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When I was 17 years old, I ran on the field during a Philadelphia Eagles game and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Yes, you read correctly now let me explain. The year was 1998, I was a senior in high school and the Eagles were terrible! As a wild 17 year old, clearly lacking discipline – I decided to make a move to impress a girl (remember… high school). The stage was set, Monday Night Football and once the game got out of hand, I was ready to run. After a ten foot jump down from the stands, I sprinted from end-zone to end-zone during the play.

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The players stared in confusion as I ran by…

The fans erupted with joy for the first time all night…

The overweight event staff unsuccessfully chased in anger…

The fine was a mere $100, but most importantly…

The girl, glued to the TV – was in shock as she unknowingly watched her future husband run wild.

That’s how I scored the first date with my high school sweetheart and we’ve been together, happily, ever since.

Hi I’m Ryan Somers (but you already knew that from the title) and I work on the Customer Storytelling & Promotions Team within Global Marketing. And we do just what our name says – we tell cool stories & promote the fascinating things that our customers are doing to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Based in Newtown Square, I’ve been w/ SAP for about 8 years and have worked in many different roles, under many great leaders, and with many fascinating people.

Little known secret at SAP?

I actually applied to SAP 7 times! Growing up in the area, I was always intrigued by the campus and while never quite sure what I wanted to do after college, I knew exactly where I wanted to do it. One day out of the blue, I got a call for an interview and have felt excited, empowered, and motivated to come to work every day since. Many take their employment for granted but I had to fight hard to earn the privilege of working for this great company and I’ll never forget the feeling that went through my body on my first day walking through the campus, past the flag poles, and swiping my badge for the first time… I love it here!

On the weekends?

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As a father of 3 boys (Ryan 6, Brayden 3, Jackson 1) – you can imagine how my wife, Rain and I spend our time. My oldest just started lacrosse, Brayden loves soccer, the baby is running wild, and I (in mid-life crisis mode) started playing Rugby again after a 10 year hiatus since college.

I say “mid-life crisis” because I realized that soon, I’ll be living vicariously through my boys’ sporting events, and while I can’t wait for that – I still have a little gas left in the tank – and I need to burn it. Apparently, everyone thinks I’m crazy for continuing to play and at 35 I’m the 2nd oldest on the team.

Maybe they’re right, as I sit here nursing a dislocated shoulder – among other nagging injuries. But for me, there’s nothing better than competitive sports, and it’s not just about the game. When you hear retired professional athletes speak to what they miss the most, they almost always say, “the camaraderie” and I couldn’t agree more.

There’s just something about an adrenaline pumping competition with your teammates, all pushing toward one common goal. A goal that’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than your opponent, it’s even bigger than winning (although, that’s pretty important). It’s about giving everything that you have to make sure you don’t let your brothers down. Sometimes it requires leading, sometimes following, and sometimes just being speaking through actions over words. You don’t stop playing rugby because you get too old, you simply get too old because you’ve stopped playing rugby. And I’ve learned a lot of life lessons through sports, lessons that carry over into the business world, people-first kinds of lessons.

A lot of my cravings for camaraderie come from my military background, where I’ve spent 15 years in the Air Force and still serve in the National Guard. /wp-content/uploads/2014/10/work_play_565201.jpgAnd in my experiences, looking back – some of my fondest memories are in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. It proves that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, people make the difference. I won’t lie, it’s a bit more difficult to build that level of camaraderie working with so many colleagues virtually, but it just makes those precious times when teams come together in person, all the more special! Balancing the work/life routine is something that many struggle with, but if you love what you do – there’s not really as big of a need to balance the two. Just look to your right, morphingwork & fun into one is something I’ve clearly figured out.

Nominated by my good friend, Guy Bardsley – let me answer his questions:

* Which 5 things do you want to achieve in life?

  1. Make sure none of my kids ever run on the field during an Eagles game!
  2. Instill values of Integrity, Service, & Excellence in my children and set them up for happiness and success, beyond my wildest dreams… as they strive to reach theirs.
  3. Keep a strong focus on community by ensuring I give more than I take.
  4. Grow old with my beautiful wife… like 100 years kind of old. And do so by staying active, healthy, and happy.
  5. Think up the next big thing for SAP marketing – any ideas? C’mon, you can tell me.
  6. Always travel, never lose my curiosity, happiness, motivation, and love of all people, places, and cultures.

*Dream Job As A Kid?

Easy, NFL Quarterback

*Share a fun fact/story about yourself that people don’t know?

Hopefully, the start of this blog has satisfied this request :). But to learn more about me, who I look up to, and my biggest regret – check out the questions I answer in my profile on Forbes.

If you enjoyed this style of writing, I urge you to check out my published customer content and the super cool stuff that we’re enabling them to do –> Ryan Somers

Even though it’s virtual – I still love connecting! Please reach out on LinkedIn and Twitter @airsomers

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14 Comments

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    1. Ryan Somers Post author

      Thank you! I can only be myself (everyone else is already taken). Hopefully, SCN is ok with my style and allows it to stay πŸ™‚ .

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      1. Tammy Powlas

        Nice job and thank you for serving our country in the National Guard

        I guess the Eagles don’t need you on the field this season either πŸ™‚

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  1. Matt Fraser

    I agree with Jurgen, I love the story format you use for getting your message across here. Very engaging! And quite a wild ride… πŸ™‚

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  2. Susan Keohan

    Hi Ryan, and welcome to the #BIF family!

    What an amazing story – I can only imagine your future wife’s excitement about seeing you on the screen – and how apprehensive she must have been about you after that πŸ˜‰ .

    It’s great to read about one of the story-tellers – just don’t let your rugby slow you down.  You will need all your energy for those three boys, believe me.

    Thanks for writing, and also, as Tammy said, for your service to our country. 

    PS: You need to go back to Moshe Naveh’s document and add yourself, and blog it forward to some other people too πŸ™‚

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  3. Stephen Johannes

    Awesome blog it forward and amazing story!  Thank you for your service to our country in the Air Force and continuing to serve in the National Guard.

    My biggest question is have your told your story about meeting your wife to your kids yet and if so what was their reaction?

    Take care,

    Stephen

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    1. Ryan Somers Post author

      Thank you Stephen, I’m glad you enjoyed it. And while I know my boys would enjoy the story that built the family, I couldn’t possibly in good conscience, tell that one just yet. The “wild” runs strong in my oldest and he doesn’t need any ideas!

      Enjoy the weekend!

      Ryan

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  4. Michael Mankowski

    I think the statute of limitations has expired so it is safe to comment.  Kids, don’t try this at home <running on the field> the penalties now are more severe. Great to hear your story and will figure out how to bowl and read at the same time.

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  5. swati gawade

    I just got to know about BIF, so was surfing through when i stumbled upon this one. Lets just say i dont regret how i spent my last 20 mins… very intresting story you have here

    -Swati

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