Dallas: Calm in the Mind, Devoted to the Grind
He wore a bright floral shirt, khaki shorts, and nearly matching floral print Vans. On anyone else, that outfit would appear meticulously crafted, so as to create the perfect balance of vibrant, matching colors, but on Dallas Hobbs, the entire fit appeared effortless. Effortless. When he cracks a joke, when he strums along to the beat of a song on his enormous upright bass, or when he saves a shot on the lacrosse field, it all just appears effortless.
Dallas, musical prodigy
Favorite class? Easy question, easy answer. Immediately, Dallas responds, “music, because I enjoy playing music.” His fingers jumped from string to string at breakneck speed, he maintained a look of utter bliss. Aside from his hurried hands, his body was perfectly still. Dallas plays the upright bass with the professionalism of someone who devotes as much time as possible to perfecting his performance, but that’s not his only musical talent. “I play three instruments if you count upright and electric bass as different ones. Electric bass, upright bass, and guitar.” Nor is it even his strongest one. “I’ve been playing electric bass the longest, and I think that’s the one I’m best at, and it’s also my favorite. I’ve been playing that one since sixth grade.” Dallas’ cool demeanor makes it seem as though he has been a musical master for all of his life.
If you were to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
After spending a minute collecting his thoughts, Dallas responds, “fun-loving. That’s hyphenated. And then hard worker.” To the casual observer, Dallas the musician, goalie and student is fun-loving and chill. What that casual observer misses is just as important: Dallas the hard worker, a man devoted to self-improvement. Dallas mused, “I’m never really satisfied with how good I am at something, which used to kind of annoy me a lot, but I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be as good as I want to be at something, and I use that to help me improve.” Mr. Hobbs’ constant dissatisfaction has evolved from a constraint into an inspiration, pushing him to work harder, to achieve more.
As his teammate of three years on MA Lacrosse, I have witnessed this work ethic in action. For me, the first time I picked up a lacrosse stick was on the first day of practice during my freshman year. For Dallas, freshman year also marked a turning point in his LAX career. When asked about his own lacrosse history, Dallas mused, “I played lacrosse for a while, but I never really liked it until freshman year.” Why? “Eighth grade was when I started playing goalie, and I didn’t have to run, and that’s why I started liking it.” However, when Dallas exchanged his lax stick for a wider lax stick and became a goaltender, he didn’t stop working. If anything, he has worked harder. Under the intense pressure of the goalkeeping position, Dallas has never cracked.
Dallas, what a chill guy!
When I asked him about his calm demeanor, Dallas responded almost immediately, as if he’d been asked this question a thousand times. He philosophized, “It’s more just my outlook on things. Since I kind of feel like there’s not much control I have, so I kind of just accept it. Like if I get a bad grade, and I get it back, I think like oh, that kinda sucks but I can’t do anything about it now.” During music class, as he picked at the bass, I watched him miss a note, and then just keep on going, as if nothing had happened, because that’s the kind of person that he is. A hard worker, but one who never tries to take anything too seriously.
Dallas, movie man and icon.
“Big Lebowski, Whiplash, and Pulp Fiction.” It’s not surprising that these are Dallas’ favorite movies. Big Lebowski: laid back, definitely Dallas. Whiplash: musical prodigy, certainly fits Mr. Hobbs’ persona. Finally, Pulp Fiction: a unique and iconic film, for an equally iconic figure at Marin Academy. A large part of what makes Dallas so iconic is his lustrous hair, not rivaled by any fellow student or teacher. When I asked him about how his haircut came to be, he responded, “I’ve never really liked having short hair. I kind of had a bit of a bowl cut going freshman year, but during the lacrosse season there was a rule that not very many people followed that said that we weren’t supposed to cut our hair for the entire season, because of the rule and partly because I wanted to grow my hair out.” Dallas never tried to be an icon. He just was. Another thing that draws your attention to Dallas Hobbs is his name. When I asked him how his parents decided to name him so uniquely, he responded with two competing stories. First, “that my dad is from Texas and they thought that Dallas was the best sounding one for a name.” Alternatively, “the other story that my mom told me, I haven’t confirmed this, she said they saw an Allstate commercial and the spokesperson’s name was Dallas.” Named after a Texan city, or an Allstate spokesperson. Either way, Dallas is an icon.