February 19th, 2020


Today’s limitation is one I made.  I didn’t take good care of my teeth, and this morning I dealt with the result:  I had 3 teeth yanked at 7am.  Sooooo….no training today.  I need to get on it tomorrow morning, bright and early.  This evening will be spent drinking dinner (whey protein shake on the rocks – with not a trace of bourbon or Cabernet in sight)

Motivation 15

On a positive note, today’s a good day for my diet, as I can’t eat anything awesome at all.  UGH.  Oh – and I also get some cool pain killers too.  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

woooo

For the uninitiated: that’s Ric Flair.  The Nature Boy.  16-time world wrestling champion.  One of the single greatest guys on the mic, bar none.  So many of his one-liners have gone mainstream that you can easily adopt his lingo and make any conversation that begins with a simple question turn into 3 minutes of colorful banter…and the coolest thing about it is that you can throw any dialect of “WOOOO!” that you’d like in at any time, when addressing any subject.  Wooooo always works.  Here’s a quick quiz – let’s see how you do….

Question 1: A co-worker sees you in the hallway and says “Hey, how are you?”  The best reply to this co-worker is:

a)  “I’m great, Bill.  Thanks!  How about you?”

b)  “I’m quite well, Sir.  I truly appreciate the courtesy.”

c)  “Brutha, I’m stylin’ and profilein’!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

Question 2:  You’re at a party, and some jerk nearby is endlessly trying to impress those around him by boasting loudly for all to hear about how much money he has, how expensive his car is, etc.  He’s really being obnoxious.  What do you do?

a)  Ignore the schmuck and say nothing.

b)  Walk away sadly, wishing you were like this wart-infested toad.

c)  Walk up to him, tap him on the shoulder, and say “Brutha, I’ve spent more money on spilled liquor flying from one end of this country to the other than you make in a year.   WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

Question 3:  You’re playing a game of softball.  It’s your turn at bat.  You’re walking to the batters box when the pitcher tries to intimidate you by yelling, “Hey idiot – you suck.”  What’s your response?

a)  Dig in the batters box, calmly tell the umpire you’re ready, and try to knock the cover off the ball.

b)  Turn around, drop your bat, go back to the bench and begin to slowly sob, muttering to yourself that “Life just ain’t fair…”

c)  Look that jabroni right in the eye and exclaim “Well to be the man – WOOOOOO – you gotta BEAT THE MAN.  And I….AM….DA….MAN.   WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

Question 4:  You’re hard at work.  You’re dialed in and getting things done.  Really in the zone, and TCB – Takin’ Care of Business.  All of a sudden, your cell phone rings, and the number is blocked.  So you send it to voicemail.  Then the phone rings again, 30 seconds later, again with the number being blocked.  You again send it to voicemail.  No voicemails have been left so far and yet…..within 30 seconds here comes call number 3.  Again – it’s a blocked number.  All of your momentum at work has been stifled.    What do you do?

a)  Answer the call, and politely tell the phone scammer on the other end of the call that you apologize, but you don’t have time to talk.  But thanks for the call.

b)  Call AT&T and change your number, thinking that “this torture will never end…”

c)  Answer the call.  When the person on the other end begins with “HELLO, and do I have great news for you!!!  And what’s YOUR name?”  You reply with……..

YOU’RE TALKIN’ TO THE ROLEX-WEARIN’, DIAMOND RING WEARIN’, KISS-STEALIN’ – WOOOOOO – WHEELIN’ DEALIN’, LIMOSINE-RIDING, JET-FLYIN’ SON-OF-A-GUN….AND I’M HAVIN’ A HARD TIME HOLDIN’ THESE ALLIGATORS DOWN!!!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here – I’ll let Mr. Flair show you how it’s done……

 

…..ok, I just read what I just typed…..and I’m blaming it on the pain-killers.

………..WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

 

February 13th, 2020


Motivation 32

I’m proud of my kiddo.

I’ll share something with all of you that I think is simply amazing: my daughter is following a dream she had from the time she was 3-4 years old.  Let me give you the history….

From the time that my daughter was very little, she and I bonded over a few awesome things: our love of hockey (Go Rangers), our love of baseball (GO YANKS), and, most of all, our love of all things Disney.  The first movie she and I ever watched in a movie theater was The Emperor’s New Groove (one of my all-time favorites and one that should be shown some love inside the theme parks, in my humble opinion).  When she broke her wrist at the age of 5, the only movie that New York Hospital had available (on VHS) in the little exam room was The Jungle Book…which we watched 5 times in between X-rays, examinations and the application of her tiny pink cast.  The first time she was ever on an airline at the age of 4, our destination was Disneyland.  After I moved into Manhattan, she and I would take the long walk from the upper west side to Times Square, where the Disney Store was situated, just to look around.   (A quick not on this one: my daughter was disappointed when they moved The Disney Store from its amazing 3-story location on 5th Avenue to its current spot in Times Square, to the extent that she decided to write Bob Iger a formal letter expressing her displeasure at the current state of affairs as it pertains to the company’s New York City presence.  She was 10 years old at the time, and I believe the first line in her airing of grievances began…

Dear Mr. Iger,

My name is Chelsea Kolinsky.  I’m a Disney Vacation Club member, an annual passholder, and I’ve been a Disney shareholder since the age of three.  I’m a huge fan of Disney – so you can imagine my dismay when I heard that the Disney Store was closing on 5th Avenue, only to move to Times Square.  I just visited the new store for the first time, and its lack of Muppet representation vexes me…..

The fact that she received a response from Disney’s corporate offices was pretty awesome.

Over the years, she never lost her interest in all things Disney, from the movies to the hotels, to the theme parks and even the cruise line.  Since before she put pen to paper to voice her firm opinion to the CEO of the company, my kiddo continuously told me one thing: “Dad, I’m going to work for Disney.  Just you wait and see.  One day I’ll run the whole thing.  Then you watch as I turn Goofy’s Barnstormer ride into an Emperor’s New Groove roller coaster, I’ll get them to make a whole bunch of new videos for Soarin’, so that you can feel like you’re flying all over the world….and I’ll even become buddies with Neal Patrick Harris”.

(The Barnstormer idea: completely awesome.  The Soarin’ idea: completely awesome.  But becoming buddies with Neal Patrick Harris?  That’s the best…idea…..ever.  The dude rocks.)

So fast forward now about 9-10 years.  My kiddo is now 20 years old.  Shes’ been in college in Florida, slowly finding her way and figuring things out, as all 20 years are prone to do.  Her roommate pushes her to fill out an application for the Disney College Program (“DCP”).  For a while, she refrained from throwing her name in the hat – because she was scared of being denied.  But her roommate and very good friend persisted, and she finally overcame the fear of coming up short and sent in her application.  Since I had moved from New York City to Orange County, California, in May of 2018, she decided to increase her chances of acceptance by shooting for a DCP spot in either Disneyland or Walt Disney World.  The pushed the button on the application, and waited to hear from The Mouse.

She came out to Southern California to visit me in the middle of August, and we had a fantastic time together.  She loved the vibes out on the west coast, and she couldn’t wait to return.  But while she was out here visiting me, she got the message: she made it to the final round of interviews!  The last step in this process was a 30-45 minute phone interview with two Disney representatives.  So she spent a fair amount of time preparing for the questions she may be thrown by watching tons of YouTube posts on the DCP process, and reading a bunch of write-ups on Google.  The morning of the call, she felt ready….but very nervous.  I told her to just be herself.  She knew more about the company and its main revenue generators than some of the employees, I was sure of that.  The phone rang, and she locked herself in my bedroom for 45 minutes in order to focus.  When the door finally opened again, it was all over.  Now – all we had to do was wait.  According to her interviewers, she would hear back in 3-4 weeks via phone call.  If she doesn’t receive a call, final decisions would be made public at some point in October.

My buddy and I both headed to the airport together the next day, as she needed to get back to Miami for college and I needed to head to Kansas City, Missouri for a work meeting.  We gave each other a huge hug, and headed to our separate gates.

Three days later, I’m still in Kansas City, participating in a rather large meeting downtown.  I had my cellphone on the board room table next to my pad and pen, just in case of emergency, and to reference my work email.  All of a sudden, my phone begins to vibrate ferociously.  It’s my daughter.  Since I was in a meeting, I needed to mute the phone – I figured I’d call her back when I got out of this marathon mind-numbing discussion.  a minute later….she called again.  And then again.  Now I was worried.  I excused myself from the room, grabbed my iPhone, and looked for a quiet place to return the call.  Since the walls of the firm’s boardroom were made of glass, I could see most of the meeting participants as I dialed my buddy’s cell number.  She picked up on the second ring, and the conversation went something like this, from what I recall:

Chelsea (crying uncontrollably):  “DAD!!!!!  DAD!!!!!!”

Me (freaking the hell out):  “Chel – what happened, buddy?”

Chelsea (still crying / sobbing):  “DAD!!!!!! I GOT IN!!!!!  I GOT IN!!!!”

Me:  “OK, bud – got in to what?”  (please don’t those three words – I GOT IN – be immediately followed by “trouble”, “an accident”, “to that cult I was telling you about, that requires you to swear allegiance to a one-eyed cat named Gretchen” to or – worst of all – “to that Coldplay concert”)

Chelsea:  “IN TO THE DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM!!!!!!!!!  I’M GOING  TO WORK IN DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!”

As a complete knee jerk reaction, I exclaimed “HOLY SHIT!!!!” a bit too loudly, not thinking that the glass walls of the boardroom were NOT soundproof.  Immediately, 18 sets of scowling eyes were staring at me….but for a few moments, I didn’t give a crap.  I’ll deal with them in a minute – but first, I want to hear all about this.

Four months later, in mid December of 2018, Chelsea moved in with me, into a small apartment in Irvine, CA.  She began her DCP semester as a lifeguard in January, and graduated from the program in late August.  Toward the end of the program, she put her name in the hopper for a full time job with the company.  Again, the nerves and the stress were sizable…until she was awarded a part-time slot as a lifeguard.  She was now an employee of the Mouse, just like she dreamed she would be.

It’s been a year, and she’s still working for Disney while gearing up to finish her Bachelor’s Degree.

Today’s motivation is directed at my kiddo.  As she begins to work on her career at this amazing company, just the quick reminder:  you can be extraordinary.  You can do anything.