Dealing With Disappointment (Explicit Language)


Dealing with Disappointment

A rant and a request for advice

Howdy Friend,


Disclaimer – I’m going to complain and rant about a recent personal experience and then ask for some advice in this post.  If you aren’t interested or lack the capacity to deal, I completely get it and certainly do not take it personal.

I pride myself on seeing the cup half full.  I’m a happy guy, with lots to be thankful for and I am, indeed, quite grateful.

However, as events take place that I feel are not fair or meant for someone else or, for lack of a better explanation, shitty, sometimes I find myself sliding, scraping backward for an undetermined amount of time as the feelings and circumstances change.

This is a tale of one of those unfortunate events.

Of course, I know how to make myself feel better.  It’s taken me nearly 36 years to figure it out, but I know.  In fact, I wrote about it.  Its good measure for me to understand how to systemically improve my reality and I return to the checklist time and time again as a reminder.  Its a track where I know the final destination when my warped emotional brain is unable to comprehend what to do next in light of what, at the time, seems like an insurmountable problem or situation .. I simply resolve to do just these things and I will feel better.  To settle and trust in that provides incredible support and hope.

Just now, I was unable to use many of the tools on my list, thus it didn’t do me a whole lot of good.

Ok, so I’m going to go on a rant here.  I’m going to bitch and complain for a few minutes.  And then, I’ll be done.

I was speaking to a friend about complaining and we came to same conclusion – no one really gives a shit about my problems and issues..or your problems and issues.  I (we) have enough things to think about in my own life than to have to absorb your drama as well, nearly always.  However, I also believe I must get it out of my body and brain.  I’m over listening to my mind race from one dark corner to another rationalizing, what-if-ing, and saying “oh, but the silver lining is..”.  I also want to heal. Like, now.  And I have resolved to doing every possible thing, including having a good rant, to insure I am on the track health.

My outlet is writing.  By writing, I am able to organize my thoughts, because you (mom) need to be able to read this.  I am then able to process that organized information. By writing and getting those thoughts out of my head, I allow those thoughts to be set free.  Once I click ‘publish’, I honestly feel like I’ve just taken a good hot shower after a long camping trip and then I get on with things again.  When I keep it inside, it festers and I feel like I’m losing my mind.

Here goes.

Breaking my leg while playing rugby just now is the single largest disappointment of my life, for reasons that might not be immediately clear from the outside looking in.

I know, I know, I don’t have a terminal disease and I didn’t lose my leg, however one mustn’t discount that I did in fact, break my leg.  So, I’m going talk about it what I’m feeling for a minute or two.

As I was saying..

It had been a couple years since I had been on a proper vacation.  For nearly the last year of Apollo’s life I cared for him every single day. I did not leave the house for more than 12 hours in over 9 months. Then the training started to compete with Santa Monica Rugby Club for an entire season. Every week had multiple practices and most weekends were spent playing.  After the season ended, I would go on to train and ultimately compete with the USA Maccabi team in Israel.  Work filled up the balance of my time.  Not much sailing. No real travel for pleasure.  No creative projects to speak of.  I wanted..I needed to let my hair down a bit.  I really make a point in my life to do those things with regular frequency, yet I was head down. Focused. Neglecting, some might say, areas of my life I truly cherish in order to prepare for this journey.

I had it all planned out.

Everyone I knew.  I mean everyone, knew I was about to embark on this journey.  They supported my efforts.  Cheered me on.  Donated hard earned money.  All of my closest world said “Go get it!”

I would work my ass off with my business, to provide real value for my clients and a living for myself.  They knew I was going overseas to compete and some of them graciously supported my efforts in the way of real money.

I would play for SMRC and we would enjoy all the success we deserved.

I would travel with my mates to Israel to represent my heritage, my country, and my family as a vice captain of the US team.

My parents would join me.

It was my final competition, after all.  Win, lose, or draw, I told myself, I would enjoy it.  I would relish in the heated tests.  I would deepen what I knew would be life long bonds with the men that would take the pitch with me.  I would hug my mom and dad under the lights in the heat, as I said “sayonara” to competitively playing the marvelous game.  …and then we would get good and drunk to lick our wounds or celebrate our victory after the final whistle.

Given I had not spent more than a lousy week with my parents in years, after Israel we planned to go to Istanbul, Turkey.  We bought flights and reserved hotels.  We made itineraries and discussed ad nauseum all that we would do.  I was so looking forward to just a long dinner with no email or phone or texting or FB or anything else familiar to disturb us.  I wanted to hold my mother’s hand and laugh with my dad..After Turkey, my parents would leave and I would continue on to Ukraine.

I bought tickets (in rubles) to attend a great music festival, connected with friends to host me, and planned on meeting a long lost love to enjoy the Black Sea for a week.  The fact that my mother’s family is originally from Ukraine is what sparked the interest in the first place.  Finding where my ancestors were from is very interesting and important to me.

While competing, of course, I would be on the down low, work wise, but while backpacking, I had planned on doing a bit of work here and there and generally staying abreast to things back home while enjoying a bit of a much needed break.

Finally, upon my return to the states, I would go Home to Burning Man yet again.  I was the captain of a center point of our camp, Strangelove.  I designed and made a Max (of Where the Wild Things Are lore) costume and had all of my various effects sorted.  I volunteered at the Black Rock City Airport and with the Department of Mutant Vehicles.  I even planned a short talk about ropes and knots for our camp.  I would reconnect with 100 of my favorite people on this earth for an experience like no other.

You see, it wasn’t pie in the sky..this was a done deal.  This trip I would do.  Tickets paid for, rent and bills paid up in advance for the next 3 months, clients abreast of my departure from the normal world, friend looking after my place..I was taking a break from Los Angeles for a little while.

All of that changed 30 minutes into the first game against Canada, when I broke my leg.

I had the rock 25 meters out of the try line.  I could smell pay dirt.  Stiff arm to one fellow.  Good.  Could’ve, and in retrospect, should’ve given a baby pass to Elliot on my outside.  It would have put him through.  But I’d been here before.  I was fine taking it along for a bit of a jaunt.

It happened quick.  A maple leaf hit my right shoulder and another my left leg, just below the knee, as I was planting on my left foot, at the same time. I knew it as soon as it happened. pain really, but I could see the spikes on the cleats on my left foot.  Deep breath.  Why.the.fuck.did.that.just.happen.  Then everything seemed to slow way down. The lights. My face close to the grass. I was sweating..good fashion from playing for half an hour.  The air was thick with heat.  Humid, too.  My heart was racing. I felt I could hear my pulse in my brain.  Canada over there kinda looking, but not really.  My teammates sort of coming and going to give me a pat on the head. Then everything sped up and I basically only remember being driven to the hospital in the back of an ambulance.  Then the pain started.  It was deafening. I put a smile on my face and made a corny joke as often as I could muster, but on the inside I began to sink.  I knew it was coming.

I was fucking crushed.

No spending time with my friends on tour.  No quality time with my parents. No travel to Turkey.  No travel to Ukraine.  No music festival. No relishing a trip home recalling all the memories.  No Burning Man. No fucking break!

I had just broken my leg.  I canceled everything.  I had no other choice.

Initially, I spent a week in the hospital.  I had a complex surgery to repair the bone and tendons that were severely damaged.  I lost track of day and night.  Sleep came only after exhaustion.  Of course, nothing fights sleep as valiantly as searing pain.  3 hours was the max.  I mean max.  The fibula repair pain dulled to discomfort after about 3 days, but the tendons.  Holy shit. The tendons.  The three medial tendons had been detached and then reattached, along with an artificial tendon, all held together with a titanium device, screwed into the tibia.

If I moved anything on my body, it pierced my reality.

It happened during the first game and I didn’t want to be a distraction to the rest of the team, so I asked the coaches to forbid the boys from taking time away from their training to fiddle with me.  The same was true with my parents.  They had traveled across the world..not to sit in the hospital beside me, but to see all that is Israel.  Really, what could they do?  The boys did play valiantly though.  They played their guts out.  They took Gold in 7s and Bronze in 15s.

My coach would visit me and said the only (best) thing he could say, “I’m so sorry for you.”  What else is there to convey?  We had a laugh and watched a sweaty resident use what looked like hedge clipping shears remove one of the casts from my leg.  He should be arrested for torture.  Are you fucking kidding me?  In the end, Shawn took the massive vice and did it himself, much to our delight.

A note about talking to people that are injured – I sure as hell don’t care about that one time when you did that, what’s it called, and then came out of it and had to go back for that, where’s that place..sorry, I don’t give a shit about what happened to you. Not right now.  Not while I can’t walk.

I don’t want to hear, “Oh, you’ll be fine..” Because who can honestly say that?  What is ‘fine’ after all.  You don’t know.  I mean, if the 60 year old chief of the orthopedic department of the largest hospital in the country doesn’t know, how the hell do you?  Exactly. You don’t.

I don’t want you to sit there and stare at me.  Its awkward and I can’t run away.

The vulnerability I experienced in the hospital was overwhelming.  From having to pee in a jar and sometimes spilling it on myself to eating food that looks to be made from plastic to not sleeping for days to not eating waiting for surgery to being in extreme pain to not having been able to crap in days from the pain medication to trying to pantomime what a blanket is because the nurse doesn’t speak your the shear numbness of my disappointment.

To say it was humbling and defeating is an understatement.

I thank the universe for my dear friends Haddas and Guy Dotan and their 3 beautiful children, who cared for me upon my release from the hospital.  His parents have a wonderful home with a guest house in Hoffit, right on the Mediterranean.  The guest apartment was clean and cool and quiet.  Perfect.  He was so patient with me and would check in with me as often as there was a chance, to see if I needed anything or if there was anything he could help with.  Haddas was the best host and those miniatures..I loved having them come to say hello and laugh and run all around.  I am ever grateful.

The following week the woman I was to meet in Ukraine changed her plans and flew to Israel instead.  While it was beautiful, I felt pretty damned weird.  We had not seen each other in 10 years.  I am American and live my life in Los Angeles.  She is Russian and lives her life in Chelyabinsk.  I was high as a kite on pain meds and starving for communication with a human.  I couldn’t sleep. I struggled with doing most anything beyond laying there and making sure that foot did not move.  I couldn’t carry a cup of coffee.  I felt like I was packing for college in preparation to make love.  The fact she came to see me at all, knowing my current state, is a miracle.

In spite of my injury, she was still amazing.  She was just so easy to be around.  She to was ever patient and cared for me like few people I have ever known.  In my head, sometimes I felt unworthy.

Remember that the entire US delegation and my family have now been gone for two weeks and I can’t fly with my leg in its current condition.  I must wait one more.

My final week was spent at a flat I rented on in Jaffa, which is just south of Tel Aviv.  Try and imagine the heat of the Middle East in August, where you don’t speak the language, can’t read a menu online or ask about the contents of a dish over the phone (skype), are without a car, can only call friends when its the opposite time to be awake as you have an 11 hours time difference, and you are unable to walk…with an incision about a foot long on the outside and 4 inches on the inside of your leg that you must clean every day.


Never mind the logical, lucid brain that shuns the effects of seriously powerful pain medication only long enough to remind you that you have tons of work that is being neglected..having brief fits of productivity cuffed by days of feeling worthless and attempting to sleep.

All I wanted to do was come home.  I wanted it to be over and I wanted to be in mild Southern California with my friends and some leafy veggies and a solid steak and retire at the end of the day in a clean house and finally my own comfortable bed.

Stay with me here..I’m nearly done.

So after an 18 hour flight home and a leg that looked more like kettle bell than anything that belonged on a human, I arrived home and my place was gross.  I had told this guy I would have a cleaning lady come over before I got there, because I am a freak about having a clean house.  That’s in normal life.  When I’ve been gone for 2 months, rode hard and put up wet, it had better be clean!  I’ll save the details, but suffice to say that my dogs live better.  Are you a fucking idiot, man?

I was livid.

So, I spent my first week back getting things back in order.  Cleaning. Laundry. Moving furniture.  Why was the furniture moved?  I was losing my mind. All on one leg, mind you.

Meanwhile, remember those wonderful humans I mentioned earlier going to Burning Man? Well, they were just about to depart and the emails were flying around like crazy.  Given I had volunteered to champion one of our major art pieces, that would still go, I had to remain engaged.  Inasmuch, the feelings of loss were amplified again as I would miss out on the experience.

Done. Here we are today. Healing and settling.  But, that is what just happened.

If that sounded like it sucked, it’s because it did.

The culmination of the experience amounted to what I am certain is the most significant disappointment of my life.  It hurt on number of levels.

I’m done complaining.

I’m done.

Whew..that was a good one! If you’ve made it this far, thanks.  I needed to get that out.  If you didn’t make it this far, I suppose you will not know I think your haircut is terrible.  I feel better already.

So, what to do now.

  1. I am acknowledging that which I’m thankful.  Always.  The list is long, diverse, and vast.
  2. I must heal this leg and I am proud to say that it coming along ahead of schedule (hat tip to  mom and dad for great genes)  Today is exactly 6 weeks since surgery and mobility is great and the pain is gone.  My diet is full of green vegetables, fresh fruit, and organic meat.  Rehab has started at the hospital.  Walking in the pool has just begun.  Finally, I can sleep.
  3. I must surround myself with people who love me and bring me up.

I need your advice.

What else can I do?  What lessons are to be learned?  What can I do differently next time?

Writing this and getting it out is the first step.  Next, I need to figure out ways to grow from this and manage life better.

Seriously, please do write if you have ideas on how to cope with loss and heartbreak and anger.  I’d appreciate it.

Life is an amazing ride, as it will it will fill your sails or drown you quick.  This go round has been in the steel of the teeth.  However, as I proof read this essay, its the friends and family that mark each bright spot.  For those people I hold dear, I am thankful.

Stay close,


Aaron Loring Davis


Video Rugby Update From Israel


Howdy Friend,

This is the final tour update from the Maccabi Games.  I have also included a pillow stacking technique.

For those that missed it, I wrote a rather lengthy essay on how rugby has affected my life and what it means to me.  I followed up with a mid season update toward the twilight of the season with Santa Monica.

This is a short video update from Israel.  The same details are listed below.

The tour has been amazing!

We had an incredible precamp and the team really came together.
At day 5 touring started and we visited the old city of Jerusalem, Masada, a beduin dinner in the desert, Yad Vashem, and many other historical sites.
After most of the tour started, the 7s tournament took place and the US team played like champions.  We won a coat hanger of a game in the final against a very strong Israeli side to bring home gold.
The opening ceremony was incredible as over 70 countries walked into the stadium in Jerusalem to a sold out crowd of 35,000.  The night saw speeches from the President, dignitaries, music, and dancing from artists all over the world.  I was honored and ever grateful that my parents were able to experience it with me.  Truly an amazing evening.
Our first 15s game was against Canada and in absolutely shocking fashion, I broke my leg 30 minutes into the first half.  To say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement.  I spent a couple days in the hospital before getting surgery and then spent another week in recovery as the surgery was quite complex.  The pain has worn off for the most part and now I have been able to see a brighter side of the injury.  By not being able to play, I have been given ample time alone to think about my career as a rugby player, how the transition to other roles associated with rugby might look, and a general state of my being that is afforded only when spending hours upon hours alone.
To me, rugby is a great metaphor for life.  Much of what is executed and learned on the pitch can and should be applied to life.  In that spirit, while the hand I was dealt was poor relative to the next guy, I feel as though it has been a lesson in patience and acceptance.  If given a chance to do it again, I might not have broken my leg, but I certainly would not change the men that make up this team or the experiences that have highlighted this tour.
The next game was against Great Britain.  We were beating them in every phase of play and at 60 minutes subbed out most starters. The luck then swung toward the opponents as they ended the game ahead.  The outcome did not affect the playoff matrix, as we both had playoff berths.  Only ego and pride were at stake and the Brits came out on top.
The first game of the playoffs saw a physical test with the Australians, the defending gold medal team from 2009. The game had flurries of champaign rugby, muddled with yellow cards, dropped balls, and general mayhem between the uprights.  A hat tip goes to the Aussies who came out ahead and will compete for the Gold medal against Israel in the finals.  Israel handily defeated the Brits to send the centuries old grudge match back to the pitch for a second round.  The bronze will be contested between the US and the Brits just prior to the finals.
You can find a link to the live broadcast on my facebook wall
All in all, it has been an amazing tour and I have been fortunate to make what will likely be life long friends with many of my teammates and staff.  It might not be on the field, but I’ll return to the Maccabiah again.

Stay close,


ps – In the boredom of spending nearly two weeks in a hospital and then my hotel room, I tested and identified the optimal pillow stacking technique to support a broken leg.

Rugby Video Update [final] & STEAM Carnival

Rugby + STEAM

Last update before leaving + a very cool carnival

Howdy Friend,

This is the final update on my rugby progress before I leave for Israel to compete.  I’m also sharing a really cool project that some of my best friends are building.

For those that missed it, I wrote a rather lengthy essay on how rugby has affected my life and what it means to me.  The essay has quite a bit of history and photos, thoughts on playing for Santa Monica RFC this season, and why this third attempt at a Gold medal is so special.

More than anything, this video is a big THANK YOU!!!

Mom and Dad, thank you so much!  You are my greatest inspiration.
Everyone who gave a donation, your financial support is what will allow me to make this journey.  I am so grateful!
Thanks again to everyone that has pushed me and encouraged me, whether by phone, email, text…all of it has helped drive me to be my very best.
To the boys at Santa Monica RFC, you are my family and I appreciate you for going to battle with me this season.   I also must give a nod to the Beach Boks, the good lads I now train with on the beach for touch, whom intend on keeping me honest (on sides) and in good spirits (always a bit of banter) before I depart.
The next update will be from the Games, medal in hand.  Thanks again to everyone that has helped me along.  I would not have made it this far without you.
In other news, some of my best friends are building the coolest carnival you had ever seen!

S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Right-o, so they are rolling this into a carnival and tricking kids in to learning all kinds of cool stuff, by making it all fun!

Can you imagine being able to attend this exposition of education…a jamboree of jubilation, all in the name of learning?

They have nearly reached their fund raising goal of $100,000 at the time of this writing and it looks like they are going to make it!  So cool!!!!

Check out their Kickstarter here

Life is the most spectacular show on earth. ~ Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Stay close,



ps – if it’s been longer than you are comfortable with since we last connected, please reach out.
pps – you look fantastic today!

Video Rugby Update – Thank You!

Howdy Friend,

This is a quick update on my progress as a rugby player during my swan song season.

For those that missed it, I wrote a rather lengthy essay on how rugby has affected my life and what it means to me.  The essay has quite a bit of history and photos, thoughts on playing for Santa Monica RFC this season, and why this third attempt at a Gold medal is so special.

This is a short video update of my progress.  The same details are listed below.

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Santa Monica RFC is 8-2, with 2 games left in the season and we have secured home field advantage for at least the first playoff game.  The boys are playing their butts off and we having an absolute blast off the pitch with all grades of mischievery and hijinx.

I’m so proud to represent the United States in the Maccabi World Games this summer.  The players hail from all over the US, thus our cohesiveness is what lingers from camp at the Olympic Training Center in January and what is generated from writing online.  Even still, the electricity is building.  Its palpable.  I get an extra pep in my step for days following an IM session or an email volley with with one of my brothers as we pull and tease and explain and encourage each other.

As members of the team are starting to finish their regular seasons, its exciting to learn of their success.  We are all comparing metrics from the gym and the track.  Ball skills and video review have become part of what we do every day.

In addition to all of the physical requirements put on athletes to attend these games, we are also required to raise quite a bit of money.  These funds not only help subsidize our flights, hotels, food, medical, and equipment, they also help subsidize the cost for athletes that may have financial difficulty attending the games.  I am happy to do my part.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Out of the $5,000 that I am require to raise, over $4,100 has been donated in my name.

Someone even donated $100 anonymously.

I truly do live a special life with amazing family and friends.  I am ever grateful.

If you’d like, you can make a donation here.

Of course, any support is greatly appreciated.  Even a call or email letting me know you’re rooting for us to win.  Being that I’m an old fart compared to my team mates, I need all the help I can get.

I leave for Israel in 80 days..but who is counting?

Stay close,


ps – Seriously, if it’s been longer than you are comfortable with since we last connected, please reach out.
pps – Thank you for everything!
Aaron Loring Davis

Rugby – a way of life

Howdy Friend,

Rugby has been a corner stone of my life.

My closest friends, my jobs, my travels around the world… some of my fondest memories come from rugby.

Sports and rugby specifically, has been a glue that has held my life together.  It’s taught me how to win and to lose, the essence of “team”, and the value of hard work and perseverance.

I found the game at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1998. The Clamdiggers were a rowdy bunch of beach boys that played hard and enjoyed all the fruits of a slow, Southern beach town. We were pretty good, loved each other, and simply had a blast.


I became a student of the game and soon was selected to play All South as a Junior and then to represent the United States at the 16th World Maccabi games, in Israel as a senior.

The World Maccabi Games are a multisport tournament comprised of athletes from Jewish heritage held in Israel every 4 years. It is reported as the third largest sporting event in the world and many world record holders and Olympic medalists have competed. As one of the youngest and most inexperienced members on the team, I did not see very much playing time in our Silver Medal effort, but the experience was incredible.

UNCW was also a major feeder program to Cape Fear RFC (rugby football club), the local men’s club. That club was, and is fantastic. They put on a wonderful tournament each summer, have their own pitch (field), and have a solid core of members to perpetuate its existence. The men that make up that club remain some of my very best friends.

A few years after college I was recruited by the head coach of Santa Monica RFC to train with Santa Monica in a run for a National Title.  I also set to play again for the United States in the 17th Maccabi World Games. With Santa Monica, we met our goal of winning Division 1 National Championship. The coaching and support staff were world class and the players were the best I’d ever been privileged to take the field with. Every game we got better and we smashed the opposition.

To win on that stage meant cooperation, focus, communication, and hunger to ones core at a level that I had never known.  It meant training and playing with team mates with grace and positive interaction.  Making sacrifice was the expected status quo.  Integrity, on and off the field, was baked in.

Immediately following, I joined my USA Maccabi team to travel to Israel. This time I would see plenty of playing time and again, we would lose in the final to South Africa. I was really sick. Perhaps it was because I had just enjoyed so much success on the pitch with Santa Monica. In any event, I was bitter and sad and frustrated.

Returning to Santa Monica RFC in 2006, we would march on to back-to-back National Titles. Experience played a role, as many of the core players returned from the previous year.  The feeling was amazing!

I then got selected to play for one of two United States teams in the first North American 4 tournament in Western Canada. You had to pinch me!  It was all just so much fun!!

As 2007 came and went, I found my body beginning to ache. My back was constantly sore and I couldn’t really do anything without pain. I was born with my lumbar spine a bit wonky and playing competitive rugby probably didn’t help. I finally decided to have surgery on November 7th 2007.

Rugby as I knew it, was done.

My life went from rugby being the center of my universe to this thing I would mention in line at the store when I saw fellow walk by with a jersey on.

I think I spoke to one coach once regarding the 2009 games and simply said “No.  I wasn’t interested”.

My heart was broken.

I’d achieved nearly everything I ever dreamed of as a player: I’d forged friendships that I know will outlive me.  I’d been privileged to have amazing coaches that wanted me to learn. I’d won National Titles.  I’d represented my country.  I traveled around the world with an egg in my hand.

But I never did win that last game in Israel.

Over the coming years I remained close to the game.

I visited Argentina and played a bit of social footy with the boys. I organized a tour with some friends from college to see the World Cup in New Zealand and mixed a few friendly matches in. I enjoyed touch rugby with the BeachBoks on Sundays and social matches at my annual university alumni game.

In late 2011 I was asked to help recruit players for the United States Maccabi team, to compete in 2013.

I agreed.

Then the mental pain started. Like, real bad.

I was privy to each and every email that came in from young guys that wanted to try out. They listed their experience, stats, and current club. From across the country, guys wrote in that they thought they had what it took to be a part of this team.

I was walking around in circles mad, like a bulldog chewing on a hornet!

I wanted to play!

Long conversations with my mom followed long conversations with myself.

Did I still have the desire? Did I still have the health to compete at this level? Did I have the drive to train for the next year to prepare my mind and body for what is undoubtedly the hardest mental and physical test I know of: 4 or 5 full on games in 13 the dead of summer..following an unquestionably long season of top grade rugby with Santa Monica RFC.

There is no dress rehearsal in life. You get no second chances.

All in. This will be my swan song. Let’s make it a good one.

I contacted the staff from Santa Monica Rugby Club to let them know that I was keen to play for them as preparation.

I want another National Championship.

I notified the coaching staff that I would be removing myself as recruiter, but wanted to throw my hat in the ring to try out as a player.

I want a Gold medal.

I started to hit the gym. Eating right. Getting more rest.

I started making hard decisions.

As a side note, with the new goal in mind, I found my tolerance for BS to go through the floor. No more time for folks that were slugs. No patience for complainers. Folks that had nothing positive going on, got nothing from me.

My body started to improve. BeachBok weekends with the cheetahs helped my hands get softer and wind enter my lungs. Heavy practice with Santa Monica RFC hardened me to be able to hit and get hit.  I met new players on the team and started to gel with them on and off the pitch.  I learned the nuance of a different brand of rugby from a new generation of coaches.  The Maccabi even spent a weekend at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, CA practicing and testing in addition to a grueling full day with the US Navy Seals at Coronado Island, CA.

I suppose the results speak for themselves.

At the time of this writing Santa Monica RFC is 5-1, losing by only 4 points in a slug fest with the defending National Champions.  We are just now beginning to hit our stride.

I have also been appointed to represent the United States in the Maccabi World Games in July, 2013.  This team has been lauded as the best ever assembled to compete in this tournament.

The coaches and my peers went on to elect me Vice Captain of the team.

I am humbled and I am honored.

Long hours and a hard road lay ahead.  Training takes place daily.  Food, rest, and study are scheduled.  Sacrifices, large and small, are being made such that we can play at the highest level.

The family that is this team in incredible.  The tournament is the epitome of all that is good about sports.

To me, the Maccabi World Games are about heritage, awareness, peace, and athletic competition. So much about a positive life experience is learned with the ball in hand on a grass field joined by friends.

In addition to the training I must do to prepare myself physically and mentally, I am also required to raise a bit of money for the organization.

The funds help subsidize flights, hotels, food, training facilities, medical treatment, and uniforms… they also go to help other athletes that may not be able to afford the cost to attend in the form of scholarships.

If you have the means and are so moved, I would appreciate your help in raising my share.

Donate now

Contributions can take 2 forms.

  • Non-tax deductible : You’ll get awesome raffle tickets in exchange for your contributions in excess of $100. Raffle prizes include tickets to the Super Bowl, the Masters, $5,000 in cash and more.  You’ll need to contact me directly to get these tickets.
  • Tax deductible : Out right donation. You’ll get no raffle tickets, but I have a few personal items to offer.

To sweeten the pot for folks interested in supporting my effort to represent the United States in the 2013 World Maccabi Games I am offering the following:

$20 or more – Free Tablet Volume
$100 or more – The above, plus I will volunteer for the charity of your choosing for an afternoon.
$300 or more – The above, plus an exhaustive analysis of your business’s online efforts via all the resources I have at my disposal through my company, BusinessFrame.
$500 or more – The above, plus an evening dinner for 6 people aboard A Moveable Feast, a kinetic sculpture I helped Dan Busby build with friends.
$1,000 or more – The above, plus I’ll streak down the Venice Boardwalk (this is a rugby team, after all)

Really and truly, even $1 helps. You can contribute here.

During and after my travels I will be documenting the learning experience and rugby excitement on my blog and hope you’ll follow along.

I sincerely appreciate you helping me, my team, and the rest of the athletes that will be competing in this tournament. Competitive sports, specifically rugby, make life better.

In my final effort, your support means the absolute world to me.

Stay close,


Aaron Loring Davis


Happy New Year – Books, Kickstarter, Video Interviews

Howdy Friend,

Happy New Year!

This post covers 3 topics of interest.
1) Books
2) Kickstarter
3) Video Interviews


An interest that has proven to allow me to grow on so many levels, year after year, is reading.

That’s right, good old reading. But wait, there’s more!

Not just any reading..reading books!  Books with a cover and paper pages.

You heard it here first – Books will become artifacts in my lifetime.

In other words, sooner than later, they are going to stop making them, replaced by digital versions.

So, I am creating a lending library, which means I need books.

I’ve already got a ton and I am in the process of cataloging them.  Most of my titles focus on business, biographies, sailing, travel, personal development, science, and how to.  They will be available to borrow later this quarter.

If you have books that are collecting dust or you think would be a good read for someone, let me know.  I’ll even pay for the shipping to receive them. No book will be turned down.

In the spirit of making interesting books available to folks that are keen, you are welcome to borrow my current personal favorite.  It is a biography of sorts from a gentleman that I have a tremendous amount of admiration, respect, and love for.  I’m proud to call him my friend.

You Can Do It: Inspiration and Lessons from an Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Sailor by Stanley Dashew

I have a couple copies and you are welcome to borrow them if you like.  Or you can buy it on Amazon (I have no material interest what so ever in your purchase).

Its an exciting read and really puts things into perspective, given Mr. Dashew virtually started his career during the Great Depression.


I’m surprised some folks still haven’t heard of this incredible resource – Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform for creative projects.  Life is being breathed into all sorts of really cool projects as a result of this website, including some that I have been a part of this year (A  Moveable Feast) and some that I have contributed to (Bagdad Community Hacker SpaceUrban Air, & Los Angeles Maker Space: A Family Friendly Innovation Hub).

Take a gander at all of the interesting and creative projects folks are coming up with..or..GASP..make one yourself!!

Los Angeles Maker Space: A Family Friendly Innovation Hub has already fully funded, but there are 3 hours left and every donation will help build a place for families to create together in the Los Angeles area.  Super cool! (personal anecdote – the amount of pleasure and fulfillment I have been able to garner through creative spaces like this one is unmeasurable. period.)

Video Interviews

I have been steadily recording video interviews about the business of online marketing with folks that are a heck of a lot smarter than me.

Talk about some incredible information these folks are sharing.  Are they even allowed to give away those secrets?

They are free and published on my business blog. 

I hope this finds you well and that you’re able to find creative and fulfilling ways to make this year the best yet.  If I can lend a hand at all to that effort, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Stay close,

Aaron Loring Davis

Happy Birthday – My last year in review

Happy Birthday

35 I am.  Finished I am not.

Howdy Friend,

For me, my birthday is always a good time for reflection.

The past year has been punctuated by so many memorable events.

1) Apollo crossed over to another world

2) I helped build A Moveable Feast

3) Went to Burning Man..again

4) Earned 2nd place in the fleet aboard Bravura

5) Got invited to join the elite training squad (rugby) to represent the United States in the 2013 Maccabiah


6) Started my final season as a competitive rugby player with Santa Monica Rugby Club

7) With my Dad, invented and brought to market the TabletVolume

8) Turned a passion into what has proven to be an amazing career building software and marketing businesses by founding BusinessFrame

More than anything else in this world, I love life.  

I love my family and my friends.  I love the thrill of sailing the sea and the competition on the rugby pitch.  I love creating and building.  I love creating opportunities, for myself and my partners.  I love traveling to far away lands and meeting curious characters.  I love to laugh big.

I hope this finds you well.

Stay close,

Aaron Loring Davis

Apollo The Great

Apollo the Great – Wonder Dog

Howdy Friend,

Apollo the Great has moved on to another world – 3/1998 – 5/26/2012*

This is the story of his life.

He was my very best friend.

In the late Spring  of my sophomore year of college some friends and I went to a party one cold, wet Friday night.  It was freezing, much colder than normal for coastal North Carolina and the rain was coming down in sheets.  We had to walk past a few crummy old homes, through a small field, to get to the party.  On the way, we noticed about half a dozen, or so, puppies tied up to a tree.  Little puppies, maybe 5- 7 pounds a piece.  They had no shelter from the elements and were huddled on top of each other to keep warm.  We discussed among ourselves how shitty we thought it was that someone would neglect animals like that, but we went on to the party.  The party came and went, as did a couple of days.

Then, on Monday, I returned to the house where the party was hosted to visit my friend again.  On the same path I noticed the puppies again, yet this time I would act.  I knocked on doors.  I asked the neighbors.  I spoke to my friend.  The resounding answer to my questions about who left the puppies was that they simply did not know.  In fact, the few shacks closest to where the dogs were tied, appeared to be abandoned.

I waited one more day after telling myself that if they were there when I returned, I was going to take one.  At least one, and report the others to animal control to perhaps make them available for adoption.

I don’t recall why I chose Apollo.  I presume it was his eyes, as he had the most beautiful brown eyes.  Or maybe his smile.  He always would turn his head sideways a bit with a curious look and smile.

In any event, I certainly did take Apollo.  A court may have called it stealing, but I didn’t care.  I gave him life.  I would later learn that many of his siblings were not so lucky.

The veterinarian that I took him to immediately, explained that I could probably buy a pure bred dog for the cost of what it was going to take to get him healthy.

“Carry on”, I told the vet.  This was my dog.

The fur between his ears and on his feet had fallen out.  His tummy was raw from insect bites.  His stools harbored pin worms and round worms.  His skin, from one end of his body to the other, was irritated from ring worm.

Over the coming months his fur grew in and he regained his strength.  By the middle of the summer he was the beautiful, bounding dog I grew to love with all of my heart.

When asked about his heritage, I usually said that I suspected his Mom must have been a Rottie while his sire was most likely a “traveling man!” He had the webbed toes of a Labrador, the spotted black tongue of a Chow, the stocky frame and coloring of a true Rottweiler, with the chest of a Mastiff. A wonderful mix of a mutt that was smart like a wolf, could swim like a fish, and would guard that which he felt important to the bitter end.

Apollo was smart and stubborn.  To say he was hard-headed would be an understatement and I taught myself patience in training him.  I wasn’t easy on him and I challenged him to think.  Soon, he would enjoy doing all kinds of tricks like walking on his hind legs in a circle, rolling over, playing dead, shaking “hands” – with each front paw separately, fetching a ball, sitting, walking to a spot in the room where I pointed, taking up a guarding position and becoming alert on command.

When I laid down to sleep, he would wait at the foot of my bed before retiring to his bed.  When someone suspicious approached us on our walk, he would face them and back into me enough to allow his rear haunches to touch my legs, so as to know where I was without taking his eyes off the person.  If hanging out, he would always lay between me and the door, always on the ready.

He was the epitome of a loyal, courageous and humble guardian.

Through the years of college he enjoyed a rather exciting social life.  We threw plenty of parties and he usually had the run of the places I lived.  If the window was left open, he found nothing wrong with jumping through it to chase a cat or a squirrel, even if there was a screen.  My friends played with him and my girlfriend loved him dearly.  In fact, I often thought she loved him more than me, but how could I blame her.  He was awesome.

When college ended, I moved 30 minutes from Wilmington to the Northeast Cape Fear River outside my dad’s hometown of Burgaw, where I built a house for my family with the help of  cousins and friends.  I rented a 14’ FEMA trailer and made the river lot my home for eleven months.  Apollo slept underneath the trailer on the cool sand.

Apollo changed some during this time.  He became somewhat like a wild fox or wolf.  He became less social and less trusting of strangers.  After all, he now lived deep in the woods and was tasked with guarding the property.  He accepted the role with valor, once climbing a ladder to the second floor of the framed house to chase the cabinet maker onto the roof.  He kept the cabinet man on the roof for nearly a full day.  While I found it hilarious and could not have been more proud, the man politely told me that my job, my dog and I could go fuck ourselves. I could hear the trees laughing as I carried Apollo down the ladder.  The definition of uncomfortable has  a picture of a 90 pound dog being dangled from a ladder from the second floor.

I moved into the house when it was complete and remained there for another few years, hosting family, friends and more than an occasional party.  Apollo really made that river his home.  He would often be found wading at the shore, swimming out to chase a stick, lying in the sun and chasing varmints to and fro.  He loved nothing more than to jump on the front of the Jon boat for an afternoon cruise or to take a ride in the back of the truck to the store.  Once on a hike, he and I even saw an alligator, the only one I have ever seen in the wild.

He loved the beach also.  We would visit Wrightsville Beach, Topsail Beach and Masonboro Island to spend the day and to camp, when we could.  Apart from lounging within a couple arm’s lengths, Apollo loved to chase fowl.  He would crouch like a tiger, so as to sneak up on them and then jump as high as he could to paw them out of the sky during their initial attempts to escape. All the universe could not contain the pride he emanated when he succeeded once and brought me back a duck.

In making the decision to move to California, I was unsure about my living arrangements and was concerned about Apollo’s well being.  My parents and I agreed that he might be better cared for by staying with them, especially since I did not have any way to predict my daily schedule, etc.  He could romp in their back yard and appreciate the stability that they could provide.  They took him in with open arms, where he quickly won their hearts over, too.  Mom loved taking him on walks in the morning and afternoons, often on the trails that I made when I was kid.  Just a few houses from ours, there is a swath of woods that is about ¼ of a mile from a cul-de-sac, where Mom would remove his leash and he would run free and “do his business.”

Apollo protected my Mom and Dad every night.. He put Dad to bed first, laying at the foot to see him safely asleep. After he started snoring, he would get up and keep Mom company until her bedtime, then the same routine. After they both were both safely tucked in, he would position himself on the stair landing so he could keep a watchful eye on them both as well as the street.

Always faithful, always vigilant. Any untoward event called for a “low roll” of his bass voice… a growl that would strike visceral fear in the belly of any scoundrel who might need a good warning. When Dad asked him “whoizzit?” he would give a full report!! He did not seem to let an hour or more pass without letting the comforting clink of his “dog tags” be heard, as he made his nightly rounds. He knew his job and he did it well.

During every weekday, he would hang out with Linda, the business manager of our family business at her office in our home.  She spoiled him with sausages and gravy and all variety of treats.  While she can probably tell it better, from all accounts, his routine included lounging in the the grass in the shade watching the yard, laughing at the birds dancing in the bath, and chasing the squirrels like hell when they dared to touch the earth.

His only feline friend lived at my parent’s house, too.  Ticow was a bristly hussy of cat.  When he was very young she swiped his nose, punishing his excited puppy curiosity.  He respected her claws until her final days.  Later, as he would outweigh her by nearly 80 pounds, he delighted in teasing her with the affectionate growling and rushed through the porch threshold. He never hurt or bit her, but he certainly upped his growling volume to let her know what could be possible.  She would always sashay off with a hiss and her tail in the air to tell him, “You don’t matter to me.”

Whenever I came home to visit my family and friends, the first thing I would do is to pick him up.  We would embrace in the front yard and he would do his customary bull rush!  Slobbering and running fast, his offense included jumping to my waist level to hit me with his chest and wrap his strong front legs around me.  We’d wrestle and run and chase and laugh.  I’d instruct him to look in a certain direction to point and he would.  He would scramble over to check things out—run back—tongue panting—sit—half-sit—“over there (with a point)—“go get it” and the pattern would start again.  He loved jumping into the car, often sitting much life a human on his butt with his hind legs forward and his front legs holding the A frame of the car door.  Once he knew we were on the highway, which meant only one thing, we were off to the river house, he would retire to the back seat to rest.  Never asleep.  Just resting.  As soon as we left the black top on Old Ramsay Road he would spring to life again.  He’d poke his head out of the window to be able to smell the forest he loved so much.  Once parked at the house, his inspection of the property was long and thorough.  It might be an hour or more before he was satisfied that everything was tip top.  We’d take rides on the Jon boat and walks around the lake.  We’d hunt small game and watch that slow warm Cape Fear River flow past from the porch.  Days would pass without sight or sound from another human and we could not have been happier.

The years passed quickly.  While it seemed like I had moved to California only very recently, I realized that Apollo was many years older when my mother told me that he would need to stay with me—I wanted to be there for him.

Arrangements were made and he was flown from Raleigh to Los Angeles on Delta Airlines.  I was a nervous wreck the day he arrived (and so were my parents.)  It had been years since anyone depended on me the way I knew he would.  “How would he adjust to the busy city?”  I wondered.  I knew it was going to be fine when I saw those big ears flopping in the wind and a big smile across his face as a forklift whisked him across the holding warehouse floor in his travel crate.  Man, was I glad to see him!

It took him a few days to get accustomed to my apartment, the walk that was most convenient through the busy streets, and my food.  Actually, he didn’t get accustomed to the food I bought him.  After what ended up being 3 days of him not eating, I asked mom what the problem might be.

Me – I just don’t know what to do.

Mom – Well, what are you feeding him?

Me – I bought the best dog food they had.

Mom – What are you mixing it with?

Me – Uhh, nothing why?

Mom – Oh well, you have to mix some real cooked meat with the dog food or he won’t eat it, as you can see.

Me – Oh now I get it.

Mom- Yeah, just cook either bacon or hamburger and mix it into his food.  He’ll eat it right up.

So, my cooking career started.  Every morning around 7 am, the house smelled of burger.  At 7 pm, burger again.  I often found myself cooking for him and making a bowl of cereal for myself.

Our daily routine was to walk around the block or when he was up to it, down to the beach.

At first, I found myself being in a hurry.  I was impatient, walking him as a chore.  I would call him firmly and he would come.

Then I changed.  I found joy in watching and waiting on him to smell new plants, to discover new crannies on our walks and to rest when he needed to.  I took him camping in Topanga Canyon, where he seemed to really enjoy the forest.  I took him to the dog beach to wade in the Pacific and he like the cold water on his belly.  I took him on long rides up the coast and he loved to hang his big fat head out the window, the ocean whizzing by.

I knew that he was slowing down considerably and that his aging hips were causing him difficulty in walking, going from lying down to standing, etc.  He could walk down the stairs but I would have to carry him up and I liked it.  I would grab him under his chest with my left arm and under his tummy with my right – up we went to the second floor.  I loved holding his warm body next to mine, dog hair and all.  Because of his walking/climbing situation and the fact that he weighed 90 or so pounds, I did not feel comfortable asking anyone to take care of him, so apart from one weekend, I didn’t leave for more than 12 hours during the last nine months of his life.

On Thursday, May 25, 2012, Apollo and I laid together for  hours.  I felt him beside me and his beautiful eyes looked into mine.  While the warrior in him would hide it, he was tired.  I knew it was time.  I went out for a drink with a friend.  We laughed a bit, but I was not myself, so I went back home.  I laid there with Apollo.  I petted his head and combed his beautiful fur.  I spoke to him and let him know how thankful I was for his friendship and companionship.  I let him know how much I loved him and how much he meant to me.  He thanked me in return.  His big smile was there, even though his aging was evident from his grey muzzle.   He rested his head on my arm.  Night passed and I awoke.

Beside the veterinarian’s office in Malibu was a large field with wild flowers and rolling hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  We went there and held each other as the vet met us.  Apollo was calm and courageous.  He knew what needed to be done and he let me know he would be waiting on the other side.

On May 26, 2012 about 11 am under a brilliant blue sky, Apollo, my dearest friend, passed on to another world.

Or so I thought.

Since he and I always lived within a mile of the water and were sailors, I felt it only appropriate that he be given a proper sea burial.  Alone, I took the helm of  sailboat, with Apollo beside me in the cockpit.  I sailed toward the Pacific Ocean from Marina del Rey.  That day was uncharacteristically rough at sea, as the wind was approaching 30 knots just after lunch.  In checking the weather, a gale warning was in effect, with combined seas between 7-9 feet and growing.

I would not have had it any other way and forged ahead.

Upon rounding the break water jetty to enter the Pacific, a Coast Guard cutter requested (over a loud speaker) that I communicate with them via radio.

Coast Guard – There is a gale warning in effect.  We strongly advise you to return to port.

Me – Thank you for the advice.

Coast Guard – Are you stating that you are NOT returning to port?

Me – That is correct.  I am not returning to port until I am ready.

Coast Guard – Please notate that this conversation is being recorded to document that we have warned you about traveling to sea right now.

Me – Duly noted.  Signing off.

It felt appropriate and I laughed big and loud.  Apollo and I had told authority to stick it in their ass to the bitter end.

I sailed about 5 miles off shore.

I laughed and cried and prayed and was quiet and shouted in the air and sat still in a boat that was being swooshed through the water by the wind and the waves.

Then I returned Apollo back to the earth and the sea.

When I got back to port I called my Mom to let her know it was done.  There was closure and I was peaceful.  Mom asked me if I had left his collar on him and I replied that I had.  She explained that that was good, as he always liked wearing his collar and having a jingle from his tags.

The next couple of days were a blur.  I did all I could to stay busy and cleaned everything in my house.  I moved furniture to sweep.  I washed all linens and the couch slip covers.  Everything.

On Sunday I visited a friend in San Diego.

I like working with my hands when I am not feeling upbeat or when I am sad.  It heals me and makes me feel better.  I was finding solace working on my motorcycle, when at 3 pm I received a text message from an unknown number.

Aaron:  I have a message about your dog.  Carrie

I called.

Carrie – Aaron, is your dog missing?

Me – Why?

Carried – I’m very sorry, but I believe your dog may have drowned.

Me – Oh my.  Where is he?

Carried – Well, he’s here on the beach.

Me – What beach?

Carrie – Right here on the beach.  Just north of New Port.

Me – Wow.  Ok, will you text me the approximate location on the beach?

Carrie – Of course.  Again, I am very sorry.

Me – Thank you.

I sort of cried and sort of laughed.  I guess it isn’t lore to have to weigh down a body if you want to properly dispose of one at sea.  Good to know..

So much for closure.  Remember at the beginning of this story when I said this dog was stubborn..

I knew what I had to do.

It took a few hours, as it was night, but I found Apollo resting on the beach at approximately 1 am.  He looked great.  A little wet but still smiling and as handsome as ever.

I laughed and cried and prayed and was quiet and shouted in the air and sat still as the powerful waves crashed at my feet.

Then I returned Apollo back to the earth and the sea…again.

I took his collar this time and buried him at low tide.  A few feet away I saw a sea gull that has passed on as well, so I buried it not far away so Apollo was sure to have something to chase.

I smiled.  I laughed hard!  Big laughing, all alone on that beach in the middle of the night; it must have been 3 am.

I mean really, how many dogs do you know of that have needed to be buried twice?  Fucking amazing!!

Since then, I have reflected on his life and the friendship we forged.

I have held on to lessons that I feel he tried to teach me:

– rest when you need to
– the best way to get love is to give lots of love
– take time to be curious
– trust your gut
– get excited for tasty food
– relish time outside
– be loyal
– be honest and don’t try to be something you are not
– a cat can be a friend, even though she swiped your nose
– be relentless in pursuit of happiness
– never ,ever stop when there is a job to be done

He helped me become a better man, I hope.

Apollo, I am thankful for you.  I will miss you and I love you with all my heart.

Stay close,


ps – while I personally have buried him twice, it is still uncertain if he is really gone.  I’ve heard stories from sailors, from time to time, of a mysterious figure off in the distance.  Walking about with a light limp, like one might have if one of their legs were wooden.  They cry that it resembles a black dog, sort of like a bear, but closer to a wolf.  For souls that are true, he guards and protects.  For men damned to hell, he chases relentlessly through the night, in and out of their dreams, for all of eternity.

So if the weather is poor, rations are low, and you find yourself on the brink of the world, depending upon the way you have moved through your days, Apollo the Great might just be there, too!  May you be so lucky, if you are deserving.  May the Lord have mercy on your soul, if you are not.

Aaron Loring Davis

USA Maccabiah Rugby in Rugby Magazine


Thank you!  Because of the incredible support from clubs across the United States, the USA Maccabiah Rugby Team has recieved an incredible influx of new talent.

Rugby Magazine has also just published an article about us and our journey to the top.

If you know of any Jewish ruggers that might be keen to play, please direct them to or our Facebook page for more information.
With you your help, we’re going to be bringing the Gold Medal back to the US where it belongs!
USA Maccabiah Rugby

WANTED: Jewish Rugby Players – World Maccabiah Games

WANTED: Jewish Rugby Players – World Maccabiah Games


The USA Maccabiah Rugby team is actively recruiting Jewish rugby players in our quest to earn the Gold medal in the Maccabiah World Games 2013.
Please direct players to or our Facebook page for more information.
National tryouts will be held August 31-September 3rd in Chicago, IL.
Former US Eagle and Maccabiah Captain Shawn Lipman has been selected as head coach and he has gathered a world class coaching staff. The applicant list of players already includes many very talented players, including several US Eagles, top men’s club level, and collegiate stand outs.
Please let your players know about the USA Maccabiah Rugby team and tryouts.
Thank you so much and good luck this season!
Warm regards,
USA Maccabiah Rugby

1997 Gold Medal Team

1997 Gold Medal Team


2009 Bronze Medal Team

2009 Bronze Medal Team