Archive for champion

A Bridge To Cross – A Future To Build

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There comes a point in everyone’s life that we need to cross a bridge.  For me, that time is now.

The past is over and done.  The future is yet to be seen.  All I have is right now…and I, for one want to make the most of each and every moment.

Therefore, I will close this heavy book I have been holding in my hand, and I will begin writing a new one with every step I take.  I will put one foot in front of the other leaving the old and familiar, as I cross that bridge into the future.

I do not know what is on the other side of this bridge.  Yet whatever it is, I will embrace it with all of my heart and soul.

Yes.  I do not know where I am going.  Yet I do know I will get there.  With God’s grace, it will be a wonderful place.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

cc:  danahee  February 19 2014

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As The Snow Falls

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Standing outside just now, I watch my beautiful turkeys as they eat the corn and ‘coo’ among themselves

The silence of the falling snow drowns out the cries of my soul.  It’s sleek white blanket slowly covers the tears in my heart

Crystal cold air quiets my mind…if only for a moment or two

What peace it must be, to never feel the beauty of the snow.  Yet so sad this emptiness within

‘Good-by’ echoes in the frozen stillness of this winter wonderland

As I turn away,  I pray I pray that peace will prevail

Truly?  Is it better to go to sleep on an empty stomach?

Perhaps so.  Perhaps not.

cc:  dhee 02/2014

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Beware The Sunglass Effect – A Holiday Lesson

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucius

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I realize that I need to keep reminding myself not to judge something or someone by my tainted beliefs.

This is my thought today after confronting what I believed to be a thief sneaking around in my yard early this morning.  And since I live in a very small, rural farm area where everyone knows everyone, these things do not generally happen here.

About a week ago, I was out of town when a suspected burglar broke into several places, including a truck and the small house of my sleeping tenants.  It was about ten or eleven in the evening on a dark stormy night with the rain pouring down like crazy and flooding the street outside.  Considering that we have recently had some good snowfall, and it is late November, I’m assuming it was crazy cold outside also.

According to a couple of neighbors accounts, ‘Manny,’ as he is known in this tiny, one horse Hispanic town had entered the gated and enclosed large community yard of several casitas that I manage and rent out.  This yard is used mainly for gardening and animals and provides a back access to five separate units or ‘casitas’ here.  Supposedly, Manny had approached one private yard, only to be turned aside by the barking dogs inside.

He then walked around or jumped a couple of fences and entered one tenants’ truck which was parked in the front driveway, and unlocked.  Word from one neighbor was that he was ‘hot-wiring’ the truck, and that he had intended to steal that tenant’s outboard motor that was attached to his small boat outside.  (This assumption was made and verified because Manny had left his jacket on top of the boat’s motor.  And since Manny has a background as a talented mechanic, it would’ve been easy for him to highjack the truck.  Thank God MY car was not there at the time)!

Well, supposedly, Manny’s attempt with the truck was interrupted (barking dogs?  people’s voices?), and he left the truck and took off.  Since his previous attempts at thievery had been foiled, Manny then turned to another neighbors house.  Jumping the six foot secure fence, he then rummaged around the back of the house looking for a way to enter in the dark.  Hearing the noises, the wife of the couple living there commented to her husband that she thought someone was outside and trying to break in.  They were watching TV, and her husband at first did not believe her.  Yet as the back kitchen door rattled again, he realized she was right, went to get his gun and a flashlight.

Opening the door, he barged outside and found Manny quickly walking away, towards the front of the property where a six foot gate secured the area.  Recognizing the thief as Manny – someone he had known of for many years – my neighbor then demanded an explanation for why he was attempting to rob him and his wife.  “What have we ever done to you?”  “We used to give you our business, and this is how you repay us?”  My neighbor was very indignant when he related this story to me.  I could just imagine the scene as he related it to me.  Manny cowered by the front gate while searching for a way to open it to escape.  “How do you get out of here?” Manny stuttered to my neighbor.

“What are you doing here Manny!”  “How did you get in here?”  my neighbor queried.

“I fell asleep at the church, and I woke up in here.”  “I don’t know.” Manny kept telling him.

“Don’t you play dumb with me you M>F!”  “You obviously jumped my fence and were attempting to rob me!”  “Maybe THIS will help you remember how you got in here!”  And my neighbor lifted the gun he had been hiding and pointed it at Manny.

“You should have seen how quickly Manny jumped that gate,” my neighbor exclaimed.  “He was just lucky that my wife was yelling for me not to shoot him!”

So what happened after this I asked him.

“Well, it turns out that my wife had called the police and that the dispatch office had recently received numerous calls about him breaking into various places.”  “So they already had a policeman in the area, and they came around the corner and found him walking on the street.”  “They arrested him and took him to jail.”  “Good riddance!”

“Though, I know they won’t hold him!”  My neighbors wife said with contempt.  “The police never do their job!”  “If someone goes to rob you or break into your house, they do nothing.”  “Yet if you try to protect yourself or your property, YOU are the one prosecuted!”

It was a day or so later, when I was at our local community store and mentioned this fiasco to the owner.  “I hope your tenant prosecutes him!”  “He’s a bad man.”  “He’s always stealing things, and he even stole things from the church!”

Reflecting on this, I thought how fortunate I was that nothing truly bad had happened, and that this man had ended up in jail!

So when I awoke at seven am this morning to the persistent barking of my dog, I was surprised to see a man sneaking through the community yard over by the tool shed.

“No.”  “Surely that is not the same man!” I exclaimed to myself as I hurriedly shoved my feet into my boots, threw on my jacket and stuffed my hat down over my wild hair, and flew out the door into the freezing cold and snow.

Blinded by the glare of sun on snow, I reached into my pocket and grabbed my sunglasses and slid them on as I strode angrily towards the now quickly departing man.  I caught up to him just as he opened the previously locked gate to make his exit.

“What do you think you are doing?”  I exclaimed with anger.  “And what is your name?”

“I’m Manny,” he said as he started to walk off.

“You are the one that broke in here a week ago!”  “This is a private property.”  “You can’t do this!”  “It’s against the law!”  “Don’t you ever come here again!”

Manny continued onwards down the road as I called the police dispatch and followed him to see what direction he headed.  After only a few houses down, he sat on the front porch of an abandoned house and I quickly informed the dispatch as to his location.

An hour later, a policeman showed up and took my statement.  Then he mentioned to me that he was the arresting officer from a week back, and that he had taken Manny in that night for mental evaluation.  He also said that this man was homeless, had nowhere to live and no one to help him.  The officer sadly proclaimed that the government system for dealing with such a man was proving hopeless.  At which point, I angrily asserted that, “So we are to let a man do whatever he wants and break into places, since he is not in his ‘right mind?”  “This is ridiculous!”  At which point, the officer quickly agreed this was a problem.

It was several hours later, after the sun had thawed some of the snow and left the slick gooey mud to attach itself to my boots like glue, that I ventured out to double check my turkeys, ducks and chickens.  It was then that I noticed…several places on the ground… that Manny had spread the cracked corn for my critters.  He had gone to the toolshed, not to steal.  In the midst of his own aloneness, possible hunger and cold…he had simply had the desire to bring some food and comfort to another.

As I thought about the warm roof over my head and the abundance of food in my house, and the promise of Thanksgiving dinner with friends tomorrow, I realized how easy it is to see the world through the eyes of our beliefs.

Cc Dana Hee, 2013

ABOUT DANA

Dana is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Top Motivational Speaker, 3x Hall Of Fame Martial Artist, Award-Winning Stuntwoman (over 17 years stunt doubling the leading ladies in Block-Buster Films such as the Batman Movies, The Terminator films, Charlies Angels, Peacemaker, Alias and MUCH more).  More importantly, she is a Life Survivalist whom endeavors to Inspire, Enlighten, and Elevate the hearts and minds of people around the world.

http://www.GreatThingsArePossible.com

TO READ MORE OF DANA’S INSPIRATIONAL STORIES…CLICK HERE

Thank you for viewing my stories!  Love and light to all!  Dana Hee

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Olympic Day. A Gift To Give!

An Olympian With an ‘Olympic Day’ Perspective

Just yesterday, a very shy six-year-old girl approached me with downcast eyes and caved in shoulders. 

“Can I have your autograph please?” She spoke in such a whisper of a voice that I could barely make out her words. 

I was suddenly blind-sided by the familiar pain of childhood, and the memory of my mother’s voice in my ears of, “You are not good enough and never will be!” 

You see, this little girl reminded me of what I was like when I was six years old…abandoned, abused, and raised in an orphanage in remote Louisiana.

Now as a mature woman who has conquered extreme odds and risen from the ashes to hover in the clouds with accomplishments in Olympics, Hollywood Film and Life…this little girl reminded me that I have been given a great gift in life; that of self-confidence, self-esteem and courage. 

Greeting her with a smile I said, “My what pretty blond hair you have!” “What’s your name?”

“Sylvia” She replied quietly…still not meeting my gaze.

“Why do you want my autograph Sylvia?”

Looking at me for the first time with blazing blue eyes and a very slight smile, she replied, “One day, I want to be strong like you!” And she quickly lowered her eyes once again.

“Well, Sylvia, do you know what I think?” I asked her as I took the crumpled up paper from her hands and straightened it out. She shook her head to answer ‘No.’ 

“I think you already are strong Sylvia.” “You just don’t know it here (and I touched her head), and here” (and I gently pressed my fingers above her heart).

“You see?” I continued. And she looked up at me with a puzzled look in her eyes. “It took a LOT of courage to come up here and ask me for this autograph.”  “So this tells me that you ARE brave and very strong!”

“Really” she spoke in a much firmer tone?

“Really!” I replied and I signed the autograph, gave her a big hug and then handed the paper to her. 

She giggled as she took the autograph and clutched it tightly to her heart. Then with her head held high and a beautiful smile on her face, she turned and skipped her way back through the heavy mass of kids, teens and adults crowding around.

With a radiant smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart, I turned and greeted the next person in line.

Later, as I walked back to my car to leave, I realized that the most wonderful gift that I had been given in life…was to have the privilege to share a little bit of courage, self-confidence and self-esteem with those who needed it most.

To me, THIS was what ‘Olympic Day’ was truly about!

Dana Lynn Hee

(Posted on Facebook June 23rd 2010)

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If I Should Die Tonight, I am Grateful

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I am reminded this evening after I finish a wonderful BBQ that was shared  with the very old man, my neighbor…and sit quietly contemplating in the darkening skies….I am reminded of how grateful I feel about my life.

I am grateful I was born and then abandoned to orphanage. For worse would surely have come.

I am grateful for the insincere love and lack of love…for these experiences helped to wizen my heart to those whom I now know are not to be allowed into mine.

I am thankful, that I left my house an early age, for even though I endured humility, I encountered thankfulness and the bond of human nature.

I am eternally grateful to my Foster Parents, and the organizations that assisted in giving me assistance along the way, including the wonderful, stable, loving home with my Foster family.

I am appreciative of the lessons I learned from my younger days of love…searching for my dreams of a wonderful man.   For this taught me what is NOT healthy….yet gave me the desire for a true love and companionship.

I am eternally thankful that God allowed me to spare my life that one moment of dire distress…for he then opened up the world for me to new and wonderful opportunities.

That one, powerful experience, sent me on a journey of the unknown…the un-forseen…and definitely, the unprecedented.

My life?

Changed forever.

And now….as I sit (no…not wealthy or living high)…enjoying the cries of the peacocks and the children still playing basketball nearby?

I am at peace. For I have been given so much in life…that if I should die tonight. I will have no regrets.

Basically? I am grateful for everything. The good…the bad. The wise, the sad.

It is all good in the end. For it makes us who we are.  And what a blessing to just be.

I am very thankful.

dana hee

(posted on Facebook, April 2, 2011)

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A Message Of Love From The Other Side Of Life!

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Last week, I was suddenly hit with a very deep, despairing, emotional thought that I had made a horrendous mistake with my dying mother last year.  She was in Hospice care with only a short time left to live.  Her main lifelong dog had just died, and because of certain circumstances, I had had to vacate her house and belongings, getting rid of many things….many of which I know she had loved dearly (trinkets, chotskies, that held personal meaning to her).

When I was with her a short time after all this had taken place, she asked about her dog.  I told her the truth.  She asked about her house and belongings.  I told the truth.  I could not bear the thought of lying to her.

She died a short time later.  And I believe she finally ‘let go’ of life because these things she loved were no longer there waiting for her to return to them.

The moment, revelation I was hit with last week, was, “WHY did I just not lie!?”  “Why did I have to tell her the truth?”  “Surely it would’ve been better for her to leave this life, holding on to her dreams of returning to her dog and life and things she loved so dearly?”

And then I realized, that if it had been me?  And My dogs, or other such loved things?  I KNOW I would rather die believing in my love and longing for this!

Well I kicked myself severely for hours over my BS decision regarding this.  Yet, check this out?  The next day, first thing in the morning (still feeling sad and morose), I was looking through some posts on a social network.  Within 20 seconds of perusing, I came across not one, but TWO very distinct notes or messages that spoke very clearly to me that they were messages from my mother!

The one, perhaps…could be debated as maybe not truly from her?  I mean, would my mom really say something like that, about loving me…when she had spent a lifetime convincing me otherwise?  

At least this is what I was thinking until I immediately came across the second one that had a picture of a heart necklace exactly like one that I had given her at some point and she had kept this in her Bible.  Unbelievable. Comforting.  And truly Wonderful!

What I take away from this experience is this. 

If I am in a similar circumstance again?  I will not hesitate to ‘lie,’ or at very least and preferable for me…to just not tell the truth. 

And wow!  I did not know that one could really receive a message from a deceased loved one!

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Innovation and Visualization – Winning the Olympic Gold

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Dana’s shares her story about training and competing  for the 1988 Olympic Games!

Back when I was first training and competing in Taekwondo, I had discovered although I was stronger and faster than most of my competitors, I didn’t have the endurance.  And what good was it that I would win the first and second round in our full-contact fighting sport of Taekwondo, yet then lose in the third.  The truth of the matter is that I didn’t even have the mindset to persevere.  Once things got tough…my mind would overrule my body, and I would just quit!  And I knew that if I wanted to be an Olympic contender, I needed to change this!  So I decided to go train in upstate New York, with a famous coach, known for producing competitors with amazing stamina.  His athletes had that ‘indomitable spirit’ that I was lacking. 

During one of the first training sessions, we were doing a repetitious kicking drill which was designed to increase stamina.  Everyone had a partner holding a kicking paddle that we kicked as many times and as fast as we could.  At some point, when my endurance was failing, he came over and took the paddle from my partner and held it for me.  Each time I started to tire and slow down, he yelled at me to continue.  About the third time this happened, I snapped, and yelled back, “I’m TRYING!”  Well, he lowered the kicking pad, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Try…not good enough!”  “Everyone ‘try,’ not everyone ‘champion.’”  “Don’t ‘try!’”  “Just DO!”  And he raised the kicking paddle for me to continue with the drill.

The thing is…how do you ‘just DO,’ when you don’t know that you can DO?  How do you ‘do,’ when you don’t believe that you can do?”   Well, I learned the amazingly important answer to the first half of that puzzling question in another training session with that coach!

I learned this lesson during a long distance run.  One of the biggest elements to this coach’s training program was running. That was something I had been doing as little of as possible. I had discovered back in high school, that long distant running would make my heart start ‘racing’ 90 thousand miles and hour.  And then the racing heart would trigger an asthmatic reaction that would close off my lungs. But since I was there in New York to train and learn, and I was determined to improve, I went with the program as best as I could.

One of the runs he’d have us do was an extremely difficult one up and through a cemetery. It seemed impossible for me to do this run successfully, and on my last two efforts, I had been forced to stop and walk up the steepest hill. On this third attempt, despite my determination, I found myself laboring as usual as we began to climb the dreaded hill. About a quarter of the way up, with my breathing coming hard and fast, my heart started racing. A few beats later, the asthmatic reaction set in, and my desperate lungs began closing off further. Panic stricken, I came wheezing to a stop, bending over, trying desperately to get some air into my starved lungs. My coach, who’d been staying alongside me to encourage me, came up to me – I thought to help reassure me. Not!

To my surprise, he came up behind me, placed his hand on my back and started pushing me unceremoniously up the hill! Oh the indignity of it. He completely ignored the fact that I couldn’t even breathe, and that I was close to passing out or getting violently sick. “How insensitive!” “How unbelievable!” As I stumbled forward from the pressure of his hand, I became angry and started moving forward on my own. As I put one foot in front of the other, muttering angrily to myself, trying to pull away, he kept pace, with his hand resting on my back as a reminder that he was not going to let me stop. Fuming with anger and indignation, it was with surprise that I discovered I had reached the top of the hill, and that I hadn’t passed out. Although my breathing was still labored and wheezing, I discovered that, if I could just keep putting one foot in front of the other…I could keep going!

That revelation sounded off in my head like a trumpet from heaven. As my coach pulled ahead and let me continue on my own down the hill that thought pounded in my brain with each forward footstep. I realized that I had been thinking, “I can’t make it,” “I can’t do this.” “I’m going to pass out!” Yet, once I had taken my mind off of those negative thoughts, and focused on something else…I had discovered that, “Hey,”  “I could do it!”  “I could keep going.”  From that time on… every time I began to think, “I can’t,” and want to come screeching to a halt… I would force myself to keep taking just one more step…and I would replace my negative thoughts with positive ones!

Throughout my Olympic training I used what I had learned with that coach, as much as possible.  In theory, it was easy to replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations.  I just substituted “I can’t,” with “I can.”  “I won’t,” with “I will!”  What made this difficult is that I found it much easier to slip backwards into what I already knew – those negative thoughts – than to convince myself of something that I couldn’t actually ‘picture’ in my mind.  It was really hard to stay positive, when one half of my brain was saying, “I can,” while the other half was saying, “What makes you think that!?”   And I knew that if I wanted to be an Olympic contender…I needed to get both of those halves working together as a whole!  I desperately needed to solve the second half of that question of how do you ‘just do,’ when you don’t truly ‘believe’ that you can do…before I entered that competition ring at the Olympics!

Our United States Taekwondo team arrived in Seoul, Korea two weeks before the Games, to do the final, most important training before our competition was to begin.  Unfortunately, I had sustained a back injury at the Olympic Team trials a month and a half beforehand.  And although I had tried all kinds of modern medicine, sports medicine, and holistic remedies, the injury had gotten progressively worse.  All of the doctors agreed, that the only thing that would help, was rest.  But, there was no way I could do that, and have a chance of winning!  By the time we arrived in Seoul, the pain was excruciating.

During our third practice in Seoul, we were doing a kicking drill where each of our teammates held a kicking pad at different heights, and one by one we would run the gauntlet of pads, kicking and screaming like banshees.  When it was my turn, I started out kicking ferociously.  “Hey…this was the Olympics…I was going to do this!”  I was doing fine, until I came to the very last high kick.  As my foot reached for that pad, a lightening bolt of pain shot through me and dropped me to my knees in tears and agony.  As my coach and teammates turned aside, I gingerly picked myself up, and limped off to the side.  It was obvious to all of us, that my Olympic dream was over before it even began!  I was devastated!

That night, I agonized over this dilemma.  This was the Olympics!  I couldn’t just give up!  I have sacrificed so much to be here!  Yet, what could I do?  If I didn’t train these two weeks, I knew that, even if I could compete I would feel unprepared…and I knew that ‘mental’ negativity would interfere with my determination.  Later that night, after hours of torturous twisting and turning in bed, I came up with a plan of action…or in-action as it turned out.  I would practice by visualizing the things that I needed to work on!

So that’s what I did.  For the remaining days before our competition, while everyone else practiced physically, I practiced mentally.  I would find a quiet place, sit, meditate and visualize my attacks, and my counters. I saw myself executing everything with perfect precision and timing.  I saw myself winning match after match!

As the morning of my competition dawned with my back rested enough to compete, I felt it in my spirit that I was ready for competition.  I felt good!  I felt confident!  Then…as I began warming up…that old fear of failure started creeping in again.  Who did I think I was?  What made me think that I was good enough to do this?  As we were called to enter the competition area, I frantically searched my brain for the answer to that question,

Suddenly realized that I had lots of reasons to think that I was good enough!  I had practiced physically, and I had practiced mentally!  I had the strength, the speed, the training and the endurance.  And that’s when it hit me, that I had the answer to the second part of that question of, “How do you just do, when you don’t believe you can do?”  You build your confidence and self-esteem through preparation!  And I WAS prepared.  I had done everything possible to be prepared for this exact moment!  I WAS good enough!  So I told myself, “Be not afraid,” and I took that final step into the competition ring!

When my first match was halfway over, I knew that although my body was not 100%, my positive mindset made up for it. As I faced my toughest opponent (Chinese Taipei) in the semi-finals, I knew in my heart, that I was good enough to win.  When my hand was raised after my final match to let everyone know I’d won the Olympic Gold, I smiled to myself, because I realized that I was, indeed, a winner.  I had faced my fears, and overcome the limitations of my mind!

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