I have reinvented myself frequently over my professional career. After I graduated from college at The Citadel (where I played NCAA Division I basketball), I was employed in the Marketing Department at the corporate headquarters of Wendy’s International. From there, I worked in hospital administration for Riverside Methodist Hospital. After getting married and moving to California for my wife's job, I became the Customer Service Manager for an academic publishing company. After our daughter was born and we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, I became a police officer with the Cincinnati Police Department, where I was a SWAT Hostage Negotiator and undercover narcotics investigator. Following a family relocation to Texas, I started a school security consulting business and coached high school girls’ basketball in Houston.
However, my greatest challenge began in early 2012 when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Melanoma, which presented on the bottom of my foot. By the time the cancer was detected, it had metastasized to a lymph node in my groin. Because my cancer is so rare, I was treated at the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center. I had two surgeries to remove the tumors, and after I healed, I was put on a weekly injection of the drug, Interferon, to prevent the disease from coming back.
The Interferon gave me severe flu-like symptoms for two to three days after each injection. I lost fifty pounds during my therapy, was constantly nauseous, fatigued, and chilled, my ability to taste food significantly diminished, and my body constantly ached. This misery went on for over 1,660 days!
One thing I learned during all my pain and suffering is that you have two choices. You can succumb to the debilitating discomfort and misery, or you can learn to embrace it and use it to make you a stronger and better human being. I chose the latter.
In 2020, I wrote the book, Sustainable Excellence, Ten Principles to Leading Your Uncommon and Extraordinary Life, to help others find and live their uncommon and extraordinary purpose. The ten principles outlined in the book will provide the bedrock necessary to form the foundation of unshakable beliefs and dedicated behaviors to reinforce your attitude, no matter how much pain you must endure or how many obstacles you must overcome.