37 years ago an Italian man with a funny name stood atop the peak of Mount Everest. He was the first person to climb to the highest point on this beautiful planet completely solo and without any supplemental oxygen. His name is Reinhold Messner. He is a mountain climber and one of the most courageous people alive. Google him, I'll wait...


Reinhold is my hero. Can you imagine how scared he must have been on top of that mountain completely alone? People tried for years and years to climb Everest and he did it all by himself with no help. He must have been terrified, but he fought the terror off. He is a courageous person just like you.


When I was younger, my martial arts demo team performed at a Miami Heat basketball half-time show. I loved the NBA and wanted to grow up to be a professional basketball player. I was so scared to go out on the floor and perform. I looked to my friends and gained strength. My dad gave me a much needed pep talk. I looked out at the lights and decided those lights were for me.


Martial arts helped me overcome my fears. I know I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I didn’t train hard and earn my black belt. I learned how to defend myself against bullies. I learned how to be a good friend and a team player. I learned how to overcome my fears. I learned how to be courageous. 


When you put things off due to fear, that fear only grows and gets worse. Now are your mountain climbing days! What does that mean? It means you are young and full of life. It means you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. One day your knees will be sore and your back will ache when you get out of bed, but today you are young and full of energy. Now are your mountain climbing days. Go out and conquer whatever your particular mountain may be.