Winners know how to (and that they must) push boulders!

Keep pushing life's "boulders" and it'll pay off!

Bill Parcells, the soon-to-be Hall of Fame football coach had a saying for almost every occasion and circumstance.  He was as knowledgeable about life as football and never missed an opportunity to share his wisdom and charisma.  One of his favorite expressions was used to explain the emotional fragility of young players.  “Confidence is born from demonstrated ability,” he’d say.  Of course, the thought is not original.  You may, in fact, have heard other variations of it.  “Once you’ve done it once, you can do it again.”  Or “You don’t know you can do it until you do it.”  However stated, no matter who says it or in what context, it’s as true and real as the world is round.

Confidence comes from evidence.  That’s obvious.  Or is it?  Doesn’t it take some confidence to produce the evidence in the first place?  Sure it does.  So what is it?  Does evidence lead to confidence or is it the other way around?  Indeed, like the chicken and egg quandary, the relationship between confidence and evidence is a confusing one. Read more of this post

They’re Always Recruiting!

Mike Eskridge. That was his name. The guy who almost ruined the Summer of 1991 for me. I remember it like it was yesterday, a hot and muggy day in Davis, CA (about 20 miles outside of Sacramento). Shawn and I had just finished running, part of an intense offseason training program that, in all, totaled about six hours of work every day. Shawn was my roommate for most of my college career. Like me, he played defensive back and together, we were as disciplined and intense as you could be, dedicated to an offseason program we mostly designed ourselves that included running, lifting weights, stretching, countless football drills, and hours of film study. And in one conversation, all of it seemed futile.

We were chatting with our Defensive Coordinator. We’d already showered after our workout and were in the team’s film library, affectionately known as “the Cave” because it was on the top floor of our training center, in a dark corner office with no windows or natural light. It was the tail end of recruiting season and he was finishing up some paperwork and making a few final phone calls. The look on his face revealed that he was pleased, in an unusually pleasant mood. He, like many a defensive coach, tended to be surly. But not on this day. So I asked him, “What you so happy ’bout, Coach?” “Just had a good signing period,” he said. “That’s all.” I naturally had to ask him what kind of additions to our team we could expect. And the first name out of his mouth was Mike Eskridge, a cornerback from Monterey Peninsula College, a junior college located about fifteen minutes from where I’d attended high school. I’d worked out with Mike a few times during the summers while in high school and knew he was good. In fact, he was one of the smoothest and most natural defensive backs I’d ever seen. To say I was upset would be an understatement. I’d go so far as to say I was devastated. Read more of this post

Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

By: Julie Manriquez (jamwritingservices@gmail.com)

Congressman Aaron Schock's abs on the cover of June's Men's Health

Last week freshman congressman, Aaron Schock, opened his shirt for the cover of the June issue of Men’s Health. Holy House of Representatives, Batman! There’s no denying that even with the airbrushing and Photoshop® removal of every bodily hair, this 8-pack (yes, with the transverse abdominus, it’s an 8-pack) is worthy of some superhero Spandex. But, Mr. Schock is 29-years-old and a Republican, which means that gravity is currently working in his favor and he enjoys sporting at least a couple of guns at all times (I’m pretty sure I see them under the shirt sleeves!). Some of my best pals are Republicans and occasionally I find myself wavering in a moderate or even (gasp!) right hand direction on issues, but these conservative abs and hyper-masculine peacocking are simply not enough to urge this mostly leftwingin’ mother of two to inch my pinkie toe across the aisle. Mr. Schock’s stance on women’s rights (he voted to defund Planned Parenthood) and global warming (opposes the reduction of coal and oil usage and believes there is little, if any, evidence of global warming and it’s effects) does not fall in line with his reported desire to reach out to the MTV generation.

Not much makes me waver from my usual news sources (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Chelsea Lately on E!), but this kind of hypocrisy offers the kind of intrigue that even the most credible installment of TMZ might miss. Read more of this post

One day they won’t

My kids are very, very educated in the art of persuasion.  You should see these two sales geniuses at night, at work in their laboratory trying to figure out how to stay up five or ten more minutes.  First, my daughter with “Dad, can you give us our vitamins?”  That’s usually my first trip down the hallway to each of their rooms.  Then my son chimes in.  “Mommy and Daddy!  Hug and a Kiss,”  our cue to lovingly tuck them both into bed.   But it’s not that simple.  They each want us to tuck the other child in first so they can get the last hug and kiss for the night.  And finally, my daughter asks me to lie with her for a little bit.  No sooner had I accepted her invitation than my son screamed from his bedroom, “Daddy, can you lay with me after?” Read more of this post