If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

(Thanks to the great Jake Putnam in Boise, Idaho for sharing)


If at first you don’t succeed, try a different strategy.

I just gave a lesson to a group of doubles players. The theme today was “how to play well when you’re not playing well.”

One of the worst things you can do as a tennis player is to be at 0-6, 0-5 and say, “Maybe I should try something different.”

If you’re playing doubles and the score is 0-3 or 0-4, try giving the opp0sing team a different look. Serve and stay back. Have both server and server’s partner stay back, use the “I” formation or the Australian formation.

It doesn’t matter what you try, but you need to try something different. When you use a different strategy, many times you will make your opponents change their winning game. Isn’t that a good thing?

The whole point is this: if you do what you normally do, you’re going to get what you normally get.

“Every game plan works against somebody. No game plan works against everybody.”

Try different options and see what works best for you…on and off the court.


Ed Tseng interviews one of his she-roes, Jennie Murphy, a student-athlete who is legally blind.


Ed Tseng interviews Paolo Colandrea, the “Mystery Man” from the final episode of The Sopranos at his restaurant in Penndel, Pennsylvania.


Enjoy my first video blog with the great Bob Ryland, Arthur Ashe’s hero, and the first black professional tennis player, at his home in New York City.


“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. And most of all, people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”

I had a powerful night last night.

My radio show on Overcoming Adversity ( featured the great Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player, Jennie Murphy, a legally blind student-athlete and Rayna DuBose, a Division I full-scholarship basketball phenom, turned amputee, turned motivational speaker.

If you think life is difficult for you, think again. It’s all perspective.

Bob Ryland lived through segregation and had to sit at the back of the bus and use separate public drinking fountains and restrooms.

Jennie Murphy is legally blind and wears hearing aids. She plays four sports and is quarterback when she plays football. Her receivers clap loudly to tell her where to throw the ball.

Rayna DuBose was a superstar high school basketball player and got a full-ride to Virginia Tech. After her freshman year, she contracted a form of meningitis and within 24 hours, lost everything. She had her four limbs amputated. A year later, she went back to Virginia Tech, finished up her degree and was assistant coach for the basketball team. Now she is a motivational speaker.

If you look at these stories, life seems difficult.

But these are three of the most optimistic people I know.

They don’t believe they have disabilities or went through hell. They feel it is what it is and your attitude determines how high you go.

Will you have pressure?

Of course, but it’s what you do under that pressure that counts.

What gives you pressure? How will you handle it?

No pressure, no diamond.

Thanks for reading.


“I’m just like everybody else.”
-RAYNA DUBOSE, motivational speaker

I was so excited about this blog entry that I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to post it…

I have a new hero (she-ro); her name is Rayna DuBose.

Rayna had a full-scholarship to Virginia Tech to play on their women’s basketball team.

In 2001-02: A 6-3 center, DuBose played in 13 games … Never missed a collegiate free throw attempt (15-15) … Scored in double figures four times … Had 10 points in collegiate debut against Northwestern State (11/24) in LSU Crawfish Classic …Tallied a career-high 13 points in only ten minutes against Vermont (3/20) in WNIT Quarterfinal.

High School: Averaged 15.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.0 blocks her senior year for Coach Marcus Lewis at Oakland Mills H.S., in Columbia Md. … Led the team in scoring and was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,067 career points … Was named one of the top 30 centers in the nation by All-Star Girls Report.

Impressive, right?


DuBose was hospitalized at Montgomery Regional Hospital with meningococcal meningitis on April 2, 2002, just over a week after the Hokies had completed the basketball season. This rare disease is a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The next day she was airlifted in critical condition to the University of Virginia Medical Center where she would remain for the next 97 days. She spent three weeks in intensive care before being upgraded to fair condition.

In early May of 2002, she underwent a series of surgeries in which doctors amputated parts of all four limbs due to tissue damage caused by the infection. On July 8, DuBose was transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital, a Baltimore rehabilitation facility near her home in Columbia, Md. Soon after, she returned to her home and began regular visits to the rehab facility where she later would be fitted for prosthesis for her arms and legs.

After the pain, therapy and what seemed like torture, Rayna returned back to Virginia Tech in the summer of 2003 to return to her normal college life as if nothing had ever happened. With a year off from school in 2002 she still remained active, taking on-line classes and staying a part of the Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team by serving as a Student Assistant Coach, still traveling and being a part of the team.

In 2003 she received the Most Courageous Award at the Men’s Final Four in New Orleans. In 2005 she received the Wilma Rudolph Award. Rayna has also made appearances on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, CBS Sports, the CBS Early Show and local news stations.

Rayna recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Consumer Studies and plans a career in motivational speaking about priorities in life, determination, perseverance and never giving up. She hopes that one day she can spread the smile that she wears everyday with others.

“Everyday I sit around and listen to other people complain about small things like: writing a paper, their boss yelling at them, or parking spaces. The only thing I can do is listen because I am simply thinking about how I am going to improvise to put these studded earrings in my ears or how I can find a away to get my gas cap off to pump my gas or maybe even how I am going to slip into my legs in the morning when I wake up.

After a long 97 days of being laid up in a hospital bed, I knew the day I awoke from a three week coma that my life had taken a turn for the worst and the best. I realized I was about to be given a second chance not only to live, but, at life. I then realized that the way I was living before (partying real late, drinking and not attending class) had to stop. I knew that I wanted better for myself and my family.”

I spoke to Rayna today and was amazed at her optimism and love for life.

Rayna told me, “I am happier now than before my disability. It was really a blessing in disguise. I was an athlete before, but didn’t have any drive. Now I do because I want to help others. Basketball helped me because whatever I do, I try to be the best, or at least give my best. I don’t feel that I have a disability, it just takes me longer to do things. Usually when I hang out with my friends, I am the driver. I had it all and lost it all within 24 hours, but I’m happier now and the sky’s the limit.”

With a winning mindset like that, who can doubt that Rayna will become a great motivational speaker and whatever else she decides to be.

Don’t miss my internet radio show this Sunday night at 8pm. The topic will be overcoming adversity and my special guest will be Rayna DuBose.

Thank you Rayna and thanks for reading.


“Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”

Today’s message is especially dedicated to Kris Le Crozier in Frisco, Colorado.

Born with a rare degenerative eye disease, Erik Weihenmayer became completely blind at age thirteen. He was told he would never be able to do the things other people did. He had a disability. Yet, Weihenmayer refused to accept a life with such limitations. After fighting his blindness for years, Erik learned to embrace his adversity, making it part of him.

First, he joined his high school wrestling team, became co-captain, and state champion runner-up in his class. Next, Weihenmayer took on the challenge of rock climbing-a difficult hobby for those with perfect eyesight. “Blindness won’t keep me from having fun,” Weihenmayer insist. He took his adversity-his blindness-and turned it into his strength, using his heightened senses to take on challenges few will conquer.

In 1995, he scaled 20,320 foot Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak. In 1996, he became the first blind person to ever scale the 3,000-foot granite monolith-El Capitan in Yosemite. Says Weihenmayer, a teacher at the private Phoenix Country Day School, “Blindness is just a nuisance.” As for climbing, he says, “You just have to find a different way of doing it.”

(From Adversity Quotient by Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D)