Keep Your Pot in the Flame

I am very proud of the UCLA Bruins victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers last night. I’m happy for the fans, the coaches and, most importantly, the players. It’s amazing when you think about the turnaround they’ve experienced vs. just one year ago. I think it’s important to recognize that the turnaround isn’t merely the result of a few changes here and there, rather, it’s a complete revamping of how things are done at UCLA. My hats off to the coaching staff as they’ve orchestrated a turnaround much faster than many would have anticipated. Recognizing of course that this is game two of the season and that there is a long way to go… this wasn’t Rice they were playing… it was the powerhouse Nebraska.

So what’s different this year vs. last year? How is it possible to have such improvements in such a short period of time? I argue that Coach Mora and staff have mastered the art of always “keeping the pot in the flame”. Indeed, a new level of intensity and confidence has permeated this Bruin program. In my view, this particular group of Bruins has an attitude of seizing the opportunity when it’s presented to them. When things get hot, they keep their pot in the flame. When you keep your pot in the flame, your water boils. With boiling water, you create steam. With steam, you can move anything… even the mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Congratulations UCLA.


It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

How to Accomplish the Seemingly Impossible

In my prior post, I mentioned that I’d be revealing to you two individuals of whom I admire for their mental toughness. Understanding that Dr. Terry Wahls is to serve as a role model for the nutritional component of my overall plan to compete for a position on the Santa Monica College Football Team in 2013, I have chosen Sugar Ray Leonard and Billy Mills as my role models for the mental toughness component of my overall foundation for success.

With respect to Sugar Ray Leonard, who can forget the “Super Fight” of 1987 against Marvelous Marvin Hagler? At that particular point in time, I was a senior in high school, to which memories of this amazing battle certainly served as an inspiration to me ever since. With respect to Sugar Ray’s fight with Hagler, one component of “accomplishing the seemingly impossible” comes to mind and that is… BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR PLANS. Nothing is written in stone and if circumstances merit a change of plans, don’t let such changes frustrate you to the point that you become gun shy about moving forward.

In Sugar Ray’s case, the original plan for the Hagler fight was for him to go toe to toe with Hagler and to try and cut him with the thought that perhaps Sugar Ray could win on a TKO. However, it was a mere five days before the fight when Sugar Ray took a heavy blow from his sparring partner that nearly knocked him out and thus persuaded him to rethink his plan of attack. Ray’s plan of attack would be to out-box Hagler. 629 punches later, Sugar Ray Leonard proved victorious over what many perceived to be an unbeatable foe. Had Sugar Ray proved unwilling to accept a change of plans, he may have very well lost the battle against Hagler.

My second inspirational figure as it relates to mental toughness is the Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills. Billy was representing our Country during the 1964 Olympic games in the 10,000 meter run. In order for him to win, he surmised that he’d have to exceed his personal best the in the 10,000 meter run by 2 minutes or so. As you can well imagine, an improvement of such magnitude would be deemed impossible by many. That being said, Billy Mills embraced my next point which is to BREAK SITUATIONS DOWN TO THE SIMPLEST OF FORM so that they do not seem impossible. Watch the following video of Billy Mills explaining how he accomplished the amazing feat of winning gold in the 1964 Olympic games:

Start With a Strong Foundation

The key to any successful endeavor is to have a solid foundation. For my particular challenge, making the Santa Monica College Football Team, my foundation shall consist of a solid nutritional game plan. The issue for me is that there is so much information out there from so called “experts” as to what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Often, the advice that these “experts” give becomes a fad and ultimately deemed not so healthy.

Since I am 43 and will be competing with kids that are half my age, I was hoping to find some solid advice from someone who had the academic and perhaps even medical expertise… but also an athletic background. My choice for this particular component of my game plan was Dr. Terry Wahls of the University of Iowa. I was attracted to Dr. Wahls’ advice because her nutritional guidance was one that promised a restoration of health and vitality.

Dr. Wahls walks her talk. In 2003, Dr. Wahls was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and soon became dependent upon a tilt-recline wheelchair. After developing what she calls her “Wahls Protocol”, she is now living an active, healthy lifestyle to which she even commutes to work by bicycle.

If Dr. Wahls can combat secondary progressive MS with her diet, I believe, there must certainly be some benefit to me if I were to similarly adopt her protocol. As a former champion in Tai Kwon Do and medical doctor, it was my feeling that Dr. Wahls would serve as a great role model for me.

Dr. Terry Wahls

You can learn more about the Wahls Protocol by visiting her website:

In my next post, I will introduce my role models for my strong mental attitude.

To Thy Own Self Be True

Life is too short not to be happy. If I were to think about some of the regrets I have in life, up to age 43, a few are that I haven’t completed my undergraduate degree, played football in college & that I haven’t followed my true calling in life… which is to become a football coach at the Division I level. In the spirit of embracing the wisdom of “to thy own self be true”, I have decided that it’s never too late to embrace your dreams. Thus, I have elected to go back to college, play football and to become a Division I coach by age 50. This blog will serve as my journal and perhaps your inspiration to have the courage to stand up for yourself and pursue a dream that you once let escape from your thoughts.  Image