Thursday, March 19, 2015


“I’m in your corner.” Have you ever heard that before? Of course you have, we all have. At one time or another we've all had this said to us as an encouragement, as a vote of confidence or we've said it to someone. But have you ever wondered what it really means to be in someone’s corner? Too many times we blurt out a phrase without really thinking about it and maybe you have done so with this boxing reference. It isn't unusual for people to go to the boxing world to illustrate a point they want to make. Even the Apostle Paul did so (1 Corinthians 9:26). So what about being in someone’s corner, what does it mean?

First it means Believing in that person before the fight even begins. When I was in high school I did a little boxing at the Westwood Boys Club. What I learned in that time was if the trainers believed in the boxer then the training would be focused and often times hard. They would spend time with the boxer long before he ever stepped foot in the ring. They helped the boxer stay focused during the exercises when he just did not want to go on and helped him be prepared for the battle in front of him. There is a lot of pre-fight work to be done and only those who believe in the boxer will be willing to invest the effort it takes.

Secondly, is Encouragement during the fight itself. Remember watching the movie Rocky? When Rocky was in the ring during the fight of his life against Apollo Creed his trainer, Micky, was shouting instructions and encouragement from the corner, especially when Rocky was on the ropes. Being in someone’s corner means being encouraging to them especially when they feel like the fight is too much. Although the fighter is in the ring alone, he mustn't feel as if he is. That’s when the corner team comes in with encouragement, especially when he is on the ropes.

Thirdly is Tending to the fighter between rounds. Each round is three minutes of hard blows and body punches. It doesn’t sound like a long time but it truly is. I equate it to standing in front of a crowd to give a speech for the first time. Even if it is only a minute speech, that minute can seem like an eternity. The same is true in boxing then add in someone who keeps hitting you in the head. However, after each round is 2 minutes of rest where the trainers give you a drink, instructions and tend to any cuts you might have from the battle, plus you get to sit. When we are tired from our battles and life’s struggles, we also need the rest and someone there to tend to us. Mend our bruised spirit, lift us up when we want to quit and take care of our wounds.

Finally, win or lose those in the corner are there to Support the boxer. It’s easy to be there for the victory. It’s a celebration, with cheering, laughter and pats on the back. We all need someone to celebrate our victories with. It’s sad to be victorious, yet celebrate alone, which does happen on occasion. What’s worse is the defeats. You are battered, bruised and just plain beaten down when you look around to see who is there. For many, there is no one to offer support or comfort. No one to say, “You’ll get’em next time.” You look back at your corner and those who said they would be there have left. However, those who are truly in your corner will always be there, maybe annoyingly so – ha ha. But they are there.

Next time you tell someone, “Hey, just so you know, I’m in your corner.” Take a moment to reflect on what it means to truly be in their corner. Then be there, they…I need it.

Monday, March 9, 2015


On my jet with about 100 other folk
Willie Nelson sang, “On the Road Again” about his love for travel and living the gypsy lifestyle. He has even said in an interview he is so much at home on his tour bus that when he is actually at home he will still sleep on his bus. I've heard a lot of artists convey the same idea as they travel. Most are given a hotel room, usually a suite, in a nice hotel only to use it for meet and greets or for meetings then actually sleep on their bus because it’s there “home.” Life on the road isn't easy but when you have those kind of accommodations to enhance your love for this gypsy life, then it does make a difference.

I don’t have a tour bus, I have a Boeing 737 which I share with over 100 other people each weekend. I would like a tour bus which would save of packing each weekend. I wouldn't forget some of my stuff, like I did this week because the bus would be my mobile home with all I need. Before you and I get all caught up in the “glamour” of life on the road allow me to take a second or two to say, sometimes it isn't all it’s cracked up to be. I stayed in a hotel where you had to slip a wire over the door knob for your “security” lock. I've had to leave the comfort of my bed, on more than one occasion, at 3am to drive 2 or 3 hours to catch a flight home. Once even in a snow storm. There is a lot of alone time, where it’s just you and the television. If there isn't anything on or the hotel has a cheap cable package you better have packed a book to read, your laptop for work to do (which there is always plenty) or at the very least a deck of cards to play solitaire.

Bundled together that way, life on the road doesn't sound much fun. But rarely is there a perfect storm of a weekend. The “catastrophes” I've faced for the most part is like this weekend where I forgot my Ipod (which I take on every trip) and my wireless mouse other than that, so far so good. With some of those bad experiences I mentioned, it wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention some of the good stuff. One of which is simply, I get to travel. I've gotten to see and experience things I never thought I would or at the very least just dreamed about. I have gotten to see this great country in which we live and meet a lot of interesting people. The mom and pop places I've gotten to eat in are too numerous to mention plus I get to see my family often.

Through my travels I have made new friends and have the opportunities to hang out with friends I've had for years. Plus I get to do what I love to do, be on stage. Standing on that stage performing for people I've only just met is a top notch experience for me where I get to be me and who I am.

This Gypsy lifestyle Willie sings about, well, it the life for me.