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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 30, 2014/ 29 Shevat, 5774

The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings: Part 1

By Dave Weinbaum



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The title of this column was the headline Quotable Quote in Reader's Digest in June, 1999. I think it reflects a lot of good stuff that's occurred in my life. Below I detail an example. It was my first experience that made me realize I might not be a total loser for the rest of my life.

At 65, official "old age," I think it's time to share a few things I've learned. Even if you think it's all about ego — I don't care. A rendition of what this attitude has done for me may help others who have trouble trying new things, facing adversity of their own or responding to recent defeats.

If one was a contrarian, the reverse of the title quote might be: Most don't lose too often as much as quit too soon. Most people live this way. They take the failures as assurance that this is who they are and retreat until retirement—playing out the string of life they believe they've been dealt — until they die.

From about the second grade up, I hosted a pick-up tackle football game in my back yard in Skokie Ill. Every day and most weekends in the fall and winter, we'd play. So naturally, when I was a high school freshman I signed up to play.

At the time, Evanston Township High School had about six thousand students and was a powerhouse in Illinois sports. They were especially good under the coaching of Murney Lazier, STILL the most winningest football coach in Illinois high school history.

Victories often occur when you see no way to succeed but refuse to give up anyway

I had a few things against me. I was small and slow. As I stood in the sign-up line and saw the size of the boys who were going out for the team, I began to have second thoughts. Then the two giants who were standing behind me asked if I had a suicide wish because if I went out there on that field I'd surely be smashed to death. I was beginning to wonder myself.

The first couple of weeks were interesting — mostly agility drills and running, both of which I sucked at.

But a funny thing happened when we put on the pads and the helmet. I seemed to get faster and the other guys got slower. Coach Lazier's practices may have been brutal but he didn't cut anyone who could hack it. Instead guys dropped out left and right. I was first string on the "B" team as a 108 pound offensive guard and defensive linebacker. The "A" team, most of whom were well beyond puberty, used to kick our butts.

As a sophomore and junior, I played on the junior varsity team. My senior year started off badly. While I had developed some, I was still only 155 pounds on a team that averaged 230-240 pounds on the line. I was still the slowest guy on the team. I thought of quitting. At fifth (last) string, we didn't even get to go live against anyone. We held the dreaded inflated blocking shields. Our All State tight end, Doug Redman, who went on to be All Big Ten at University of Illinois and was drafted by the pros, decided to have some fun at my expense. He ran into me as I was holding a blocking shield and drove me into the ground well after the play was over. The next time he came my way, I dropped the dummy buffer and speared my helmet into his "lower" areas. Needless to say, he wasn't pleased and we had quite a little spat on the field.

Just before the season started, we had one-on-one challenges. Two guys would face up bordered between two blocking dummies. Each took turns at blocking the other guy. A running back had to run through the hole. If he survived, the blocker got the point. If he was tackled, the defender won. Then we switched sides and repeated. That day, over four years after the big dudes told me I was about to die, I whipped everyone ahead of me—and the toughest and biggest of them, won only one point out of the six. I went from fifth to first string in one practice — or so I thought.

The next practice I looked on the board and saw I had only moved up to third string. I retrospect; there must have been quite a discussion between the coaches after the challenge practice. So, taking more courage than it took to go up against anyone on the team, I approached the ever unapproachable, intimidator of all, Coach Lazier. I asked him why I was third string if I had beaten everyone. He told me that I had slacked off on weight training during the summer. Well before Hillary asked, "…what difference at this point does it make!?" I felt like asking that, but remained silent. I had clearly beaten the guys who could bench press amazing amounts and do squats with tons on their shoulders.

I remember catching a ride on the back of a Yamaha motor scooter with friend Howie Lipke and crying all the way home. I spent a miserable night knowing that I'd wasted almost four years of my life on something I was apparently never meant to be, a first string football player. But, then again, being a poor student, I didn't have much else to look forward to either.

You'll never know if you've gone far enough unless you're willing to go too far

The next morning, I set a tone for the rest of my life.

I wasn't going to let them steal what I had earned. I knew that as a third-stringer I got to go live against the very men I had just whipped, every day in practice. I was determined to become first string one way or another. After two weeks of demolishing the entire line and several backs, I gave the Coach Lazier no choice. I WAS HIS STARTING GUARD FOR THE LAST HALF OF MY SENIOR YEAR. And most importantly, I was effective.

It got to the point that when the coach got pissed at his defensive tackles, he'd put me in to replace them. One time I got a sack and a tackle on two straight plays. Then the other team double teamed me and drove me into the ground. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted and it showed what other teams were willing to do so as not to be embarrassed by an undersized, slow runt.

I was also a wrestler, where you went up against those in your own weight class. I was a decent enough grappler, but not the star the coaches thought I would be based on my football success.

I've thought about this a lot. After reading Malcom Gladwell's book, The Outliers, recently, I came up with the answer. Gladwell, giving the example of the Beatles, claimed that if you did anything 10,000 times you'd become an expert at it.

I had about seven years' experience playing against larger players in my back yard. I was developing techniques from a small person's stature against larger people. The only thing I had to add was the courage to try a new beginning by going out for the team to have enough information to measure myself. In wrestling, I had no extra experience.

By the way, I was offered a wrestling scholarship to Denver University and a football scholarship to what is now Minnesota State College.

As to the big dudes behind me in line on sign-up day?

They quit football after the first week of freshman practice.

Go figure!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Dave Weinbaum hosts DaveWeinbaum.com. He is a businessman, writer and part-time stand-up comic and resides in a Midwest red state. Comment by clicking here.



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