Happy birthday, Coach

I love that I can say that I personally know the man who invented laser tag.

But you’ve never even played laser tag…  Shut up. That’s beside the point.

Meet Butch Nelson.

Rewind my life to around 4 years ago:  I was a brand new arrival at Club Silhouette, sitting at a table that provided a view of the entire dance floor, just watching the dancers, taking in all the talent, smiles and laughter. I can remember hoping that one day I might be one of the girls that the really good leads would be happy, even want, to reach for.

Naturally, I was a bit curious about all of the talented dancers I was watching, but there was one person in particular that intrigued me a little beyond just watching him cut a rug. He was a mature man with a big, commanding presence. When he was in the room, you knew it. But not in a negative way, no, he was always happy, always smiling, and loved to dance with just about anyone. He’d walk across the dance floor and ask someone sitting a little ways off the floor for a dance, no matter her age, or ability to dance.

But, I was scared of him then. Almost terrified to be honest, haha.  In my mind, a lead of his caliber would probably never think about dancing with a newer dancer. Such a mismatched pairing would hurt his dance tremendously. But his seeking out and willingness to dance with those clearly not matched to his ability was both terrifying and inspiring to see.

Within a couple of months of beginning our journey as dancers, my best friend and I began to feel as if Butch had, in a way, adopted us. He would ask us for dances, and gently ‘coach’ us through each of them. We didn’t immediately get over our fear of him, that took some time, but we did look forward to those dances every Sunday night.  He made us feel like we had a place there, and weren’t just ‘the new kids on the block’.

Fast forward to today: He still holds his position as Coach to us both, but now we are able to dance with him as peers instead of only students. My wish 4 years ago?  He helped make that wish come true, and I’ll always be thankful for that.

Not only does Butch kick butt in his dance life, he also kicks butt and takes names in his professional life. Owning multiple companies, holding one (two?) patents, he rocks his work; or world domination, as he likes to call it 😉  A man with vision, and the drive to succeed. And succeed he does.

Over the last few years of knowing the man, I have learned that his claims of heartlessness, sans emotion, and I-am-Man-hear-me-roar type stuff are all lies. Is he a rough around the edges kind of man? Without a doubt. Sometimes a little too rough, but don’t be fooled; underneath that rough and gruff exterior, is a soft, squishy center that cares and loves deeply.

Love you, Butch. I hope your day is as big and wonderful as you are.



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