Saturday, June 8, 2013

Do they Matter?

I pose this query not because I’m concerned about the way a table is set
or how a fork is held, though that is part of having good manners;
I believe manners are an attitude – an approach to life.

I was witness to an unpleasant episode over the weekend.
Occurring at a local restaurant,
the incident was between a middle-aged man and college-age waitress.
Poor language, negative air and hostile decibels.
Not privy to all the dialogue I still perceived the ordeal as manner-less and needless.

Manners distinguish you for better or for worse.
Manners are how we pilot ourselves.
Are we graciousness,
courteous, civil.
I consider this the hallmark of a refined and good person.
Not just for the appearances of what it is
But really the attitude of being well-mannered.

Just recently I came upon the motto:
“Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”.
Do you happen to know whose motto that is?
The Ritz-Carlton.
Simply put this is an attitude of the heart.
Its being considerate of the welfare and well-being of others.
Pretty important in my line of work…

Lately, I’ve been pondering both my language and demeanor.
Our present culture is so accustomed to using and hearing profanity
that we've lost our sense of what is truly profane.
Merriam-Websters online defines profane as: to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt.Ouch!

Admittedly, I'm no puritan.
And when I'm honest with myself, I don't like it when I do it.
Cussing is typically lazy and dumbed-down language.
It tears me down and, worse, brings others with me.

Yes, both my manner and manners matter.
I'm working to be the best Mike I can be.
Will you join me in cleaning up your language?
When you do, you're also becoming a better leader of your life by becoming a lady or a gentleman.

Take Care,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Elephants and Self-imposed Limits

Elephants and Self-imposed Limits

My household has BrightHouse Cable.
Way too many channels for the adult male.

The other night I was flipping through the channels.
And I came across a show, a documentary you might call it, about elephants.

In India they use elephants for manual labor.
In this story it explained how they trained the elephants-
Or rather how they restrained them when they weren't working.

The elephant handlers came up with the idea to "program" the elephants
while they are still very young.
By "program" I mean, by setting self-imposed limits into their thinking.

When the elephants are still small, weighing around 150 pounds, they were tied up with a very heavy rope.
All day long, the elephants tried to get rid of it.
They whined, tugged at it and some of them even try to chew it.

They never broke free.
Finally, the elephants gave up, the fight over.

From that moment on, the elephants believed that there was absolutely no chance to get rid of the rope.
They accepted the "fact" that the rope limited them.

Belief in place, the elephant handlers were able to restrain them with small ropes.
Even as adults, weighing 8,000 pounds and more, they never attempted to break free because they "knew" they had no chance.

The elephant's limits were not real, but existed only in their minds.

Without insulting everyone's intelligence, you know where this is going.

With negative beliefs and boundaries existing in our own minds we are unable
to set and reach higher goals,
to be as successful as we can be,
to live our lives to the fullest,
to fulfill our true dreams.

We always have the inner strength; the personal power to change everything in our life for the better.

So, never give up!
Never act like an elephant!

Take Care,
Coach Curley

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eagles and Graduation

Eagles and Graduation:
A Tribute to our Seniors and Their Parents

I found out an very interesting fact about America's bird.
The fact pertains to how eagle mothers build their nests.

Eagles and nests... 'what's up?' you might ask.
With graduation fast approaching, bear with me.

Those who have studied the eagle found that
the "expecting" mother eagle begins building her nest
with all kinds of prickly and sharp things:
Jagged sticks, and other sharp objects.
These pointed and prickly objects are laid down first.

Next, the mother eagle fills this foreboding place
with the softest things she can find.  
Articles like wool, Feathers, and fur from her kills.

This changes the nest into a place that is not only desirable,
but also inviting.
Here the babies grow in a very comfortable environment.

At the proper time, the mother reverses the process.
She begins to stir up the nest exposing the sharp items
with which the nest began.

She throws the wool, feathers and fur to the wind.
Thereby making the nest not so friendly a place to be.  

After a short period of time, the babies,
now mature enough to leave,
cannot stand the discomfort of the nest any longer-
Simply wanting to be anywhere else.

This is the mother's way of forcing her babies to maturity.
She knows that if they do not get out on their own,
experiencing life, and learning to feed and care for themselves,
they will have no future.

With this thought I sympathize, empathize and admire
the parents of this year's seniors.
May our babies sore to their highest potential.

Congrats Seniors and Take Care,

Coach Curley


G o for it.
R each for the stars.
A ccept compliments.
D are all your dreams.
U ncover new talents.
A nticipate great things.
T ake chances along the way.
I magine the possibilities.
O pen new doors.
N ever stop believing.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Derby and Momentum

The Derby and Momentum

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky.
Having only visited on occasion since I left for college in 1982
I never took notice of the many majestic hills.

I had the chance to visit the ole' stomping grounds last weekend for the Kentucky Derby: the most exciting two minutes in sport.

While visiting I ventured out with my wife, an excellent runner,
and my sister, a triatlete that has twice competed in the Hawaiian Ironman.

Each morning prior to the day's activities  
We took off with no direction or milege in mind.
Quickly, I realized that walking in my childhood home town
has its ups and downs, literally.

During the 45 minute excursions I found myself acutely aware of any horizontal plane. 
The only consistent flat surfaces I spied

was the water at the lake, and my sister's flat-feet as
she pointed out specific landmarks and historical homes.

15 minutes into our journeys, I looked forward to every downhill.
Each one giving me a little extra push as I encountered the next uphill.
I liken that feeling to the way a 18-wheeler must feel
traveling through Colorado or parts of Tennessee.
Speed ever increasing on the downhill, and maintaining
that speed partway up the next hill.

It's called momentum.
I think life is like that.
The more momentum one builds, the farther you'll go.
And the easier it will be when the uphills come along.

I ask you, are you climbing that next uphill
from a dead standstill?
Or are you building momentum?

Take Care,
Coach Curley

Sunday, April 28, 2013



"It" means living life with passion and zeal.
From what I understand the word
originated from the Greek adjective "enthous,"
which means, "possessed or inspired by God.

"It" was evident the weekend of April 26-28th.

570 athletes visited our pool.
I saw "it" in their eyes.

We had 60 or more volunteers:  Officials, Timers, Computer Operators. 
I observed "it"  for hours on end.

And we had 6 coaches bust their tails preparing,
conducting, and tiding up afterward.
I both witnessed and participated in “it”.

The weekend wasn't easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

I truly believe “it” is one of the most
powerful engines of success.
And I trust close to 1000 lives are better
from what occurred this past weekend.

Relationships were forged,
Lessons were learned,
Teams were built,
all stemming from the spirit of “it”.

As Emerson once wrote ”nothing great was ever
achieved without enthusiasm."

“It”/Enthusiasm equals greatness.

Take Care and Thanks,

Saturday, April 13, 2013

As Free as the Air

The best things in life are free.
 Ever remember saying that?

And it’s still true:
 A walk in the park -
as long as it’s not a Disney Park!
A good book on loan from the library -
as long as you return it on time.

And of course AIR.

Wait a moment!
Not entirely true.
Especially if you want to put some of that air in your car tires!

The other day I noticed my 17 year old's "ride" had a tire
that looked a little low.
Deciding to do him a favor, I took the second set of keys for the old 
1990 Ford Ranger
and drove up to the corner.

Did you know: It’s now a dollar a pop!  For Air!

Even more, if you haven’t taken off all the little valve caps,
tested to determine which tires need air, exactly how much,
and put on your running shoes before you drop your coins in.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s pit crew can do it in the allotted time.
The rest of us - well, 6-8 quarters ought to do it.

Air’s still free - sort of.

Are you taking anything - or anyone - for granted?

Take Care,

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Glove Box or Glove Compartment?

Glove Box or Glove Compartment?

I believe every car has one:
that little compartment on the front passenger’s side of the dashboard.

By name alone, I trust it’s designed to store gloves.
Driving gloves.
Winter gloves, especially lately here in Florida.
Baseball gloves.
(No, not really.)

The other day, stuck at a railroad crossing,
I decided to clean out my glove compartment.
Here’s what I found:

The car owner’s manual and service record, a couple old google maps, three or four receipts, a pencil, a pen, a month-old-Sunday church bulletin, a cell phone owner’s manual (I don’t even have the phone anymore), and a plastic something or other that I can’t even identify.

Here’s what I did not find:  Gloves!

Until very recently, I used the word “floppy” to describe
that device on which you store computer data.
After being somewhat chastised by my 13 year old son...
and following my 8 minute wait at the railroad crossing,
It appeared to me that I needed to update my lingo… computer and otherwise.

First update:  call the compartment located in my car by its correct name:
a “Stuff Place.”

Got to keep up with the times!
How about you?
Got any “stuff places” that need renaming?

Take Care,
Coach Curley


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Billboards and Bumper Stickers

Traveling the Long and Winding Road

Car bumpers can yield a lot of wisdom if we simply pay attention.
Now it seems, billboards have gotten into the act!

I spent approximately 20 hours in the car this Spring Break.
Those interstates can get a wee bit monotonous
if you let them.

I did not.
Since I had to focus on keeping the car between the navigational beacons;

I missed some of the most profound billboards and bumper stickers.
But much to my happiness my 13 year old occasionally took a break from his ipad; taking in the 1200 plus miles of literary scenery as well.

One of several I missed and he was kind enough to share,  

"Wherever I go, there I am."
Simple, yet insightful.

This I-95 billboard brought out some pretty philosophical queries
from my seventh grader.
Of course this got me thinking...

When I don't like something about myself,
I can't just go somewhere else,
because it, and me, will be there.

This suggests to me that we alone have to deal with who we are.
If there's something we don't like,
only two options are available:
accept it or change it.

I ask:
Do you find the you, that you like, wherever you go?

Take Care,
Coach Curley

Friday, March 22, 2013


Here is the typical life - typical, though not everybody does it this way.
But for the most part, lives generally go something like this:
Eat and sleep
Play with toys
Go to school
Play little league, hopefully a swim team as well…
Go to school
Learn to drive
Go to school
Leave high school
Go to more school
Date some more
Get a job
Get married
Buy a house
Have kids
Watch your kids eat, sleep, play and go to school
Work, work, and work

That’s the basic life, isn’t it?
Please don’t email me.
I know there is more to it, but that is about it for some folks.

What I believe sets the thriving apart is that they don’t just live the average life.
They don’t just pass time.
They have something compelling in their life that drives them - something 
that gives them an answer when they are asked that question:  
What in the world are you doing?

  • I’m helping children.

  • I’m creating a business that supports many families.

  • I lead a church.

  • I am defending our liberties.

  • I am raising great children.

  • I’m teaching others to improve their lives.

  • I help people have fun.

  • I create memories for people.

In other words, flourishing people always come down to this: 
I help other people by (fill in your purpose here).

What in the world am I doing?
I believe if you want to be successful, you need to be able to answer that by describing how you help others.
Because if you aren’t helping others - if you aren’t making a difference – you’re just taking up space, eating food, and waiting to pass.

Here’s the question for all of us to answer this week:  What in the world are we doing?

If you know, then you are good to go - live it and make a difference!

If you don’t know, then maybe you need to give some reflection on what you are doing,
what your life is about,
and how you can burst out of the mundane bubble you live in!
After all, don’t you want to know what in the world you are doing here?

Take Care,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things We Don’t Like, Not Doing

Things We Don’t Like, Not Doing

How often do you catch yourself talking about things you hate to do.

Actually, my list is small and includes things like:
Driving on I-4. 
Weighing in at the doctor’s office.
Waiting in line. (explains the first one on my list)

Yet we do them because…
Well, I’m not sure why we do them.
I guess we do them because,
as my kids say, “we’re ‘sposed’ to.”

I think we should give equal time to the things we don’t like, NOT doing.
These would include:
Eating whatever I want.  (up until the last couple years this has not been a problem)

Going “full-tilt” in all sport activities. (to borrow a phrase from a great movie… I’m writing checks, my body just can’t cash)

Staying up late. (nothing like staying up past bedtime watching an old JAMES BOND movie, but darn I feel like heck in the morning).

Some things we no longer do, 
because we can’t.
Others, we no longer do not because we can’t,
but because we’ve chosen not to.

Guess when all’s said and done,
life’s just a series of choices we make.

Me… I'll choose to talk about things I like to do.

Are you making the right choices in your life!

Take Care,
+Coach Curley