“A Champion Within” Q & A

excerpts from “A Champion Within’ The Autobiography of Robert Williams

Q. What Kind of College Football Player Were you?

A.  I believe most of my college teammates would say my physical talents were marginal at best.  I did not run a fast forty and weight lifting was an embarrassment.  Often teammates would joke and make it an issue for comedy relief or chastise me for my weak work ethic in the weight room.   They were mostly right, I did not run fast in a straight line, and lifting weight seemed to be a waste of time.

In my view, we did not play the game on the track and I seldom remember running downon the kickoff and tackling someone on a weight bench.   The bottom line, I possessed tremendous skills and a cognitive gift for the knowledge of the game.  I relied on something most football player were accused of not having…a brain.

I was an intelligent and tough football player, I studied game film intensely my entire career at Eastern.  The coaches often reminded me of this value as I sat in on a few game planning with them.  The game of football is about being smarter than your opponent and then exhibit your might; I had large muscles in those areas.  However, some teammates were jealous because they did not conceive those traits as important than their speed or bench max.  I believe I never received the accolades from some teammates because of my minuscule physical traits and my abrasive in your face personality. ..

…Football is an egotistical game and teammates can become jealous quite easy.  In 1983, I was named to the AFCA Kodak All-American for the second consecutive year.  As customary the award was given at the half time of a home basketball game.  However, the same year my teammate Chris Nicholson had a tremendous season.  He led the team in sacks, tackle for lost, he was a force of nature.  In the air was the feeling that “Thick Nick” as we referred to him deserved the prestigious award instead.  Some teammates made their position known that night in Lantz gymnasium as their applauds was cool at best when my named came across the PA system…

Sadly, some felt I was less than deserving of the award and they made sure I knew this in an implicit manner…I was hurt by their reaction but not surprise; I heard rumors and rumblings earlier in the week.  I remember only receiving a few handshakes that night from teammates and the mass coolness from many detractors…

“Thick Nick” deserved All-American honors in 1983 as he was a stellar ball player, as was myself, but the selective committee saw fit to honor my play instead.  I had nothing to do with that…my being one of only two first-team All-American in Eastern Illinois history remains controversial for some but albeit deserving…some teammates believe they were better than me and rightly so I guess, I just wished their play was awarded nationally as so to quantify it.

Robert A. Williams

On a Personal Note…

038I lost an opportunity to help my children at an important time in their development. As you recall or maybe not, my mother had a dreadful childhood and subsequent life of only 46 years. A young mother at 13 she lacked normal life skills and demonstrated a fierce sense of survival. In essence, we were poor but in areas more vital than socioeconomic status and wealth.

I had a childhood marred with dysfunctional behaviors and maladaptive developmental stages. Often violence or the threat of viciousness was a communication tool for my era of adolescence. I would like to blame my mother and father, but it would not help. However, their lives were marred in spilt-second decisions of survival, I praise them however for their effort to get my siblings and I along as best possible. Nevertheless, my maladaptive habits soaked my psyche and rendered me abnormal.  As a result, I ran away in my childhood to the form of violence, threat of violence or solitude.

Unfortunately I found myself high in this painful capital throughout my life. A reason? I had lost my guidance (e.g., father) when I was 15, much too early I would say. Thus, I was left to fend for myself personally and socially as a young adult.  I did not fare well. Decisions were hasty and unmonitored by a trusted caregiver, I was often doomed with regrets for unsound choices. Sadly, my children were encapsulated in this dreadful era also fueled by depression, substance abuse, and outrageous risk-taking. It had a tremendous effect on them.

On a personal note, I find my children not using my old technique of communication, (I’m happy) but they lack adaptive behaviors in other stages of development. Worse, I am locked out after becoming a better person to help them. Three of them are now adults and their adult stages do not permit my tutelage; I’m isolated in a form of family relation poverty.

Moreover this prison I’m incarcerated in has forced me to witness their maladaptive development at times. It is a penalty of untold measures and pain.  Sadly, I thought I could break the chain of behavioral abnormalities with my new consciousness but seemly evolution has discarded me. I missed the chance in their childhood it seems.  You cannot go home as they say.    I could blame myself but it would not help…

 

The Invisible Dragon

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What’s the Dragon Reading Now?

The-Trouble-With-Black-Boys-And-Other-Reflections-on-Race_51qt05EDMQL._308_301The Trouble with Black Boys: …And Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education.

Pedro A Noguera

BlinkBlink

Malcolm Gladwell

U.S. Commission on Civil Right Minorities in Special Education, 2007 Factors that Influence School Psychologists’ Special Education Eligibility Decisions

A Dissertation, Mikaela Bachoe, Rutgers University, 2011

 

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The Invisible Dragon

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How Does One Maintain Deep Peace?

 

At the center of your being you have the answer;

you know who you are and you know what you want.
Lao Tzu

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Lately my life has become submerged in clouds of “Busy Work”. This phrase (Busy Work) I learned from students as it describes activities of routine and not of passion. As you are aware, the musings are far too between here on the Dragon, reason? (My mind is trapped in Busy Work). By the way, the longhand journal I keep does not recognize the ink of my pen.  WTF, I am a stranger until myself.

How does one maintain deep peace? What sacrifices should one make for happiness? Describe that place? Valid questions, more important than graduate studies, these inquiries are possibly the foundation of my life.  (One would only hope).

Since March 2007, The Invisible Dragon blog has been a sanctuary for reflection but lately it has become a foreign novelty. I would like to invite a reunion, a static gathering, where one again set the sunrise by it. Is this a peaceful start?  (One does Hope)

I believe one should develop a life philosophy, a livable framework, flexible in structure no less. (If it sounds like I’m new to this I am). Writing to the Dragon is very peaceful; I wonder why one turns their back on it occasionally. What is outside my awareness that motivates these ambitions to flee? How does one maintain deep peace? (I Hope)

The Invisible Dragon

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The Return of the Dragon, Starring “The Black Dragon”

tattoos,tattoo,dikaya,woman,love,alternative-327f273b3a46a8acff177225f8cee816_hI ventured into the psyche of others to engage in fantasy. Normally this “castle in the sky” process as expected clips the massive reptilian wings. Is a Black Dragon a cold-blooded vertebrate or a groveling, mean, despicable creature? Hmm, one wonders. Again, I am diarist, maintaining a longhand journal, electronic blog, radio show, and an ironclad memory.

Nevertheless, inside the mind…

outside in humanity…

in the lives of others:

I am an enigma.

As mentioned, the Dragon engaged in his often-unannounced sabbatical inside the perfect dilemma recently. Important lessons appeared learned and some taught, however (I am weary of the second decree). First, never acquire the cluttered lives of others; the only realistic measure may insure your being bewildered.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, or maybe not always, maybe the heart, yes: Is not the “Heart” a terrible thing to throw away?  His smoke-filled nostrils signal perplexity.

How does one help…banished as a prisoner in a deserted prison castle?  The Dragon may not. The mortgage on life has received a foreclosure notice; the debt, too great. For some, to go over the cliff is better than to request a Black Dragon’s love…inside my mind outside in their lives. I return among rebuffed fellows waiting an opportunity for redemption.

The Invisible Dragon

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