Never thought it would be possible many years ago but this past weekend checked another item of my dream/bucket list.
WATCHING A MAJOR COMBAT SPORTING EVENT FROM THE FRONT ROW!
On June 21, 2003 I was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police with the LAPD. We were assigned to pick, protect and drive New Mexicos’ governor at the time, Bill Richardson. We were ordered to dress up in a suite and tie, plain clothes detail.
It was my first time on such an assignment, needless to say I was excited and nervous. Not knowing what to expect. We picked up the unmarked LAPD SUV and headed to the Santa Monica airport. The security officer at the gate told us to drive on the runway, gave us a tail number of a private jet and told us to wait on the runway. We watched the private jet land and taxi right next to our SUV. I’d never seen a jet so close, never picked anyone up right on the runway. We were literally right next to stairs of the jet.
We greeted the governor who was followed by his personal private security, Brian. I immediately noticed how the governor walked, his confidence and demeanor. How he commanded respect not in an arrogant way. We exchanged pleasantries and escorted our dignitary to his first destination. The Governor was invited to Los Angeles to watch a major heavy weight boxing match and a dinner meeting that night. Lennox Lewis Vs. Vitali Klitschko was the main event.
Upon arrival we went directly to a private box suite. At this time in my life I was living pay check to pay check and had never been in a private box. The closest box I had viewed was the comfort zone box I was living in.
There were several people in the box suite and the Governor immediately went into politician mode, greeting his friends and partners. Brian, my partner and I stayed in the back by the door, keeping an eye at the governor. I was in awe to see all the food, drinks, and the view they had from the private suite. The three of us felt uncomfortable. Not really knowing what to do. Do we stay in the suite and keep an eye on the governor? Do we leave and give them their privacy? We elected to stay in the suite and watch the fight… I mean watch the Governor.
We got some clarity from Brian who told us, “we should stay here and act invisible, just don’t get in anyone’s way.”
Be invisible? not be noticed and act like we are not even there? I remember all of these feelings of not belonging, insecurities and being not enough started to creep up. Not because of what anyone else said or did. As a matter of fact the governor and Brian were incredible kind and friendly. But because this was a world I was not used to. I felt uncomfortable in this environment. I’d never had access to this type of lifestyle. I felt uncomfortable and inspired at the same time.
After the fight we drove the governor to Nick and Stef’s steakhouse, downtown LA. The host walked us to a private room that had several people awaiting the Governor’s. We walked in the private room right behind the Governor. I’ll never forget when he turned too us and said, “you guys sit out there!” My partner and I looked at each other a bit confused but complied with his request. We put our heads down and walked out of the room like we just got kicked off a team. There was a part of me that felt disrespected, upset and jealous.
The three of us walked to a table near the private room, sat down and ordered some food. Brian was the only one who anticipated this was how it was going to go down and shared that this is how it is with these type of details. They need us to protect them but don’t want us in their business. They need their privacy and we can make sure he is secure by watching from our table. A fire started to burn inside of me. I made a conscious decision that day, “I will do something in life to one day have access to things like box suites and private rooms. It wasn’t so much about the jealousy and anger at this point, it was more being inspired to have access to things I didn’t have. Things like flying in private jets, not have to go through TSA security. Essentially to have access to things most don’t.
I notice that many broke people complain or put wealthy powerful people down, I used to be one of them. We all have resources and gifts available to us to change our circumstances. When we condemn or judge others we are subconsciously tell ourselves that in order to be wealthy or powerful we have to be what we are judging and condemning. We’ve all heard and believed things about wealthy people. “wealthy people are selfish, take advantage of the less fortunate and must have burned a lot of people to become wealthy.” Is this true for some wealthy people? Of course but there are also wealthy people who serve and make a major difference in this world because they have the resources. Money doesn’t make people change it just amplifies who they already are. I know I am a compassionate servant and If I were to become wealthy then I needed to focus on the wealthy people who are creating a positive impact.
Most of these stories or beliefs are a way of us justifying us staying in our comfort zone and not take risks in life. I’ve come to realize that the juice of life is found outside of our comfort zone. If we do the comfortable thing we will have an uncomfortable life. If we do the uncomfortable we will have an uncomfortable life. Beauty is, we have choice.
This past weekend attending UFC 232 at the forum in Inglewood, Ca reminded me of that spark that started 15 years ago. Watching Jon Jones, one of the greatest MMA fighters of our time walk out in preparation for his championship bout was surreal. This time I was not watching from a box suite that I did not earn or pay for. I was not in the nose bleed or watching from home.
I WAS IN THE FRONT ROW!!!
Instead of letting things, people and moments disempower us what if we allowed it to fuel us to do more, be more so you can have more?
What’s an experience, moment, memory that inspired you go for it?
Tag a friend or business partner that’s on this journey with you needs to hear this message.
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