Friday, February 29, 2008



February 29, 2008

With an Iron Will, He Finds a Way


Michael E. Keating/The Cincinnati Enquirer

Dustin Carter, competing in the district tournament, had amputations after contracting a rare bacterial infection when he was 5.

GOSHEN, Ohio — The scream that Dustin Carter let loose in a gym here last weekend conveyed equal parts pain and elation. It was the sound of glory for a high school senior who wrestles unlike any of his opponents.

Carter, 18, is a 103-pounder whose legs end at his hips, whose right arm stops just after his elbow and whose left arm is even shorter. He had the rest taken from him at age 5 because of a blood infection that required extensive amputations.

His life is not easy, but he gets by just fine — particularly on the wrestling mat. His scream was his guttural recognition that he had earned a berth in the state’s Division II wrestling tournament, finishing third in his region and carving out his place among the best wrestlers in Ohio. On Thursday in Columbus, he won a match in triple overtime to reach the quarterfinals.

“He’s our miracle,” said his mother, Lori Carter. “He’s my hero. He’s my son, but he’s also my hero.”

Carter has compiled a 41-2 record this season for Hillsboro High School, about 55 miles east of Cincinnati. He has also won a handful of tournaments and inspired nearly everyone who has watched him.

“His perseverance speaks for itself,” said Scott Goodpaster, Carter’s trainer. “He wants to win. He wakes up every day wanting to win. This is his passion, and he bleeds for it. He works so hard to get by in life.”

Nearly every task would seem to pose a challenge, even if Carter makes things look easy. To drink his Vitamin Water, for instance, he unscrews the cap with his teeth or with his short arms, balances the bottle with his bottom nubs while regripping with his arms, tilts the liquid into his throat and moves on to his next destination with the bottle in his mouth.

He can do 20 chin-ups with a 40-pound weight attached to his neck. He can lift weights. About the only thing he cannot do, Goodpaster said, is cut his own steak.

When he was 5, Carter contracted meningococcemia, an acute bacterial infection of the bloodstream. By the time his mother had rushed him to the hospital, he had a temperature of 104 and splotchy skin. He stopped breathing and his heart stopped while he was being airlifted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, according to family members. The medics brought him back three times before stabilizing him.

Carter, it seemed, was being stubborn.

“He had always been competitive and very strong-willed and determined — always,” his mother said. “It used to get him in trouble. He was a terror before he got sick. He was stubborn and strong-willed. Thank God he got those qualities.”

While doctors attended to Carter at Children’s Hospital and told his parents he might not last the night, his father, Russ, found his way to the chapel and prayed for a miracle. An hour later, when Russ returned to the room, his son’s vital signs had improved.

Two and a half months later, Carter left the hospital free from the infection but facing a life full of new obstacles.

“After about a year, he started getting out there and doing normal things,” Russ Carter said. “He realized he could do this stuff. He wasn’t really restricted to anything he wanted to do. I don’t help him with anything. I might help him to speed him up, but he doesn’t want the help. He’s stubborn.”

Carter decided in eighth grade that he wanted to wrestle. The day his son told him, Russ Carter said, “I knew there wasn’t going to be an argument about it.”

After the matches on Saturday, a district tournament official asked Carter to fill out a form for the state meet. The official said Carter’s coach, Nathan Horne, could write the answers if he needed help. Nope, Carter responded, taking the pen with both arms. He would do it himself — and with decent handwriting, no less.

That determination would serve him well in the future. He hopes to wrestle in college and would like to be a motivational speaker and nutritionist.

“I don’t look at myself as different,” said Carter, who uses prosthetic legs when he is not wrestling. “I wrestle like anybody else. I go to school like anybody else. I can live on my own like anybody else. I can do anything anybody else can do. I don’t like people feeling sorry for me. Some people do.”

None of those people were with him Saturday in a Goshen High School gym full of fans who rose and awarded him a standing ovation as he screamed.

When time finally ran out during his consolation semifinals match against Dustin Davidson, the scoreboard showed a 3-1 victory for Carter. Knowing the victory had landed him in the state tournament, he scurried to the middle of the mat, lifted his head toward the ceiling and roared. Not once, but twice.

“I’ll never forget it,” Carter said. “I’ve been waiting for this too long. It was my last chance. I’ve been struggling to sleep all weekend. I’ve been dreaming about my matches. It’s stayed in my head too long. That was everything coming out.”

His family, wearing buttons with pictures of Carter, surrounded him as he galloped to his father and leaped into his arms. They cried into each other’s shoulders. The friends and family who surrounded them shed tears, as well.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt such elation in my life,” Lori Carter said, struggling to keep her voice steady. “He’s worked so hard. After everything he’s been through, he deserves his dream.”

Thursday, February 28, 2008



Risk anything!

Care no more

for the opinion of others,

for those voices.

Do the hardest

thing on earth

for you.

Act for yourself.

Face the truth.

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


A Paragon Rising above the Madness
By Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated

On Tuesday the best man I know will do what he always does on the 21st of the month. He'll sit down and pen a love letter to his best girl. He'll say how much he misses her and loves her and can't wait to see her again. Then he'll fold it once, slide it in a little envelope and walk into his bedroom. He'll go to the stack of love letters sitting there on her pillow, untie the yellow ribbon, place the new one on top and tie the ribbon again.

The stack will be 180 letters high then, because Tuesday is 15 years to the day since Nellie, his beloved wife of 53 years, died. In her memory, he sleeps only on his half of the bed, only on his pillow, only on top of the sheets, never between, with just the old bedspread they shared to keep him warm.

There's never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach. He won 10 NCAA basketball championships at UCLA, the last in 1975. Nobody has ever come within six of him. He won 88 straight games between Jan. 30, 1971, and Jan. 17, 1974. Nobody has come within 42 since. So, sometimes, when the Madness of March gets to be too much -- too many players trying to make SportsCenter, too few players trying to make assists, too many coaches trying to be homeys, too few coaches willing to be mentors, too many freshmen with out-of-wedlock kids, too few freshmen who will stay in school long enough to become men -- I like to go see Coach Wooden. I visit him in his little condo in Encino, 20 minutes northwest of L.A., and hear him say things like "Gracious sakes alive!" and tell stories about teaching "Lewis" the hook shot. Lewis Alcindor, that is. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

There has never been another coach like Wooden, quiet as an April snow and square as a game of checkers; loyal to one woman, one school, one way; walking around campus in his sensible shoes and Jimmy Stewart morals. He'd spend a half hour the first day of practice teaching his men how to put on a sock. "Wrinkles can lead to blisters," he'd warn. These huge players would sneak looks at one another and roll their eyes. Eventually, they'd do it right. "Good," he'd say. "And now for the other foot."

Of the 180 players who played for him, Wooden knows the whereabouts of 172. Of course, it's not hard when most of them call, checking on his health, secretly hoping to hear some of his simple life lessons so that they can write them on the lunch bags of their kids, who will roll their eyes. "Discipline yourself, and others won't need to," Coach would say. "Never lie, never cheat, never steal," Coach would say. "Earn the right to be proud and confident."

You played for him, you played by his rules: Never score without acknowledging a teammate. One word of profanity, and you're done for the day. Treat your opponent with respect.

He believed in hopelessly out-of-date stuff that never did anything but win championships. No dribbling behind the back or through the legs. "There's no need," he'd say. No UCLA basketball number was retired under his watch. "What about the fellows who wore that number before? Didn't they contribute to the team?" he'd say. "No long hair, no facial hair. They take too long to dry, and you could catch cold leaving the gym," he'd say.

That one drove his players bonkers. One day, All-America center Bill Walton showed up with a full beard. "It's my right," he insisted. Wooden asked if he believed that strongly. Walton said he did. "That's good, Bill," Coach said. "I admire people who have strong beliefs and stick by them, I really do. We're going to miss you." Walton shaved it right then and there. Now Walton calls once a week to tell Coach he loves him.

It's always too soon when you have to leave the condo and go back out into the real world, where the rules are so much grayer and the teams so much worse. As Wooden shows you to the door, you take one last look around. The framed report cards of the great-grandkids. The boxes of jelly beans peeking out from under the favorite wooden chair. The dozens of pictures of Nellie.

He's almost 90 now, you think. A little more hunched over than last time. Steps a little smaller. You hope it's not the last time you see him. He smiles. "I'm not afraid to die," he says. "Death is my only chance to be with her again."

Problem is, we still need him here.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Throughout life’s path,
many of us are faced with

In other aspects of our lives,
we have
in someone or something.

Definition of FEAR:

It is something
that hasn’t happened
but we feel that
it will happen
in the future.

Definition of FAITH:

It is something
that hasn’t happened
but we feel that
it will happen
in the future.

The only difference
is how we perceive things.

If we trust
in our spirit,
will surely

But, if we trust
in our flesh,

Look at things
in light,
not darkness,
shall retreat.

-- Jeff Linder

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Maybe you saw the actor Kirk Douglas on the 1997 Academy Awards telecast. You might remember that he had recently suffered a paralyzing stroke that left him speaking with a pronounced stutter. For some it was a sad sight: the legendary actor, once the pillar of strength, brought low by age and illness, barely able to get words out of his mouth.

But to Douglas’ friends and family, his appearance represented the greatest comeback of his career, because his medical advisers had doubted that he’d ever speak again, much less on national television.

His secret?

Kirk Douglas was able to set a single initial goal and achieve that goal, no matter how long it took.

“The most crippling thing about a stroke is the depression,” he told The Spectator, a London daily newspaper. “When I first had my stroke and couldn’t speak, I wanted to crawl up to bed and cry. And then you get to the point where you say, ‘Enough of the self-pity.’ Then you get to work.”

The first act was honestly assessing his situation.

The second act was setting a single, simple goal.

For Douglas, that goal presented itself in the form of his four-year-old granddaughter. After three months, Douglas couldn’t speak as well as she could. His first goal was to speak as well as a four-year-old. One day, he said the word “transcontinental.” His granddaughter couldn’t say it.

“I knew I was at least moving ahead of a four-year-old,” he says.

His first goal reached, Douglas kept moving forward to bigger, tougher words, until he had resurrected his speech and resumed his life.

“Some people who have strokes just give up,” he says. “And then you have people waiting on you. I try to avoid that. Someone will say to me, ‘Would you like me to get you some water?’ And I say, ‘No, I will get it myself.’ I need to feel self-sufficient, that I am able to do the simple things.”

Think of it: the famous actor, who lives by his ability to speak and act, unable to speak. The famous movie star, so associated with strength, exhibiting a weakness every time he opened his mouth.

Douglas is no different from you and me.

Consider your own weakness, determine an initial goal, then work toward achieving that goal until it’s accomplished.

One goal will lead to another and another, providing you a virtual ladder toward your comeback.

This an excerpt from:
The Gospel of Good Success
by Kirbyjon H. Caldwell
published by Simon & Schuster

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The loser is almost always part of the problem.
The winner is almost always part of the solution.

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

Losers focus on the problems.
Winners focus on possibilities.

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

When confronted with a problem, losers get frustrated.
When confronted with a problem, winners get fascinated.

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

The loser says, “That’s not my job.”
The winner says, “Let me do it for you.”

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

The loser sees a problem for every answer.
The winner sees an answer for every problem.

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

The loser focuses on the sand traps near the green.
The winner focuses on the green near the sand traps.

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

The loser says, “It’s difficult.”
The winner says, “It’s not difficult, it’s just time consuming.”

Losers quit when they are tired.
Winners quit when they have won.

Losers make promises.
Winners keep commitments.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Twenty-eight years ago today, a hockey coach gave a peptalk to his team.

He said . . .
“You were meant to be here.
You were born to be a hockey player.
This moment is yours.”

Here’s the story behind the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team . . .

They were “supposed to” lose to the invincible Russians.

But the United States won.


That night even though the Russians were the better team, the United States was the team that played better.

Here’s a little piece of trivia . . .

Three days before the Olympic Games began in 1980, at an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the same two teams met. The Russians beat the Americans by a score of 10-3.

Al Michaels, who covered that game as a sportscaster for
NBC, reported that the Americans were so outclassed that night they were lucky they didn’t lose by a score of 20-0!

After that game, United States coach Herb Brooks knew that his first job was not to let his team lose hope.

Ten days after that humiliating loss, the U.S. played the Russians for real in the Olympic tournament.

Final score . . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MESSAGE #323 - T.E.A.M.

One spring day, a small boy tried to move a big rock in his backyard so he could start his garden.

He tried, and tried, and tried, but the he couldn’t budge the rock even a little bit.

His father watched from the porch, and finally he asked his son whether he was using all of his strength.

The boy said, “Yes, I am.”

“No, you’re not,” said the father. “You haven’t asked me to help you!”

T = Together
E = Everyone
A = Achieves
M = More

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This message is dedicated to one of my teachers
who really made a huge difference in my life:
THE GREAT Anné Linden

This story is from Anné’s book –
Mindworks . . .

Once on the west coast of Ireland there lived
a seagull whose name was Jake O’Shaunessy.

Jake was a healthy, handsome, and intelligent
seagull, but he was not able to fly.

When he was just a wee bird, Jake’s parents
and siblings had been lost in a severe storm
and he had no one to teach him.

He grew older and decided to try to learn by
himself. He watched other seagulls and
imitated them.

He ran along the ground and flapped his
wings and hopped up and down, trying to get
into the air, but nothing would happen,
and the young seagulls laughed at him because Jake looked so funny.

Some of the older seagulls tried to teach
him, but each one told Jake a different way of
learning to fly, and Jake tried to think of all
the ways each of the seagulls had told him:

“Flap your wings more, get your feet back,
head straight,” and all the other instructions.

He was thinking so hard about what everyone
had told him that he wasn’t able to get off the
ground. He began to believe something was
wrong with him, that he would never fly.

He tried going to the top of a cliff and jumping off, but he simply fell to the bottom. He went to a higher cliff, over the sea, closed his eyes, and jumped.

Again, he fell.

Other seagulls took pity on Jake and tried to take care of him. But this made him feel more discouraged than ever . . .

One day, a very old and wise seagull flew in to the western coast where Jake lived. He listened to Jake’s problem and told him to climb to the top of a special cliff, the highest and steepest one. On the top of this cliff he would find a large boulder, and on this boulder was written a secret message. This was the message Jake needed in order to fly, the wise bird told him.

No seagull had ever climbed such a steep cliff before. Jake had to tie starfish to his feet to help him with the suction. He climbed slowly, painfully, and finally reached the top. He saw the large boulder.

On it was written:

What you believe -- you can do!

Jake looked down from the dizzying cliff and was terrified, but he closed his eyes and jumped. He started to drop, and as he did, he remembered to say to himself, “I believe I can fly, I believe I can fly.” He was so busy saying it that he forgot to doubt himself.

Instead of paying attention to all the different things he’d been told to do, he just did it. And he found himself flying -- flying like any other seagull, with wings outstretched, gliding on the winds. It was the most wonderful moment of his life. He flew and dipped and never once wondered if he was doing it right. Far below on the sand, the other seagulls, who were watching him, heard him sing out, “I can fly! I believe!”

Monday, February 18, 2008


The impossible is what nobody does until somebody does.

Before you think you have an “impossible” task confronting you,

let Aaron motivate you . . .

Article From

Young Athlete Accomplishes Wheelchair Back Flip
By Dr. Gene Emmer
2006-08-31, 15:36

Aaron Fotheringham is one of a small, but growing group of elite wheelchair athletes. Aaron is a ‘wheelchair skateboarder’, or as he prefers to call himself, a ‘Hardcore Sitter’. Wheelchair skateboarders do with their wheelchairs, what other athletes do with their skateboards. They make spectacular leaps and jumps from amazing heights and try not to injure themselves in the process. But Aaron has accomplished feats in his wheelchair, which no person has ever done before. Last year, he astonished the community with a mid-air 180 degree turn.

Tn last month, at the age of 14, Aaron became the first person in history to do a back flip somersault in a wheelchair. To see a video of Aaron performing the back flip click here:

In a recent interview, Aaron discussed his record breaking backflip with Dr. Gene Emmer of NewDisability.Com. Aaron told NewDisability that it took about 50 or 60 jumps into cushions, before he attempted a jump onto a ramp. Then after another 15 further attempts, sometimes resulting in getting knocked out, he managed to make a successful landing. Since then he has accomplished about 20 to 25 successful backflips.

Others have tried to make the jump but, according to Aaron, have not gotten the full rotation even into the foam cushions.

Aaron’s jumps have been costly. He has broken his elbow and gotten more than a few bumps and bruises, as can be seen in a video which documents some of his extreme wheelchair tricks:

John Box, of Colours Wheelchairs Aaron’s sponsor, said, “Everyone at Colours is proud of Aaron. We are his biggest fans. Aaron works very hard to be the best. We are working closely with Aaron to further develop the Boing! suspension wheelchair so Aaron can keep pushing the limits.”

When asked about the many hours of practice Aaron responded “I don’t think of it as practice, I think of it as a fun way to live my life.” To see the full interview with Aaron Fotheringham Click here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Ricky Byrdsong (1956-1999) was the basketball coach at Northwestern University.

The following passage is taken form his book, Coaching Your Kids in the Game of Life . . .

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Tenth grade, Frederick Douglas High School in Atlanta.

Tall and gangly, I was pushing my way through the crowded hallway.

All of a sudden a big, booming voice pealed like a thunderclap behind me:


It was Coach William Lester. He was a big barrel-chested man, six feet, four inches. Besides being the junior varsity basketball coach, he also had a reputation as the school disciplinarian, so the first thing I thought was, uh-oh, somebody’s in trouble.

He fixed me with his piercing eyes and bellowed,


Weak-kneed, I started walking toward him. Oh my, what had I done?

I stopped in front of him, all six feet, five inches of me trembling in my shoes.

“Son!” he said, looking me up and down. “You’re too big to be walking these halls and not playing basketball. I’ll see you in the gym at 3:30 today.”

“But Coach!” I sputtered. “I’ve never played basketball. I don’t have any basketball clothes or shoes.”

“Son! Did you hear what I said? I’ll see you at 3:30!” And he walked away.

So I went.

And from that day until now, there’s no question in my mind that everything that has happened to me since, becoming a basketball player, then a coach, raising my three kids, writing a book, is a result of that day when Coach called me out and said, “HEY, SON! YES YOU!”

Up until that point, I hadn’t been a troublemaker, but I was drifting. I had no idea what my goals were or where I was heading.

Coach Lester helped me see something bigger out there. I remember when he told me, “You can get a college scholarship.”

When I said, “But I don’t know how. I don’t have it,” he said, “Yes, you do. I’m going to show you. I’m going to work with you. You can do it.”

And he was right.

I knew it the day I stepped foot on a college campus, scholarship in hand. He believed in me.

Many times since that day, I heard that big voice bellow, “Hey, son!”

I’ve thought, if only every kid had a Coach William Lester to believe in him, what a difference it would make.


Saturday, February 16, 2008


Hulda Crooks was a mountain climber from Loma Linda, California.

It took her three days to reach the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan. When Crooks reached the top of the 12,385 foot mountain at 3:45 a.m, she said, “It’s wonderful. You always feel good when you made a goal.”

Hulda Crooks was the oldest woman ever to conquer Mount Fuji.

She was 91 years old.

Your age is none of your business.



Ladies and Gentlemen, the great Bob Dylan . . .

Friday, February 15, 2008


The most wonderful song ever . . .

sung by one of the most wonderful singers ever.

Thursday, February 14, 2008




-- Rob Gilbert


-- Thomas Edison

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


On February 14, an old man carrying a dozen red roses got on a bus.

He found a seat on the aisle beside a young man.

The young man looked at the flowers and said, “Somebody’s going to get a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift.”

“Yes,” said the old man.

A few minutes passed and the old man noticed that the young man kept staring at the roses.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” the old man asked.

“I do,” said the young man. “I’m going to see her right now and I’m taking her this. It’s all I can afford.” He held up a Valentine’s Day card.

The two men rode in silence for another 10 minutes. Then the old man rose to get off the bus. As he stepped out into the aisle, he suddenly placed the roses on the young man’s lap and said, “I think my wife would want you to have these. I’ll tell her I gave them to you.”

He left the bus.

As the bus pulled away, the young man saw the old man cross the street and enter the gates of a cemetery.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Don’t even think of watching these two videos until you’ve read yesterday’s blog.

Yesterday I posted a New York Times article about a miracle.

So read the article then watch these two videos . . . and then tell me whether you think it’s a miracle or not.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.

Weaknesses become strengths.

Problems become possibilities.

Want proof?

Read this.

From today’s New York Times . . .

February 11, 2008

Spotlight Shines on a Changed Man


WAYNE, N.J. — The walls of the jail cell were built from stone, providing the perfect place for David Tyree to hit rock bottom. Arrested for drug possession after the police found half a pound of marijuana in his car, caged between stone walls and steel bars, Tyree covered his face with his hands.

Those hands, with awkwardly bent fingers and mangled knuckles, grabbed national attention years later. During the Giants’ improbable Super Bowl victory over the undefeated Patriots, Tyree caught a desperation pass on the winning drive by pinning the ball against his helmet.

The catch introduced the 28-year-old Tyree to the world. He made the cover of Sports Illustrated and flew last week to Los Angeles to appear on national talk shows.

“What looked to be the lowest point in my life ended up being the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Tyree, speaking of his arrest in 2004, said Saturday morning while sitting at his kitchen table.

From special-teams demon to Super Bowl deity. From moonlighting drug dealer to born-again Christian. From a child who drank alcohol and smoked marijuana with his family to a sober father and husband who started his own nonprofit organization.

This is Tyree’s version of his transformation.

The first time he can remember vomiting after drinking alcohol was in eighth grade. By his junior year at Montclair High School, he celebrated the same way after every football game — drinking a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor and a half-pint of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and smoking a blunt, a skinny cigar hollowed and filled with marijuana.

Tyree’s mother, Thelma, tolerated drug use in her home. She also smoked marijuana. Her philosophy, according to Tyree: “She would rather us be at home, acting the complete fool under her watch, than out on the streets, doing the same things and finding trouble that was definitely waiting for us. My house was a free-for-all.”

“Patrolling the devil’s den,” is how Tyree describes his high school life. He said that Thelma was a wonderful mother, that they were as close as mother and son could be. He does not want their relationship misinterpreted.

Born in East Orange, N.J., raised mostly in Montclair, Tyree developed a mentality built on toughness. This served him well on the football field and helped him find trouble off it.

In college at Syracuse, Tyree often drank until he blacked out. One morning, he woke up naked. Another morning, he woke up covered in mud. Each time, he could not remember why.

The Giants drafted Tyree in the sixth round in 2003. He went to church and claimed to be a Christian. But he also wanted to live what he called “an N.F.L. lifestyle” — booze and drugs and women, all readily available since he had money.

In his rookie season, Tyree was the N.F.L.’s special-teams rookie of the year and the Giants’ rookie of the year. But his seemingly perfect life was unraveling.

Near the end of Tyree’s rookie season, Coach Jim Fassel fined him $10,000 for being late to a team meeting. Tyree apologized the next day and thanked Fassel for the lesson in maturity. Fassel said he could not remember anyone ever thanking him for a fine.

Privately, Tyree figured he would recoup the fine.

“I’m smoking the best bud, so I might as well start selling it,” he said of his thinking. “That just shows you the mind-set that you have. You’ve got gangsters, you listen to 50 Cent, all this craziness. That’s the life I was living. So it made sense, man. ‘I just lost 10 G’s. I’ve got to hit the streets and get my money back.’ ”

The morning Tyree left jail, in March 2004, his estranged girlfriend, Leilah, sent him a text message. It read, “I’m with child.” She was pregnant with their second son.

He promised to visit her in Syracuse and went home and downed a bottle of Rémy Martin cognac. During the visit that month, Leilah presented Tyree with an ultimatum — her lifestyle or his.

Tyree promised change, just as he had promised before. He glimpsed a Bible on her bed, and when he picked it up and started reading from the book of Genesis, for the first time, the words on the page made sense. He went home and “called every woman and told them, ‘Things are about to change.’” Tyree said he never drank again.

Then one day, for no reason in particular, Tyree went to the Bethel Church of Love and Praise in Bloomfield, N.J. He sat in the back, about a month after the arrest.

A woman started singing before the congregation, her voice, loud and passionate, filling the room. As Tyree listened, he felt her joy and realized he had none. He lowered his head into his hands and started crying, first sniffles, then sobs lasting 25 minutes.

“I’m a successful player in the N.F.L., having what most people would desire for their lives,” Tyree said. “I’m at the pinnacle of sports. But I had no joy. I had no peace. My life was obviously in disarray.”

As Tyree talks, his family floats between the kitchen and the living room. His 6-year-old son, Teyon, grabs the digital recorder off the table. His 3-year-old son, Josiah, watches a movie in the basement. Leilah, now his wife, prepares for an afternoon baby shower. She is expecting twin girls later this month.

Missing from the picture is Thelma, who died in December of a heart attack at age 59. After Tyree found God, they went through a rough patch. He described himself then as “the Christian you don’t like,” someone who was overbearing in his beliefs. He sometimes told his mother: “You need to find Jesus. You’re going to hell.”

When Thelma died in Florida, a few years after she said she found God, her final words were: “I’m liberated.”

Up the coast, Tyree and the Giants were preparing for a game against the Redskins. The Giants pulled Tyree out of a team meeting. Leilah had tears in her eyes.

“Your mom,” she stammered. “Your mom died of a heart attack.”

For five minutes that seemed like hours, Tyree stood and stared out the nearest window. He felt someone rubbing his back, whispering in his ear. He turned to look. It was Giants Coach Tom Coughlin.

“He always believed in me,” Tyree said.

After the Giants started the season 0-2, while Tyree was recovering from a fractured wrist, he wrote a letter to his teammates and stuffed it in each locker. The message was: Something special would happen this season.

Tyree never expected to make possibly the greatest catch in the history of the Super Bowl. He never expected an earlier touchdown grab in the same game, his first of the season.

Or the trip to Los Angeles, the personalized underwear — with an 8 and a 5, representing his jersey number — from Ellen DeGeneres, or the bear hug from the entertainer Flavor Flav on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. The producers at DeGeneres’s show even fashioned Velcro to a helmet and attached a football to it, simulating Tyree’s circus grab.

“It’s imperative for me not to act like this was all me,” Tyree said.

Though the catch opened up numerous marketing opportunities for the once-anonymous Tyree, he remains more concerned with changing lives. In 2006, Tyree and his wife started Next in Line, a project that counsels teenagers.

Markell Hardy, a 14-year-old freshman at Montclair High, said she knew Tyree for a month before she found out he played football. She talked about trips to Six Flags, to Giants games and dinners.

“He really doesn’t come off like he’s a big football player,” Hardy said. “I think of him as my uncle. I just love him.”

A week ago, the world knew little of Tyree. Four years ago, he claims to have only vaguely known himself.

“It’s more than just a feel-good story,” Tyree said. “It’s not about David Tyree. It’s bigger than this Super Bowl catch. It’s about destiny and purpose.”

Sunday, February 10, 2008


If you start your day with
these four questions,
you’ll make every day
a better day:

#1. What’s the BEST THING that can happen today?

#2. What’s the WORST THING that can happen today?

#3. What can I do to make sure that the BEST THING
does happen?

#4. What can I do to make sure that the WORST THING
doesn’t happen?

Saturday, February 9, 2008


This message is dedicated to me.

I should have it tattooed on my forearm.

You can read it, if you like . . .



Swami Rama (1925-1996)
Founder of the Himalayan Institute

Friday, February 8, 2008


Be careful.

You might not see what is right in front of your eyes.

For example . . .

For more on this, go to BLOG for April 16, 2007 - MESSAGE #14 .

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Once upon a time, there was a very poor man who was blind.

He lived in a very tiny house with his wife.

The couple was childless.

Even though the man faced a great many challenges, he lived an exemplary life.

He was a good man.

One day an angel appeared at the man’s door.

The angel said, “You have very little, but you have always had great faith. Because of this, you will be granted one wish, but only one wish. I will return tomorrow to receive your wish.”

The man was stunned.

When he told his wife what happened, she said, “Ask for sight, then you will be able to see me and the rest of the world for the very first time. Ask for sight.”

The man knew he wanted sight, but he also knew that he wouldn’t be satisfied with just sight because he wanted it all.

When he told his relatives what happened, they said, “Ask for children. They will be a source of joy forever. Ask for children.”

The man knew he wanted children, but he also knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with just children because he wanted it all.

When he told his friends what happened, they said, “Ask for money. Money will buy you happiness. Ask for money.”

Of course, the man knew he wanted money, but he also knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with just money because he wanted it all.

He thought and he thought and he thought . . .

The next day, the angel reappeared at his front door and the angel asked the man for his one wish.

“I wish,” the man said to the angel, “to see my children eating off of golden plates.”

The wish was granted.

The man had everything he wanted.

The man and his wife and his family lived happily ever after.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Your thoughts
what you want.

Your actions
what you’ll get.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a college professor and author. He was one of the world’s leading experts on mythology. Campbell received world-wide fame from a series of television interviews he did with Bill Moyers called The Power of Myth. Ironically, this series was broadcast just after he died.

Here are some of Campbell’s most famous quotes . . .

The privilege of a lifetime
is being who you are.

It is by going down
into the abyss that
we recover the
treasures of life.
Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure.

The very cave you are
afraid to enter turns out
to be the source of
what you are looking for.

Follow you bliss
and the universe
will open doors
for you where
there were only walls.

The world is perfect.
It’s a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out
our own lives.

If you follow your bliss,
you will always have your bliss,
money or not.

If you follow money,
you may lose it,
and you will have nothing.

We must let go of the life
we have planned,
so as to accept the one
that is waiting for us.

Monday, February 4, 2008


The best athlete never wins.
The best team never wins.

I know this sounds strange.
Let me explain . . .

Would you have bet money that
David would beat Goliath?

Of course not.


Goliath was bigger.
Goliath was stronger.
Goliath was fiercer.

In other words,
Goliath was better in every respect.

But Goliath lost.


Goliath lost because even though he was better,
David fought better.

You see . . .

The best athlete never wins --
the athlete who plays best always wins.

It doesn’t matter who’s “supposed to win” or “who’s better --
all that matters is who plays better.

The fastest horse doesn’t always win the race.

David was the first in a long list of winners
who weren’t “supposed to” win.

See the movie “Miracle”
about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.
They were “supposed to” lose to the invincible Russians.
But the U.S. won.


The U.S. outplayed the Russians.

Yesterday, the New York Giants
weren’t “supposed to” win either.

I still think the Patriots are a great team.
I still think the Giants are just a good team.

But . . .

A good team
that plays great
will always beat
a great team
that plays good.

In other words . . .

The best team
is not
the best team.

The best team
is the team that
plays the best.

This is why the Giants beat the Patriots.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


The following was written by Jon Bon Jovi . . .

Jon Bon Jovi was not supposed to succeed.

Ask any critic.

We weren’t from N.Y.
We weren’t from L.A.

I didn’t live the cliché rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle
that “legends” were made of.

We tried to keep up with the Joneses
until I realized that even if you win the rat race,
you’re still a rat.

One out of every 1,000 bands
gets a record deal.

One out of a million have any success.

I’ve been to the top and
I’ve been written off more than once . . .
but I’m still here.

Still the underdog?




Nothing is as important as passion.

No matter what you want to do
with your life, be passionate.

The world does not need any more gray.

On the other hand,
we can’t get enough color.

Mediocrity is nobody’s goal
and perfection shouldn’t be either.

We’ll never be perfect.

But remember these three P’s:

Passion + Persistence = Possibility.

Jon Bon Jovi
Rock Star

Saturday, February 2, 2008


This is what you shall do:

Love the earth and the sun and the animals,
despise riches,
give alms to every one that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people,
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown
or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons
and with the young
and with mothers of families,
read these leaves in the open air
every season of every year of your life,
re-examine all you have been told at school
or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
and your very flesh shall be a great poem
and have the richest fluency
not only in its words but in the silent lines
of its lips and face and between the lashes
of your eyes and in every motion
and joint of your body . . .

from the introduction to
Leaves of Grass (1865)
Walt Whitman

Friday, February 1, 2008


Suppose there were a magic pill and if you took it....

It would give you more energy.
It would make you less stressed.
It would give you more confidence.
It would make you more motivated.
It would make you more productive.

If all these things were possible, would you take the pill?

Of course you would!

I’d also bet that you’d want a life-time supply!

Well, you don’t have to go to the doctor and get a prescription --
all you need are “three little words.”

These three little words can give you the exact same benefits as the magic pill.

These three little words are guaranteed to work magic in your life.

So what are these three little words that’ll work these miracles?

They are “the three most powerful words in the English language”:

Act the way you want
to become
and you’ll become
the way you act.

Want to know more???

I’ve recorded a 30–minute tele-seminar on “ACTING AS IF.”

Here are the details:

Call: 1-(641)-715-3413
Access Code: 1072571#
Available: 24/7 until February 8, 2008
Length: 30 minutes
Cost: “Priceless”