Monday, August 31, 2009

"Trust the Vibration"

When raising teenagers, moments of true “connection” can be as elusive as a good stock tip. However, occasionally, when Jupiter aligns with Mars, peace guides the planets and parents and hormone-raged offspring have meaningful dialogue.

That happened recently for my seventh-grade daughter and I. Over dinner at our favorite neighborhood bistro my beautiful darling blurts out: “Dad, I really believe in karma. You know, that stuff you’re always talking about. What you throw out there comes bouncing back at you.”

I almost dropped my fork, choked on my wine and fell from my chair. Had there been an epiphany? “Ya know sweetie, “ I suggested after gathering my wits. “I hope you never forget what you just said, because it can be a powerful, and productive, force in your life if you allow it.”

Then my mind jumped to a moment where what I “threw out there” – fear - changed my life forever. I shared it with my daughter.

It was my senior year in high school. Many schools were recruiting me to play football and baseball. No school more than the University of Arizona. It was a perfect setting for me. But I was a little fearful of moving far away from my home, Kansas City. I also had a high school girlfriend attending Mizzou, which also offered me a scholarship. But the Tigers’ recruitment was lukewarm. Arizona’s was earnest and intense. Operating too much from fear – far from home and honey – I choose Missouri. A few days later, a poke to the eye in a high-school basketball game led to crashing to the floor, fracturing my skull and other head injuries. My competitive athletic career was over.

“Dad, you were projecting fear and look what happened!” Honored to even be having a conversation like this I acknowledged. “You’re right. I guess the lesson here is to trust your intuition. Emerson calls it the ‘vibration of the iron string within.’ When you don’t, it usually comes back to bite you in the butt.”

Whenever presenting Run Daylight I encourage others to “not let fear get in the way of your dreams, instead remember courage is the soul of your dreams.”

This week, at home, work and community, put fear aside and allow wonderment to win, okay? There are no guarantees. I understand that. However operating from fear rarely works unless you’re running for your life. It tends to backfire when you’re running from a life intuition is calling you to explore.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Just a Little RESPECT"

Perhaps it’s because I’m more engaged in the process, but does it seem early to anybody else that political candidates are already actively campaigning for an election 15 months away?

Anyway, it’s happening right now. Small meetings but it’s starting. That has led the Comeback Coach to events from each side of the spectrum – I can’t help it, it’s my innate curiosity and 25-year journalism career – and some thoughts about what I’ve seen.

First, let it be said that in each and every Run to Daylight presentation the Comeback Coach talks about “teamwork being the key to success.” That we must realize “we’re not alone and that we need each other.” That it’s “amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.”

Former CU Coach Bill McCartney always used to say, and it’s the truth: “We gotta be willing to come charging out of the foxhole together, united, one heart beat.”

Well, you can imagine, as I have spoken, listened and inquired at these various events, the opinions on everything under the sun tend to vary as much as the stock market or my teenage daughter’s mood. There are lots of opinions out there about what needs to be done concerning America’s major issues. At times as you hear someone else’s thoughts, you go, “My goodness, can we really be diametrically opposed concerning the best solution to what ails us?”

It’s scary sometimes. That’s why it’s so refreshing to meet people along this journey who talk about the common good. Who talk about finding solutions that will honor us, nurture those dependent upon us and add value to the communities we serve. There’s a spirit of cooperation and a willingness to put fear and self doubt aside and “go for it” in being limited only by imagination, not fear, in creating productive choices to the challenges we face.

I like talking to those kinds of people. They seek solutions rooted in respect – used as a statement, not a word. RESPECT being an acronym for: R-easonable E-xpectations S-park P-roductive E-xperiences C-reating T-ranquility.

You know what? Reasonable expectations spark productive experiences creating tranquility in many areas other than politics. It’s a good strategy wherever you roam – home, work or community.

This week, let’s take a cue from Aretha Franklin. 40 years ago she became a superstar when singing about respect. Let’s expand that word into a statement and see if reasonable expectations spark productive experiences creating tranquility.

Wouldn’t that be nice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Time to Set Sail"

On a recent vacation to beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I was on an early morning scouting mission with my partner, third-grader-to-be Shannon Schmitt. She’s the daughter of dear friends – like a niece to me – and we were first to awaken and were “checking out” where the gym, coffee shop, pool, game room and other “stuff” was located at the resort where our families spent the weekend.

After completing our reconnaissance mission, as we neared our villa where everybody else was still sleeping, I jokingly said to this darling girl: “It was like we were advance scouts sent to explore the new world, like Christopher Columbus.” With that, she quickly broke into, what kids her age have learned in studying that famous voyage, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

By now we were just steps from our villa’s back porch. Shannon’s mother was standing there, wondering where in the heck we had been – I forgot to check in with the mother hen before departing! After apologizing, my thoughts quickly went back to Shannon’s perfect recital of the poem about Columbus’ journey and the guts he displayed in sailing off into the history books.

Whenever presenting Run to Daylight, as the Comeback Coach, I encourage others to not allow fear and self doubt get in the way of their dreams and goals. I challenge them to put fear and self doubt aside and allow wonderment and courage to win.”

Well, Columbus certainly walked that talk didn’t he? At the time, many Europeans called him crazy. The world was flat, the journey doomed for failure. Columbus didn’t listen to the negatoids, instead was inspired by the positrons saying, “You can do this!”

My gosh, if Columbus could muster the courage to sail off into the unknown, surely we can tap into the same power to begin, say, that long-delayed exercise program? Maybe it’s a quit smoking campaign or addressing the elephant sitting in the middle of the room concerning our important relationships – personal and professional – can’t we?

This week, let’s remember this about change and the guts required to make it happen: “be wary of longing for someone you once were when life is calling you to somebody you’ve never been.”

Where’s it time to depart the safe, but perhaps unhealthy and unproductive harbor, and sail toward the great unknown that is the undiscovered potential that lies within you to become superior to your former self at home, work or community?

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Known 4, What?"

Despite being a life-long athlete and a sportscaster for more than two decades, I rarely discuss sports during the weekly Pep Talk. But there is an exception to every rule, right? Brett Favre has finally retired, for good, I think. Now it’s time to tell a story about the super guy within the great player.

Denver Broncos fans will never forget Super Bowl XXXII, played in San Diego. On January 25, 1998, the John Elway-led Broncos defeated Green Bay 31-24 for the Broncos’ first-ever world championship. Remember, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen proclaiming, “This one’s for John!”

Well, the first week of the two-week break between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, I was dispatched to Green Bay, Wisconsin to give fans in the Denver television market a flavor of the Packers, the city of Green Bay and the incredibly faithful Packer fans.

I was an outsider thrust into the Packers’ world. Nobody rolled out the welcome mat more than Favre. Local sports media usually develop a decent bond with the “name” players because they spend so much time together. But when an out-of-town journalist shows up, it can be tough since there’s no history and there’s a level of inherent mistrust about the media. Not for Brett Lorenzo Favre, a guy’s guy from Mississippi.

In each and every Run to Daylight presentation, the Comeback Coach talks about “teamwork being the key to success.” That we need to reach out and help one another and truly believe - not just give lip service to - “one good deed leads to another.”

The Green Bay Packers starting quarterback went out of his way to help me, an out-of-town sportsguy, find good stories: he always was available; made suggestions about other players to interview; had recommendations for good restaurants in town. He went out of his way to be friendly. He didn’t have to.

The record book shows an incredibly durable quarterback who played 18 seasons, threw 464 touchdown passes and connected with receivers for more than 65,000 passing yards, the latter two, NFL career records.

But I won’t remember Favre – who wore #4 throughout his career – for his performance on the field. I will remember his incredible kindness off of it. Ya know, we all have a label, we’re known “as” something: quarterback, motivational speaker, housewife, businessman – whatever. But what are we known “for?”

This week, be known “4” kindness and generosity. Trust me, others will remember those wonderful traits about you long after memory, of your other accomplishments, has faded with time and memory.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Let Freedom Ring"

Our nation recently celebrated its 233rd birthday and I had the pleasure of spending America’s birthday in Vail, Colorado with my darling girlfriend and one of her best gal pals, Susie.

It was a wonderful experience that included viewing a parade through the village, a fantastic dinner and some late night fun at one of the town’s most popular honkeytonks. But without question the highlight of the birthday party was a patriotic concert at the Gerald Ford Amphitheatre.

Thanks to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s great talents, uplifting sound and masterful director the packed throng of more than 2,500 waved American flags, sang, cried and saluted our country’s veterans for their service in preserving our freedoms. If you haven’t experienced this annual concert, put it on your bucket list – you will not regret it.

As the Comeback Coach, in each and every Run to Daylight presentation I encourage audience members to realize the importance of putting fear and self doubt aside and allow courage and wonderment to win. It’s a real key to running to daylight and playing like a champion at home, work and community.

As I sat there with tears streaming down my check as the orchestra played a melody of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard fight songs, my mind jumped back to that moment 233 years ago when some very brave people put fear and self doubt aside and allowed courage and wonderment to win in pronouncing to Great Britain, “We are declaring our independence from you.” That took some guts.

And then my brain jumped to this: where in our personal lives might it be time to “declare independence” from thoughts, words or actions that have held us back from living the life we imagine? Where might it be time to set yourself free from the shackles of poor eating habits, too much drinking, a negative attitude toward work, an unhealthy relationship, an ambivalent attitude toward a good relationship?

13 colonies picked July 4, 1776 to declare independence from the tyranny of the British Empire. Perhaps the most famous sentence in that proclamation is the second. There the writers conclude their thoughts about rights, the most important being “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

This week, let’s pick a date and “declare independence” from anything that doesn’t honor us, nurture those dependent upon us or add value to the communities we serve. It will be a huge first step in allowing freedom to ring in our personal pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
facebook metwitter
linkd in

Hey Comeback Coach Copyright© 2009

About The Comeback Coach | Contact Us | Links | Privacy Statement