Category Archives: Relationships

BE (Be Exceptional)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” ~ Anonymous

One of my favorite quotes is stated above.  I love that quote because it lays out a truth that I believe lies in all of us.  We are all, in some form or fashion, exceptional at something.  What I find that most exceptional people do is hide from their exception in order to fit in with their surroundings.

This past week my soon-to-be 10-year-old son and I were talking about the upcoming NBA draft.  My son tells me all the time how much he wants to be drafted into the NBA right out of high school like Kobe and LeBron.  I tell him that the current rules won’t allow for that to happen.  He believes they will make an exception for him.  I will use his desire to his advantage.

My son Tre is an exceptional young man.  He has a name that he shares with only two other human beings.  He is left-handed and is learning every day that he has a definite advantage over his peers on the field of play.  He is smart as a whip and he has a great sense of humor but most of all he is a fierce competitor.  In fact, he is an exceptional competitor.

We introduced Tre to sports at a very young age.  He started his flag football career at age 4.  He was not allowed to play on the team in actual games until age 5 but he worked out with the team regularly until the season began.  Once the season started though, he couldn’t stand not being able to play in the actual competition so I ended his torture.  The following season he played cornerback in a league that doesn’t really throw the football.  They are just 5 and 6 after all.

So he was bored out of his mind in the defensive backfield most plays and really had an uneventful flag football season.  After the last game, the coach approached me and told me something shocking.  He wanted Tre to be the quarterback next season.  I knew that he would be great at the quarterback position because he would be forced be engaged in the game throughout.  The quarterback touches the ball every play so you can’t take any plays off.

Tre led his team to the Super Bowl that season.  In order to get there though he had to bring his team back from 5 points down with just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter.  With time winding down from the continuous running clock, Tre took the snap and then promptly fumbled the ball onto the turf.  Without a moment’s hesitation he scooped up the football and galloped sixty yards for the winning touchdown. To this day, everyone who watches the video clip wants to know how I managed to film his run while everyone around me was losing their minds.  I don’t know I just kept the camera locked on him until he stopped in the end zone and then strutted…my boy.

The only thing that would have made his score more dramatic is if the clock had gone to zero.  It didn’t so all Tre did was go out on defense and make another game saving stop to preserve the win.  He was so cool at six and the game announcer fell in love with his name that evening.  The feeling of being his father that night was amazing.  Hearing other fans yelling your child’s name at a competitive event is indescribable.  You tingle from head to toe and tears well up in your eyes.  Other dads give you a pat on the shoulder for a job well done and you just kind of take credit in stride.

The following season Tre moved up to tackle football from the flag level.  The coach’s son was the QB so Tre was back on defense and football kind of lost its shine with him.  “No problem,” said Tre, “I will just play basketball.”  We signed him up for a league at the Y in our neighborhood and it wasn’t long before our son was dominating his teammates as well as his opponents.  The problem with the Y was the structure was loose, the baskets were lowered and stealing the basketball was not allowed.

After watching Tre run all over the court doing everything but dunk the ball, we were starting to get looks from the other parents instead of praise.  Then one game Tre made up his mind he was going to score 20 points and he was well on his way when the coach yanked him from the game in the 3rd quarter.  The coach was starting to feel the heat from the other parents. Tre pouted on the bench for the remainder and then did not shake hands with his opponents, as is customary, at the final buzzer.  That day his AAU basketball career was born.

AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball was where Tre would hone his skills.  The competition is top flight and almost every weekend there is a tournament somewhere that involves a shiny trophy.  Tre was challenged at every turn in AAU because as a 2nd grader he was playing against 3rd, 4th and sometimes 5th graders in these tournaments.  The coaches often schedule against older kids so they can toughen their own teams up.  It works.  If you get beat by 4th and 5th graders on a regular basis then when you play kids your own age you have a definite confidence edge.

Tre had a good first season with his team until his coach defected to another AAU club due to politics.  Tre’s team was disbanded and he landed on a 4th grade team.  He worked hard in practice and during his very limited game time minutes until one day, in a tournament championship, the coach decided to start Tre.  They won the trophy that day and my son had his first taste of AAU victory.  He was hooked.

Tre put us on notice soon after that baseball was out (to the dismay of the little league coaches that wanted to draft him 1st) and football was on life support.  He moved up to a new grade level and with that a new coach.  It is always a good sign when the “team mom” is the spouse of the coach.  That demonstrates stability and the likelihood of a season without a lot of parental drama.  Of course the coach’s son is on the team as well whether he’s the best or the worst.  I love that dynamic.

Tre had an even better season with The Warriors that culminated in a national tournament at a huge sports complex in a North Dallas suburb.  His little brother and I drove the four plus hours to the event and it was huge and intimidating.  Tre saw first hand the big business that was competitive basketball.  The clocks, the refs, the structure was all at the highest level we had ever seen and it was exciting.

The team easily won their first few games on the first day and everything was fine as the Warriors were rolling to getting a high seed in the single elimination phase of the tournament.  Then the team ran up against a tough group from out-of-state and Tre found himself waiting at the scorer’s table to be subbed into the game.  The coach was down on the scoreboard and decided to stay with his starters.  For the first time in his young career, Tre didn’t play one minute of the game.

The Warriors lost their first non-elimination game and my boy had tears coming down his little cheeks.  “Coach said he was going to put me in but he didn’t,” he said.  I told him that the coach was more concerned with winning the game than giving him playing time.  I told Tre that he had to stay engaged in the game and especially when he was on the bench.  If he looks your way and sees you are not paying attention he may just leave you on the bench.  Tre swore that day he would never be left at the scorer’s table again.

His next few games he played like a man on fire and then I heard some of the parents calling for Tre to get back in the game to get more steals and more blocks.  See Tre is a tall kid who is an inconsistent shooter but his defense is the best.  He is the guy you can put on the best player and Tre will shut him down.  I told him the basket can be fickle sometimes but your defense always has to be present.  You notice when he leaves the game  and I told him that’s the mark of an exceptional player.

It was now Saturday night and the Warriors found themselves one win away from the Final 4.  The tournament took the Final 4 honor so seriously that you could only buy a  Final 4 t-shirt if your team made it…wow.  The Warriors were up against this team from Arkansas that was loaded with talent.  They had blown away everyone they played by at least 20 points and they had that look in their eye that the Warriors were next.

Unfortunately for us, our starting point guard and our starting shooting guard got stage fright.  The point guard was scared to dribble after getting stripped a couple of times and the shooting guard was scared to shoot after getting blocked a couple of times.  At the half we were only down by two points and the boys from Arkansas found themselves unable to blow us out.  The two guards never fully recovered and we lost the game by just 4 points.  Tre played well and didn’t express too much disappointment towards his frightened teammates.

He loved the experience and left the north Dallas suburb of Frisco knowing he could compete at the highest level.  He thanked me for taking him on the best trip of his life, we hugged and I kissed him on his forehead.  Of course I caught that one tear that ran out of my eye.  We celebrated our accomplishments that night and made the long drive back home to Houston the next morning.

Tre Medearis (left) and his teammates celebrating another AAU tournament victory…one of many.

I remember growing up in school and having to cover my test scores and other grades so that I wouldn’t feel like some kind of freak.  I was weird and a nerd until 5th grade.  That’s when I was identified as being gifted and was entered into the best magnet school in our public school system.  My life was different because I was now surrounded with kids that were just like me…exceptionally smart.

But now I had to function in two worlds.  I had to get up before the sun, catch a bus and two trains to arrive at school on time.  Then when I would come home in the afternoon the sun would be on its way down.  I would go out and play with my friends and hear the ridicule from at least one person on a pretty regular basis.  Luckily for me I was one of the better athletes on the block so even though I was a nerd I was one of the first guys picked.

No one could hit a baseball farther than I could and nobody had better hands when it came to catching the football.  Wasn’t the best shooter on the court but I could block shots and rebound better that anybody.  My exception was not my ability to play sports but the grey matter lodged between my two ears.  I knew that because I was born with asthma and my single parent mother was not interested in seeing her only child laying on a football field gasping for air and losing his life.

It took me a long time to figure out that I was an exceptional person.  I knew I was different and because of that I tried to fit in with my peer groups.  Being exceptional is better than being different.  It is a recognition of your God-given talents and maximizing them to their highest level.

I have tried so hard to bring others over to my different world not realizing that they were often times missing that much-needed ingredient of “being exceptional.”  Why build a team with average players that you have to coach up when you can coach a team with great players and actually just enjoy coaching?

Ever wonder why only one out of every 100 people finds a way to earn $100,000/year or more?  Is it because they are better?  No, it is because they are exceptional.  They make it because they believe that they can.  Ask yourself what have you ever accomplished without belief in your ability.  I believe that everyone has at least one exceptional ability and if they embraced it instead of running from it they could have the life that they really want to live instead of the life that they are “stuck with.”

Later this month, the NBA will add 60 players to their ranks.  These 60 players will come from all over the world, not just these United States.  The odds of making it to the highest level of exceptional basketball play are difficult to calculate but it is obvious that the 60 that get picked this month will believe in their exceptional abilities.

As long as my son Tre continues to embrace his exceptional talents and realizes that his dream to play at the NBA level is within his belief system, I am confident that I will one day hear his name called as a member of that very elite group of 60 exceptional athletes.  I won’t bet against him…that’s for sure.

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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Business, Life, Relationships, Sports


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Bronze Medalist

It is indeed my hope that you will find the information that I am going to share with you funny, informative and best of all sharable with your fellow-man or woman.  I have told this story to many more women than men because they always want to know why married men cheat.  The answer is one that I have subscribed to as making the most sense from a logical male perspective but first let me set the record straight.  Contrary to public opinion, all married men don’t cheat.  In fact, the percentages of married men and women who cheat are not that far apart.  Married men stray about 1 in 3 (33%) and married women fool around on their hubby 1 in 4 (25%).  I have joked that if I wrote a book entitled “66% of Married Men Will Never Cheat” no one would ever buy it.

There are a million different reasons why someone makes the decision to be unfaithful to their spouse and I’m only going to dive deeply into one that I have found to be quite common.  I would be willing to bet that if this common reason could be somehow eliminated, the male cheating percentage might even be cut in half.  I have named this cause of infidelity the Bronze Medal Effect for reasons based solely on logical male thinking patterns.

The Bronze Medal Effect is based on the sexual activity levels of four different types of men.  The men are described as Single Man, Divorced Man, Married Man and Man Living with Girlfriend.  Everyone that I have asked to order these men in their level of sexual activity from most to least has failed.  I always have to give several guesses just to get 2 out of 4 correct.  Ladies, you are the determining factor for the activity levels but you rarely come close to getting the order right.  Rather than have you guess incorrectly for the rest of this post I will give you the answers in order from most to least sexual activity.

*Man Living with Girlfriend

*Divorced Man

*Married Man

*Single Man

Before you get upset because the order is not the one that you guessed, I will give you the logical rationale behind the order of these four types of men.  I will give the rationale in order from least to most just for suspense purposes.

Single Man has the least amount of sexual activity of these four types because he has to spend a lot of time meeting a lady, taking her out on a few dates and then eventually closing the deal.  This can take a few weeks and there is no guarantee of a successful connection, meaning they both enjoy the encounter.  Without mutual satisfaction in this first encounter, he will probably find himself having to begin the cycle all over again.  That means going out to a club, even club internet, identifying a potential young suitor and then going out on a few dates to get to know one another.  As you can see, this can take a lot of time for Single Man without yielding a lot of activity.  I know that there are exceptions to this guy that I am describing but for most Single Man types this is the unfortunate cycle that occurs.  Lots of time, lots of money but not necessarily lots of action with the opposite sex.

Married Man is the guess that I get the most from women who humor me with this exercise.  They have normally broached the subject and of course believe that 99.9% of married men are running around on their wives.  They can’t believe that Married Man is not getting the most action of the four types.  They are shocked to learn that he comes in third place.  Well guess what?  Married Man is shocked to be in third place as well.  He is also pissed with his 3rd place status.  Why, because he is the one that took the plunge into the world of matrimony and he believed that his leap of faith would at least yield the most sexual activity of his other counterparts.  His disappointment will probably manifest itself later into one of a variety of different destructive behaviors and one could be infidelity.

Divorced Man is in the number two spot because he was probably in a marriage that did not end overnight. It was bad for one or a few years and it was no secret to those who knew him…both male and female.  He may have fooled around or wanted to fool around and now all of those temptations are up for grabs with his new-found status.  Just think, Divorced Man is now able to pursue once forbidden fruit, the mistress and he also gets to take a bite out of Single Man’s playground for his pleasure.  Want to take a guess who else may have crept onto his sexual activity roster?  That’s right.  His ex-wife may be a real possibility especially soon after the divorce is finalized.  Some divorced women don’t want to lose that familiarity they had with their former husband.  She may not like him but if he was decent in the bedroom there’s a good chance she’s still in the picture from a sexual activity standpoint.

And last but not least, we have our good buddy Man Living with Girlfriend.  He is living a charmed life from an activity standpoint.  He is shacked up with his lady and has the option to walk away from that deal whenever he chooses.  Now this is where the fun begins.  The girlfriend doesn’t like this setup one bit but it is a means to an end.  Because she wants to be married to this man she is doing a lot of things to get her man to pop the question.  They do it when they go to bed at night and first thing in the morning.  They fight like cats and dogs and then enjoy the collateral damage called make-up sex.  Eventually the girlfriend will wear down Man Living with Girlfriend and he will pop the question.  At that moment, he has convinced himself that the sexual activity that he is experiencing now is what he will have forever after.  If it is he can consider himself a very lucky man but when it isn’t he will find himself now coming in 3rd place and earning the unwanted “bronze medal.”

How did this happen to him he wonders?  One day he was fighting to get away from his horny girlfriend and just get in the shower and the next day he finds himself praying for “sports talk radio sex” with his wife (that’s once during the week and once on the weekends for you non-sports talk call-in fans).  Once he feels that he’s been played for a fool, he really starts to get pissed and considers doing destructive things such as getting back to the life he once enjoyed.  You remember the one that involved a girlfriend.  We love girlfriends.  Girlfriends are always ready to please.  Girlfriends play by our rules because if they don’t we can always walk away.  Once you become Married Man walking away becomes a difficult undertaking and if there are kids involved just forget about it.

So what just happened here?  Hopefully you saw how a man went from being a gold medalist (#1) when he was Man Living with Girlfriend to a bronze medalist (#3) after he marries that same girlfriend.  Logically it doesn’t make sense that when you make the highest level of commitment for a lifetime that you end up coming in third place.  Men want to win and if getting married means you’re going to get less loving then why would you ever make that choice?  You make the commitment not knowing that you’re making the choice of less activity.

Speaking from a man’s point of view, when we commit, or propose, we do so believing that things will remain at least the same but we are really pulling for better ever after.  When things don’t quite work out that way we get down and try to figure out a way to fix our problem.  Contrary to what you may think, I am not condoning or giving unfaithful men a pass.  I am just shedding light on just one possible root cause for why he may have made a choice that will possibly end his marriage one day.

I know that every man doesn’t live with his future wife before they marry.  I know that every divorced man doesn’t sleep with his ex-wife.  I know that every married man doesn’t suffer with a reduction in sexual activity and I know that there will be some single men who will read this and say “last place…please.”  This piece was based on surveys conducted using thousands of men that fit one of those four descriptions.  The logic of where they place is really quite sound when you process it as a rule and not as an exception which I know some readers will.  That’s just human nature.

I decided to post this topic because I believe that it might help one woman from letting her activity with her hubby fall off from its premarital level as well as letting one man avoid the pain of going from first to third.  If we were playing baseball that would be great but in the marital olympics no man is trading his gold medal for a bronze one.  Hope this one man’s opinion/perspective was enjoyable as planned.