Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My Story

It's amazing to me that when it comes to writing about myself, it seems like the hardest thing to do. Which is amazing coming from someone who likes to talk about himself... a lot! So, here goes!

I moved from Wisconsin to California in 1979 (wow, that seems so long ago) with my parents because of my dad's job. Yes, I admit the fact that I was born a Cheesehead (example in the pic is not me, but links to a great Cheesehead fan site). The move was a little traumatic for me as I went from being at the top of my class (popularity wise) to being the "nerd" from Wisconsin. What a huge social shift. It wasn't until my sophomore year that I was able to break into the "cool" zone with my peers. It was a combination of playing football and finally not looking like a dork with my hair parted on the side. The style had finally changed from the "butt cut", feathered look to guys parting their hair on the side, the way I have always had it due to my numerous hair calics.

I really enjoyed playing football. As I look back, I wish that I would have known that I would be in the Running Back position my Senior year. Had I not played on the line both the previous years, it probably wouldn't have taken me half the season to learn to run leaning forward instead of straight up. However, once I figured it out, I was unstoppable. I loved getting the ball and just blasting through the line and running right over the guys in front of me. I made the front page of the local sports section a couple times.

From there I went on to the same University that my brother had entered two years earlier. Azusa Pacific University in Southern California is the Alma Matter of most of my cousins too. So, having seen the student body a few times and gone to some of the football games prior to my attending, I knew that my football career was over. Azusa Pacific isn’t that big of a school and the guys on the football team were huge… Gigantic… MONSTROUS… well, you get the point.

So, I became a cheerleader or a yell leader as the young men are sometimes called (click on the pic to find out more about the current cheer program at APU). It ended up being one of the greatest experiences of my life. I loved being out in front of the crowd. I even taught myself, with the help of a little coaching from cheer camp, how to do round-off, back-handsprings and back flips. Talk about a crowd pleaser. I would wait for the crowd to start chanting “FLIP!… FLIP!… FLIP!…” and I wouldn’t get up until they got loud enough. Once the roar of the crowd filled the arena, I would jump to my feet and the crowd would erupt with cheers and applause. Down to one end of the basketball court I would go and with the cheers of crowd urging me on I would run down the court and perform a round-off, back-handspring, back flip at center court. Again, the thunderous applause would break out with a deafening sound with hopes that the other team would feel the pressure of being the visitors and not accepted on our turf.

However, my cheerleading career (if you could call it that) would come quickly to an end when a friend of mine approached me with the idea that I could throw the hammer in Track and Field. The hammer? I had no idea what he was talking about, the only hammer I knew of was one that you pounded nails with. Click the picture to learn more about the hammer throw.

I was a walk-on to the Track and Field team, my sophomore year. I was juggling cheerleading practice and track practice, but having come 12 feet (about 4 meters) short of qualifying for Nationals, my first year, Coach pulled me aside and said to me, “I think you have a good chance of taking home the National Title for the Hammer. However, I don’t think you will be able to do cheerleading AND track and do either one very well. So, whatever your decision is… I will support you 100%”. Wow, what I choice I had in front of me. Well, half of the cheerleading squad was graduating and several of the guys were no longer going to be able to cheer so it seemed like the best choice to choose track and field. It turned out to be the right choice as I went on to become an All-American hammer thrower and even received a scholarship for my efforts my last two years of school.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Art with a business minor. I initially got a job in sales, marketing T-shirt designs to any organization I could find who need to order T-shirts. From there I found Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. PPL was another life changing event for me and had been my only source of income since 1993. I made it to the top of the company having one of the largest marketing teams in the company spreading from New York to Miami to Houston to Los Angeles… well, again, you get the point. I continue my motivational speaking engagement for sales teams, corporations and management groups so that I make give back to the community and impart what I have learned to others.

During my years with PPL, in the late 90’s, I was able to attend Anthony Robbins’ Mastery University. Having experienced his 3-day “Fear Into Power” weekend, I knew that the next step had to be attending Mastery University. Disclaimer: I do not agree with everything Tony Robbins promotes; especially his views on spirituality and being a Christian. I was able to learn a lot of valuable tools on managing my “state” and getting “unstuck” when necessary and creating belief systems that empower me to push through to success when everything around me seems insurmountable.

The best part of my life, though, has been the last 6 years of my life (this June 15th). This is the time I have been able to spend with my wife Alison (we were married May 10, 2003). She has been such an inspiration to me. She loves me more than anyone has ever loved me. She is my best friend and my soulmate. We are rarely apart and we both love it. We know what the other person is thinking before they even say anything. Many times we can communicate in pure silence. She is the part of me that was missing all of my life. I’ve never been more in love, nor happier than I am now that I am with her. Even though we have only been married 5 years, we have been able to spend as much time with each other as most people do in a lifetime. I love her more than words can say and I look forward to spending eternity with her. We hope that our mansions in heaven are right next to each other, not that traveling across the universe will be much of an issue when we get there we just want to be together forever.

My wife and I have been able to volunteer our time for a ministry called Understand The Times founded by Roger Oakland. Most of our work has been done online researching and posting articles that point to the fact that we are truly in the end of days right before the 7-year tribulation and the return of Christ (with his bride, the Church - raptured before the tribulation) to rule from Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

Well, there you have it… now you know me… and I would like to say that I appreciate you staying with me all the way through this… I didn’t think I could get started and then when I did. Holy Cow… I wrote a book. I would love it if you would head over to my wife’s blog to find out more about us, our cats and how we have lost 5 babies, due to miscarriage. Here is her personal blog and she also has a blog about end times prophecy, the rapture and Jewish Feasts and how they are signs of things to come.