I was in my roof top garden and had this epiphany!

my garden IMG_4523

I was up to my elbows in dirt, counting my blessings digging in my tomatoes, arugula, onions, and basil in the middle of Los Angles in November. I was thanking the “universal hand someplace” for living in gorgeous sunny California when most in November are under snow; I am still seeing blooms on my tomatoes. Then it struck me: with my hand covered in dirt, I realized all this greenery was possible because of the seeds. I had saved some of these seeds for years. They never grew in dry storage. Yet, as soon as I planted them into the dark soil, they grew unimaginably fast and huge. My heirloom tomatoes were 7’ tall.


I often go to my garden to make sense of the darkness in my life. Getting my hands dirty always brings me clarity!

Some of you know I had my left arm reattached almost 36 years ago. It took almost 7 years for full sensation to come back to my hand. It was a dark time. I lost athletic scholarships, lost Olympic dreams, however, in my garden I realized out of that darkness, I have been blessed to become a coach to thousands, and an Olympic coach because my dark times made me better. My unfathomable pain and loss allows me to reach others and navigate the inevitability of pain in all of our lives.

Feb. 1979 Intensive Care

I am here to say that out of that darkness has come some of the greatest growth unimaginable! It was hard to admit, but staring at my tomatoes, somehow it all made sense. It takes the darkness to forge growth toward the light!


We all have times in our lives when it seems that there is no escaping the darkness. I am here to say, “The tomatoes are coming”–“Growth is coming.”  So many things in my life that felt so heavy and dark at the time made no sense. What you’re going through today may not make sense: The loss of a job, a medical condition, the divorce, the loss of loved ones…but, in those darkest of times is when our true seeds of who we are have a chance to explode into the light.

What seeds of greatness are growing out of your dark times?

Look at my left arm now!

Share your story with #FitBodSquad so we can all grow, knowing we are not alone and the darkness is essential for our seeds of success to grow.