Many men and women made me, as is true of everyone. To my people, please accept my earnest effort to be a gentle man as something tangible of my gratitude. First comes my father, who finally succeeded in teaching me that “the measure of your substance lies in your confidence in your ability to love others.” Next come coaches Roger and Leo, my fathers on the water. Rog taught me that “if you don’t know what you’re doing, stop the boat and ask for help.” Leo taught me that competition is indeed the search for an equal. And that adopting an attitude of “any seat, any boat, any time,” is one path to the sublimation of self that results directly in boat speed. John, who was my father in the workplace for 14 years, taught me to be the same man every minute of every day and not be a slave to my emotions. An even keel is a beautiful thing and helps others around us to feel secure and good about themselves. Mr. Douglas A., who taught me French as a Junior in school, who gave the same homework assignment every day for a year; “Do a fair amount,” he said. And I learned something about integrity. Julie, Corey, and Lovan who have lived unconditional love with me and for me.
For Katherine and Emma, all I can do is try to pay forward the inexhaustible compassion they extended to me. I once was dying from a terminal disease and, despite the fact that there was no way out, these women made the personal decision that they could watch me die if it meant that I wouldn’t be frightened and alone. Without reasonable or even plausible explanation I outlasted the disease and today, not 1 year later, I feel like I did when I was 24 years old. Their love was heroic and I attribute my very survival to it. As a gesture of my affection, Most Likely to Succeed is dedicated to them both.
Last I must extend my heart to Thich Nhat Hanh who has urged me to love in a way that gives rise to freedom, and that I can choose to live in those moments when life is a work of art.