There’s nothing cooler to me than seeing someone who is out in the world doing something they’re passionate about. Whether it’s some lucky SOB who gets to play their favorite sport, musicians, or even someone who genuinely likes their full time job.

One of my friends landed a job at Honda Kawasaki working with motorcycle and dirt bike operations – not much of a motorcycle fanatic but this guy fucking loves motocross. He watched Disney’s OG, Motocrossed one time and was sold instantly; now I couldn’t be more ecstatic that he’s telling me he wakes up happy to go to work.

Nurses and teachers seem to love their jobs too. It has to be a rewarding feeling taking care of society’s medical needs, and molding the minds of youths. Getting summer vacation as an adult has to be a major selling point for teaching.

I’d say the hardest thing for me to adjust to, ya know being an adult and all, is not having a summer vacation. My sister got done last week and I’m thinking, “Great, you get three months of carefree-ness ahead of you while I’m sitting in an office when it’s 83 and there’s not a cloud in the sky.” We’ll eventually end up having the same amount of summer vacations so I can’t complain too much. What I’m getting at is

Scrolling through Instagram is always fun because people post shit about EVERYTHING. I dig pictures of puppies, new born babies are adorable, and seeing engagements are heart warming, but selfies and progress pictures are the absolute worst. Yeah, you’ve achieved summer 2K18 body status but it better not come with a mile long caption of how hard it is to stay motivated but hard work and perseverance will prevail. Duh, it’s exercising nobody wants to do it. You’re putting in work to stop your body from doing what it’s genetically designed to do.

One Instagram account I thoroughly enjoy seeing is my buddy from high school, Marquez {Quez} Beeks. Our lockers were hella close to each other all four years and I remember seeing him and then hearing him yell “YOU BETTER GET TO HOMEROOM MR BLAHUNKA!” Oh the good ol’ days, how we used to laugh.

Quez has been all over the map since graduation, six years ago. Not literally traveling the map but movin’ and groovin’ to his own beat. He started off playing some JUCO football at College of Dupage and then a couple more years at Fayetteville State. During his time away in North Carolina, he came up with a non-profit organization to help give back. Now, I recently saw a post that I should go listen to his newly released hit single on Spotify.

I slid in his DM’s and asked if I could hear his story on where he started and how he got to where he’s at now. I think it’s important for kids in high school, nearing the college mark of life, to be cognizant that the path they have paved is subject to change and life doesn’t follow the same agenda.

After graduation, he was all aboard the college athlete train. Started out in JUCO and worked his way up to playing D2 ball. Super athletic guy, he posted his speed and agility videos on Facebook that got me amped. I was ready to watch him catch a ball on the tail end of a back flip. With the help of his agent, Quez found himself in conversation with scouts from the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins around the time of the draft.

“At the end of the day, it didn’t pan out but the whole process of being able to talk with NFL scouts was pretty dope.”

During his last semester of school, he came up with the idea for his non-profit organization, Touching Soles. His efforts started in his hometown of Rockford, at West Middle School, scattered throughout Illinois, and even in Miami for a minute. He attended a career day and gave away seven pairs of shoes and a couple of pairs at a local community center.

“I’ve always wanted to give back. That was one thing that I knew, whatever I did in life, I wanted to give back.”

Quez holds this as one of his highest priorities and has ambitions of starting a scholarship for students within the next five years. As for now, shoes ain’t cheap and all of them are coming out of his pocket so check out his site and donate to the betterment of mankind.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a post from Quez saying that he released his first single, Rock Out, and I can listen to it now on SoundCloud and Spotify… Damn, on Spotify? That’s legit – I use that shit everyday. Gave the song a gander and it was an instant vibe.

“I got the beat from a guy in London and I was sitting there listening to it and the lyrics just came to me. The whole thing with Rock Out is I just want to have a good time. I’ve got my crew behind me and we’re gonna rock out, that’s the vision. Team no sleep.”

Music video coming soon:

One of his big time motivators is, long time amigo, Fred VanVleet. They started playing basketball against each other around 5-6 years old and really began a friendship during their time at West Middle School. Growing up with someone and watching their dreams become a reality has to be a surreal feeling. Going from watching Lebron and Kobe games at 12 years old, to watching your homie square up with Lebron’s bitch ass is wild. #GoCeltics

Luke: “So you talk to Fred often?”
Quez: “Shit, I talk to him everyday. He’s on his way here now.”
Luke: “Seriously? Cool.”

Quez, it was truly a pleasure chatting with you and hearing your incredibly interesting story. You’re a role model to all and don’t stop grinding until you’re where you want to be. It’s a good story to hear because as much as you want to be able to plan every aspect of your life out, ya just can’t. Not 100% accurately, at least. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing what you want, follow your gut, and don’t be afraid to make a couple changes along the way.