Gratitude towards my loss
"The two most important days in one’s life, is the day that you are born and the day when you realize your purpose. While competing as a long jumper on the 1996 National Championship Track and Field Team at the University of Arkansas, I had the fortunate opportunity of receiving a major spinal injury. It was a rainy afternoon, and I needed just one more jump to finish up practice. As I sprinted down the runway, I felt fatigue starting to trickle throughout my body. This fatigue caused an error on my take-off forcing my left leg to extend to far out in front of my body. At the moment of impact, I felt an electrically current jolt run from my left heel to my hip. I crashed to the ground with numbness down my left leg. I had fractured my tailbone, several discs and rupturing several vertebras. My title as an athlete was over… For 6-months, I laid helpless in a body-brace. Thirteen surgeries were required to put my body back together. After the initial, grieving, I began to focus on would what become my life’s mantra, “Never Give Yourself the Opportunity to Ask What?” I learned this statement at the age of 12, while my father and I were watching a televised football game. During the game my dad asked a unique question, “Who do you think is the best player in the stadium?” I answered, naming the typical glorified positions, of quarterback, running back and linebacker and with each positioned named, and he would answer with a strong “No”. He stated that the best player is not involved in today’s game. He is a fan, who now cheers from the stands because he gave up on his dream and opportunity to write his history. My father continued on with the story, saying that because this gentleman got knocked down and decided not to get up, he allowed life to write a tragedy; not a triumph. He followed that story by stating, what ever you happens in life get up and never give-in and “Never give yourself the opportunity to ask what if?” That statement, made me realize that I my decision would either title me as a ‘Victor’ or ‘Victim’. I was no one’s fan and did not aim to cheer on anyone, but myself. It was at the moment that I remembered what the words my father spoke; I decided to write my history. Be the author of my life and seek out a profession that would allow me to have people present their best selves to me."
My Rapport…My Success.
"My opportunities of struggle provide with the ability to create a faster rapport with people. They allow me to engage and inspire, at a heightened rate of congruency mush quicker than most, as I can easily talk the talk…by having walked the walk. It was these opportunities that led me to a 10-year coaching career in professional athletics in such leagues as the National Football League, Minor League Baseball and World Championship boxing. It was also, these opportunities that led me to find a diamond in the rough, developing a 28-year old beer truck driver named Michael Lewis into becoming one of the greatest NFL return man of all time."
Laying Down the Foundation
"As a child I wore various negative labels. To the average man, these of the labels of abused, unintelligent would lead to becoming a victim. To me, I have been fortunate to use them to create a rapport with people. So much in that as my name gained status with in the fitness industry, a company by the name of Exercise for Medicine took notice. Exercise for Medicine is a health and wellness based company that aids in the development of public health platforms. One of the social problems that they were looking to combat was obesity and how to create a bridge a gap between the sick and teaching them to become healthy. They needed to make a connection, a rapport and provide sustainable outcomes. Together, we developed a 12-week personal engagement program that is designed to engage the employee by identifying their needs, while providing opportunities for learning, development, recognition and self-empowerment. This can happen by thinking outside of the traditional 'Wellness Box'. Personal engagement, creating quick rapports and inspiring the uninspired and I had a hit. Along with a group of businessmen, we developed the Health Intervention Platform, Off the Scale that now resides in Mt. Sinai Hospital Systems. This program shined a new light on ability to reach people, and catapulted me onto an ABC Network Show, keynote speaking engagement and an invitation to speak to TEDx, where I presented the talk Diet and Exercise Makes You Fat."
Creating Lives that Matter
"Call me a failure, I call it my greatest ability to relate and inspire. The various labels that I wore: abused, dumb, broken and has been allowed me to create extremely quick rapports with people. These rapports did not go unnoticed and a company by the Exercise is Medicine came knocking. This company helped develop programs for health-based social issues. The issue that they wanted me to solve, in the corporate wellness space, how to slow, stops and reverses chronic conditions associated with obesity. I dove hard into Alcoholics Anymous, attending meetings and studying why people do what they do. Or, in my terms, there is a reason ‘why’ Ben & Jerry and Johnny Walker showed up at your door late at night. Through this personal-research, I developed a 12-week personal engagement program that is designed to engage the employee by identifying their needs, while providing opportunities for learning, development, recognition and self-empowerment. This can happen by thinking outside of the traditional 'Wellness Box'. Personal engagement, creating quick rapports and inspiring the uninspired and I had a hit. Along with a group of businessmen, we developed the Health Intervention Platform, Off the Scale that now resides in Mt. Sinai Hospital Systems. This program shined a new light on ability to reach people, and catapulted me onto an ABC Network Show, keynote speaking engagement and an invitation to speak to TEDx, where I presented the talk Diet and Exercise Makes You Fat."
"What goes up…does not always have to come down. Unless you seek to fill a void, or send out into the Universe words or actions that attract negativity…then things will fall. And, fall is what they did. Divorced, bankrupt and illness were the titles that I wore. It was as though my mantra had left my side and I had decided to be a fan and cheer on someone else’s victory. I had regressed back to the point in time watching that football game with my father. Yet, this time the lesson hadn’t been shared. The title ‘victim’ would be worn and I too would be cheering on as a fan for someone else’s success. I regressed back to my track and field days and re-engineered my landing. The rapport that I had to now make was with me. The lessons, the successful failures and labels of which I wore, were needed to be spoken in a way that would be congruent with my current statement. I accepted the present, dusted myself off and got back on my runway of life."
My Life…My Fault.
"In my life, I blame no one. Everything in my life, is my fault and I am so thankful for all of my successes. However, I am more thankful for my failures. For, without them I would not have been able to see life from the bottom; loved like it I was going to lose it; live like I was going to die and hear my son make the statement, ""Dad, when I grow up...I want to be just like you."""