Growing up overweight was hard.
I never enjoyed going in the pool.
I never had the self-esteem or confidence to ask out girls.
Most of my friends made fun of me until I did it faster and quicker than they did. I promise you, I can win a verbal fight. I do not enjoy doing it, but I am very quick. Most of the insults were about myself.
Here I am in 9th grade.
I wore sweat suits like my idols. N.W.A., Run DMC and L.L.Cool J. They rapped about how great they were. How no one could beat them in a rap battle.
Who would want to eat Oreos, have a Cool J Cookie! I’m Bad!
They had the confidence I lacked.
They had the self-esteem I did not.
But we all had charisma. I learned that quick
I was funny. Real funny. I knew what people liked to hear. Most of the time, it was insults about me and my weight.
But it did not bother me.
How could it?
I wanted the attention. I wanted the love from friends. I wanted to be “popular”.
And I was. People knew my name. While they high fived me in the hallways, they laughed behind my back. I was okay with it. I had to be. What more could I do?
But every year, I would run for a Student Council office.
Every year I would win.
It was the one day where I knew I could out shine the “pretty” people. It was the day where I would not sleep for days figuring out how to make people remember me. I would write a speech and make everyone laugh. No one would forget Tony Posnanski.
Ask anyone who went to high school with me. They will tell you. I was different than the rest.
What price did I pay?
What did I get from it?
Lacking confidence sucks. Big time.
It is sad to me that I did not believe in myself for so many years. Three years ago, while working at an Italian restaurant, I got yelled at by a guest and my boss because the guest did not get enough free bread.
That was my life. Someone who can inspire getting yelled at about “free bread”.
A couple of years back I got written up because an employee called me a “Fat F*ck” and I repeated it. I did not call him that, but as a leader, I should not use that kind of language.
What kind of leader was I?
It is different now. Forget about the weight loss, I am different. Every bit of talent I should have recognized when I was 14 years old I see in me.
Every bit of talent that I dripped before I have saved. I am not the same guy in the Le Coq Sportif suit with the cool Swatch watch.
He would look at me now and be proud. He would give me the slow clap.
Because I have all the talent, and the confidence I lacked. Confidence to do well. Confidence to be unstopped. People get confused. When you are confident, you bring people up. When you have no self worth, you bring people down.
Knowing as a group we can make a difference.
I am confident. not better than you, but confident.
I wrote a while ago that people follow me or read me because they see a little of me in them. They see the kid who wanted to die. The guy who could not put on the seat belt. The guy who felt like he let down so many.
Yet there are no tears in my story. The mid 30’s guy came out on top. A wife to dream about, a weight loss success story, a good job, and a lot of friends.
Today I read one of my favorite bloggers Roni. She wrote and talked about what so many popular bloggers do. The number of fans, readers, etc. If it matters?
Well, I am popular. I am not going to give you a PC answer. I enjoy getting responses or someone “likes” something on Facebook. I am happy when I get an email and I am honored when someone @ or RT me (Look at all of that cool social media lingo!)
I have always been popular. I always will be. I have the “it” factor. It will not go away. I can still “move the crowd.” Trust me, for every one person I annoy, ten will love what I am doing.
But it is different now. It is not like it was twenty years ago.
I will not put myself down to get a laugh.
I will not insult others to get a response.
I will inspire and make you laugh, with the honesty and love I have always had.
So my Swatch Watch says it is time……..
Time to “move the crowd”.