His premier concern should be a flawless, consistent execution of the “breakdown”, the steadfast, competitive stance. Here, the young aspirant will pitch his torso forward at a forty-five degree angle prior to the snap, while maintaining flexed knees and equal weight on the balls of each squared foot. This postural imperative should serve him throughout the play also, permitting adjustments in leverage to sustain balance. A subsequent matter for the successful athlete should be perfecting his “buzz”, short, choppy steps occurring within parallel planes to the torso. Accomplished while the legs are in full play, this brisk movement allows the player to arrest the forward drive of the body, bring it under control, and to prepare for another step in overtaking his competitor. Next, as he sinks into a textbook “hit position”- a forward squat with weight equally distributed between the ball of one foot and the heel of the other- he will employ one of two tackling styles, depending on a quick assessment of the opponent’s strategy. He may choose to “rip”, advancing before raising his bent arms up and wrapping them on either side of his opponent’s jersey, lifting him and driving him forward. Either that or he may “shoot”, springing forward at a 45-degree angle while opening his hips, thrusting the arms outward, and grasping his aim’s jersey similarly to “ripping”. Conclusively, after drilling and polishing each step in his tackle progression, the young player can step onto the field with confidence, hoping his skill will prove useful to the team, leading them to victory.
“My first job out of high school was with the Detroit Lions,” began Marie Ursini, before describing the move that kicked off her service career. “I was eighteen at the time, and I stayed with them for eight years. Then, I left Detroit and moved to northern Michigan, where I got my first serving position at The Saw Mill.”
Traverse City’s Saw Mill, located in the deep cove of West Grand Traverse Bay, was a favorite destination for tourists. Here, Marie began learning the necessary organizational skills pertinent to hospitality, gaining a deeper knowledge of its full breakdown. The ability to determine the sort of experience a table of four seeks before they head to the beach, when to check how satisfied her guests were, and at which point to kindly place the tab on the table were certain elements of her lessons. However, once these were indelibly imprinted into her routine, she learned of another, more challenging opportunity at a shoreline resort twenty-six miles northwest of Traverse City. Here, in Leelanau County, she would be a ferry ride away from both North and South Manitou Islands, gaining more experience in a different, more challenging field. Abuzz with the excitement of the new opportunity, she applied, then squared her stance, waiting to hear news of the chance. The result was in her favor.
“I was asked to go to the Leland Lodge to manage the hotel”, she continued, speaking of the modestly priced resort built within a small distance of “Fishtown”, a 145-year old re-purposed fishing village and premier boat launching site.
Upon arriving, she settled in for what became a year-long stay. During this time, she gained managerial experience in the valuable Food and Beverage area, organizing and coordinating deliveries of all manners of fare, from tenderloin to trebbiano, all while working with her professional team to assure fine service standards. Still, an unanticipated, personal ripple agitated her enough to look even further west. With wintertime approaching, and with it, the seasonal sloth of the resort industry, she felt it was time to spring forward once again, to tackle her loneliness while grasping for a new challenge.
“So I moved to Chicago,” she concluded, hoping then to utilize each play she had so earnestly polished while in the counties of Leelanau and Grand Traverse.