Extraordinary Gentlemen : Coach Monty Fountain

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Southern High School Football Coaches are a special breed. In a place where football is the main attraction to a small town, the experience of southern high school football borders on the same parallel as religious experiences or rituals. No, people aren’t shaking and convulsing on the ground catching the “Holy Spirit” well, almost not.
(Some people definitely get laid out from time to time.) There’s an enormous rallying spirit behind the games played, the effort it took to create the display of unifying colors, intricate plays, witty banners, marching bands, and spectacular athletic ability among boys who are turning into men, and in some circumstances transforming into modern gladiators.

There are many people who come together to make a football program run like a well oiled machine. There can be nearly a dozen specialized coaches, trainers, administrators, sponsors, businesses, zealous parents, and of course the athletes themselves. Most southern high school football programs have most all of these elements if not more going on at once. But there’s something else that creates the catalyst for a winning team, able talent to go above and beyond what they think is possible and students to become productive members of society. That catalyst is the man with the plan, that fuel of inspiration comes from the coach himself.

Of all the coaches at Douglas County High School in Georgia, during my time there as a student and athlete, one man stood out among the rest to me, and to many other players. His distinct southern accent, the twang in his dialect, the enthusiasm in his body, and hard nosed determination to make us all “Brahma Bulls” helped to carry some of us to new heights under his guidance and tutelage. When many of us were without father figures, he played a role in our lives that didn’t set out to fill the void we were missing, but somehow it did. He just wanted us to win, and win by becoming the best versions of ourselves possible on and off the field. Coach Monty Fountain was my high school linebacker coach and he’s helped to make a man out of me at a time when I was hard to reach. On the field, he made me into a fearless, relentless, and unstoppable modern gladiator.

Sure we ran football drills and practiced at a high level, nearly at a game like pace every time. But there was something about the man that you could fear and respect at the same time. The pitch of his whistle reverberated throughout the practice field and spilled over into residential areas as he instructed us to push pass the brink of what we thought was possible. Water was always available and you could quit if you wanted to….but for Coach Fountain you wouldn’t dream of quitting in front of him. He believed in you, and you never wanted to let his high expectation be in vain. Pads clashed and sweat would pour from your brow as you ran drills over and over until they became second nature. You instinctively knew what to do under a myriad of random situations that would present themselves.
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No sense in whining and pouting over small cuts and bruises. If your bone wasn’t sticking out of your skin, you were better off getting back to work. “Put some dirt on it!” If you were throwing up during practice, Coach Fountain wouldn’t be upset, he’d just yell at you “Get that poison out your system!” He was usually right, as teenagers shouldn’t go drinking at party’s just to arrive to practice the next day expecting their linebacker coach to take it lightly on them. We were a mixed bunch of kids from different backgrounds and cultures but what he tried to instill in us transcended all of our differences. Most of our coaches took a page right out of the great Vince Lombardi’s playbook and decided that if we weren’t going to be the most talented players on the filed, we would at least be the best conditioned. We were talented, we were conditioned and we were some of the baddest mothers on the planet. Till this day, I’m proud to be considered a Fountain Linebacker, and I hope to be the Brahma Bull he always believed I was and could be during my times of ups and downs. (The urban dictionary for Brahma Bull is the pinnacle of human evolution, there is none better than him. He is truly a god among men.) Takes one to know one, Coach Fountain.

Is setting goals cheating?

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Turns out that having goals in your mind is far greater than having no goals at all, and that writing goals down is even greater than just having them in your mind. The conclusion seems a bit obvious here….set goals. In order to make things happen, you must first decide on what it is you want to do, and to make it a stronger, more permanent reality, you should write it down in order to achieve it.

In my own personal experience as the Modern Benjamin I have mostly thought out my goals pretty thoroughly and harped on them from time to time, or if I write them in my journal, they are vague at best but even the process of writing them down has a certain quality and power behind it. It magnifies the possibilities.

Most successful people have a zeal for goal setting. Wether they be athletes, CEO’s, politicians, managers, or salespeople; like the Modern Benjamin, they know what they want out of life and they take the necessary steps to go out and get it. To be Fearless, Relentless, and Unstoppable, those are the traits that come when goal setting is done frequently. You’re confidence level increases nearly ten fold. You’ll see why once you begin. Or if you’ve already been an avid goal setter, you may know this feeling and phenomena already.
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People don’t achieve greatness by accident. No one mistakenly becomes an astronaut or just happens to walk into an astronaut job fair. There’s an entire long and meticulous process behind the end result of such responsibility. It’s the daily triumphs no matter how small, that over time build up into something much greater than perhaps even you thought would be possible.

You’ll read about it in dozens if not hundreds of business books; about the importance of goal setting, but it often comes off as too simple and easy to work. With the way things are set up in this lifetime, we could definitely all use a bit more simplicity in our lives. No, this isn’t a short-cut to actually doing work, though it’s a tool to help you discipline yourself so that you actually get some work done….you know, instead of wishing on a star.
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A Yale study was conducted in 1973 over a group of students where 3 percent of the students surveyed had written down their goals with a plan of action to achieve them, 13 percent of the students said they had goals but had not written any down and the remaining students (84 percent) had no specific goals, except for to “enjoy themselves.” Results have found that the difference between the goal setters and those who did not set goals were “stunning”. Here’s how things ultimately played out for the students: For the 13 percent who did have goals but hadn’t written them down, they earned on average twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. Even more impressive is the group of students (3 percent) who had written down their goals and also had a plan of action; had earned on average 10 times as much as the entire 97 percent of the class. This study points to the magnitude and power that is contained in something as simple as goal setting. It’s like you force yourself to find a way to do nearly the impossible. And for the Modern Benjamin, there’s nothing in this world that is nearly impossible. “If I can do it, so can you.” is the testimony that typically spurs our kind along.

Shouldn’t kids have a music festival?

Is a music festival for kids a great idea? You better believe it! The only thing cuter than puppies and kittens are kids. (This is a scientific fact…i think) I’ve had dozens of puppies throughout my life and although I currently do not have children, there’s nothing like the look of discovery worn on my little nephew or nieces’ faces. Or the sense of amazement and wonder that surrounds them on a constant basis. When everything is new, it all seems so spectacular.
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That may have been a long introduction to announce that Kidchella is coming to Smith Playground, just a walk away from Brewerytown and it’s nearly guaranteed to be a complete fun blast! Weather permitting, you should definitely bring your kids, or borrow a kid, (you know, like a nephew, niece, or young cousin) seriously, check this thing out. Now, granted the name “Kidchella” is a resemblance of a weekend of young adult, spring-breaker style madness Coachella, but the acts that are going to perform are solid and fit for all ages! If your kids love music, and if you are an awesome parent….(you are an awesome parent, you’re reading this aren’t you?) You might want to take a look at Kidchella because here is where the kids get a chance to experience live music (one of the best forms of entertainment in my opinion) under your supervision, and it’s entirely age appropriate. This could ligitimately be your childs first concert! How cool could that be? Visit here and find out.

Kidchella is coming to Smith playground this Friday on the 25th and it will last from 6 – 8 pm. The bill is highlighted by three bands that are spectacular in their own right. Brady Rymer, Walter Martin, and The Not-Its will be onstage. It won’t last for days on end, nor will it be flooded with 20 somethings, without responsibilities and way too much recreational time on their hands. Kidchella is actually one of those great ideas that you’d love to see more of because it creates an opportunity for children to learn about music, spark their interest about music as an art form, and allows you to give them the experience of a music festival and all the fun that can possibly be had while under the supervision of adults.

Check out this press release

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You may have seen posters and signs around Brewerytown advertising the music fest for weeks now. If you can make the time, if you love music, and if you’d like to show your children what rock and roll, and fun are supposed to look like, then guess where you’ll likely be heading to?? Kidchella! Tickets are only $10 at smithplayground.ticketleap.com/kidchella, however, admission is free for current members of Smith playground. If you’re not a member, but would like to become one, you can become a member by visiting smithplayground.org/membership.

So who came up with the idea for Kidchella anyway? I always credit “the genius’ in marketing” whenever my attention is brought to something you previously had no awareness of, but has now become one of those things you know you have to experience for yourself. Aside from being the type of thing that celebrities are into now-a-days; Kidchella doesn’t have to involve multiple stages, carnival rides, or fire spitting performers to be an authentic music festival experience. Although, there may be some face painting, and an opportunity for you and the children to hang out with and interact with the band during and after the show, Kidchella, and all music festivals like it are going to soon become the desire of birthday boys and girls everywhere. Better than a magician, better than a clown (which too often scares the ba-jee-zus out of kids), this is a party for children that you are allowed to enjoy as well. To be honest, there isn’t much that can compete with a live band on stage, and especially if they are good.

So who is on the bill? The Not-Its have been rocking and rolling, performing for kids and families for over six years. They are all about giving children the first rock show experience (head banging should be done with supervision) They are from Seattle, are the sum of five members and they have released their 5th album to date called “Raise Your Hand”. You can check out their sound on their bands website (http://wearethenot-its.com/music/). With songs like “Funniest Cat Video”, “Motorcycle Mom” and “Great Day”, The Not-It’s provide an up beat rock/indie vibe that both adults and children can really jam to.

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Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could : Brady Rymer is a musician who’s been recording and touring with RCA records for 13 years. He’s been on stage with names like Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, The Grateful Dead before, so he’s no amateur when it comes to putting on a show that all people can enjoy. Lucky for us, he’s decided to create children’s music and give the little tykes an opportunity to hear music that’s not only age appropriate, but contains a positive, upbeat message along with a catchy tune that may be hard to get out of your head. All the great songs are like that. You may just find yourself singing “Just say Hi” on your way to work or during your coffee break. He’s a great songwriter, and backed by an energetic, talented band, Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could will likely be there to make a wonderful impressionable mark on your children and yourself as well.

Walter Martin is the third man on the bill and his sound helps to round out the collective experience of the music festival as his songs are a bit slower in tempo, feature animal noises and sound effects, all playing the back track to his rural draw and the slight southern twang of Walter Martin’s voice and pitch of guitar. This isn’t just kids music, no, this is music for all ages. True and true, Walter Martin writes beautiful songs, plays a beautiful melody and just makes you want to place the world on time out, stop your children from growing for a moment, and enjoy the moment that’s created the moment he starts strumming his guitar and spreading his vocals through the P.A. system.

So this Friday, with all the wonderful things going on in Brewery town and around the city as a whole. Under the summer sun, and through the atmosphere of fun, if you’re going to create memories with your little tykes, think about creating some with good music and good fun at Smith Playground with Kidchella. Oh, to be a kid again.

Riding the waves of change

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The wave of change is constant like the tide that crashes on the shore day after day, hour after hour. Sometimes it’s grand, and sometimes the change, and the waves are small and subtle but they are always, always happening. Change is the only thing that is constant and if you choose to be riding in front of that wave of change then you are going to be able to see things before they happen. If you would not notice any change, if you are behind the wave and you have no idea what’s happening ahead of you, you may be surprised to find something new when you arrive to your old spot. Things won’t be the same, things change. You could even be standing on the beach, no where near the wave and totally unaware that it is coming. Not knowing how big it is or could be, what type of impact to expect isn’t exactly the position of power. You’ll be smacked with a wave of change that you didn’t see coming but perhaps you should have.
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So there you are, either in front of the wave, riding it out as an avant guard and accepting, or way behind, so far behind that you can’t even see what is happening for miles in front of you, then you can also be positioned in the wrong place at the wrong time of change, unaware that it can and will affect you and in what ways. As you stand on the edge of the beach not paying attention…the waves of change come crashing into you li a tidal wave. More than a just a high tide, but something more like a tsunami.

The Tsunami wave of change reconfigures the landscape entirely. In the natural world, you can not very accurately predict exactly where the next Tsunami can and will occur, there’s no real way to tell when an underwater earthquake is going to happen. Scientist mostly gather data after the fact. Lay people won’t see it coming at all. It’s still better to be the scientist trying to get a grasp of what’s going on than to be the person who is taken by utter surprise. When scientist measure seismic activity in the water, they know something is about to happen although they can’t always tell in what direction or with how much force.
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You want to be that scientist, even if you only have data that’s so new and fast that it will effect people in an instant, you still want to be able to take advantage of the knowledge you have of what’s about to come. Position yourself if you can. Can you spot changes and trends at the exactmoment or even before they happen? Can you find patterns in peoples behaviors, in business, in life that would benefit you if you were to step into the picture at the right time? It may take a bit of skill and plenty of concentration but do remember it is far better to be riding the wave of change than to be so far behind it that you don’t notice the beauty of change, or to be obliviously standing on the shore, getting smacked in the head by what was inevitable and right in your face the entire time.

What’s better to do than pick up girls?

Sometimes going out and meeting other cool dudes, and cool people in general is better than going out and trying to meet girls. For one reason, let’s say you already have found an awesome girl that you want to spend your time with, (you know, exclusively, and perhaps in a monogamous setting) what are you going to do with your free time that you used to spend chasing beautiful women around the city? The answer is up to you completely, though for me personally, I would try going out for the sole purpose of generating business ideas and seeing which ones I could bring to light.

The other day, I ran into one of the most interesting people I’ve come across in probably a week (I do go out a lot and meeting interesting and cool dudes has become a rarity, although I go out more than most people I would presume) He was my age, but a former break dancer, hip hop rapper, and currently working as a chef in a country club. He has a truly unique story and it was nice to know that we even had some common friends. We talked about business ideas, places we’ve been, places we’d like to go and everything else in-between as we drank a few beers at our local pub.

I do get bored of picking girls up in night clubs and bars although I’m constantly becoming more and more successful at it. (Perhaps I should start timing myself) I’m very happy to have excelled in that part of my game, although I would like to move on to something I find a bit more challenging. For me, that would be making money and bringing business ideas to life. I read an article that not only catered to my ego as a reader and seducer, but made a lot of sense to me and helped me to decide that I should sort of switch gears in respect to where and when I pick up women. Readers are the best people to fall in love withI’m not giving up the player lifestyle, though I do see a need to tailor it if I’m going to attract and retain the types of women that I really want in my life. The article basically stated that people who read are the best types of people to fall in love with. That means I’ll be in the bookstore reading, writing, and now practicing pick up more extensively…..well, until I find another reader who is worth falling in love with I guess. Don’t judge me, I have my reasons for doing what I do. It’s my life…..anyway.

Should that happen, I will then need to focus my extra attention on all things that have to do with financial growth and economic success…..because that’s what’s important to me. Trading one skill set that I’ve gotten better at for another skill set that I need improvement on, seems to be the basis of life itself…at least for me, the Modern Benjamin. What will you do when you’ve mastered or gotten really good at something that you once struggled on? What will you move on to then? Where will you focus your attention so that you don’t atrophy and settle for all things mediocre in this life? When you are always looking for the next level, constantly pushing forward and up, what will happen when you’ve reached your destination in a particular area? What will you conquer next?

Are you overachieving or over-reaching?

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At what point does being an over achiever become a hinderance, a burden, or simply counter-productive? At the point of burnout and exhaustion that’s when. Also, if it makes you too anxious about failing or about your “status” in life in general. Being constantly productive is a great thing. The greatest minds in the world were and are extremely productive people and global citizens. However, it should not drive you to the mad house if you don’t get that promotion you had your eyes on for so long. You should not resort (often) to tricks and back door deals just to get what you want.

At some point, it can actually become a bit of a drab life to constantly be worrying about how and when you will achieve your next “success”. It’s equally as important to take some time out and do nothing as it is to go full speed into your projects at 500 miles per hour. Do you know when people typically experience their “aha” moments. That instant that you find a solution to a complex problem…you know when Einstein developed the theory E=mc2? It was during a moment of rest and reflection. The Eureka moment was discovered in a bathtub….quite literally. Archimedes was sitting in a tub, noticed the displacement of water was equal to the weight or mass of his body (i’m a bit fuzzy on the particulars) and discovered a new way to measure mass or something like that (sorry if this post is not scholarly enough for your taste); jumped out of his bathtub fully naked and ran to his laboratory shouting Eureka (“I’ve found it”) or so the story goes. We should have our Modern Benjamin science department check out the particular details and accuracy of this story, but I’ve given them all a day off today to enjoy margaritas by the pool; but the point is that after such and extended period of mental exhaustion, the state of clarity was delivered as the man was trying to relax in his bath tub.

It’s great if you are in 15 different school clubs; many of us have been there and started our own. However, do not let the constant need for promotion, recognition, and even fortune and fame stop you from coming home to your family who waits for you every night….or in my case, my dog. Now, there are plenty of good reasons to be an over achiever, or to be considered one. And, if you are barely getting by then maybe you should try to kick it into high gear for once and see what kind of results you come up with. Mediocrity just won’t do for some of us. And for others, living an exceptional, extraordinary life is the only option. When your motto is “my life is dope and I do dope shit” you know just what I’m talking about.

We, the avant guards, the forward thinking, the pioneers, are the very ones who bring civilization into it’s next great enlightenment and we often do it at the expense of our relationships, our health and even our sanity. Know when enough stress is enough and do not let the world dictate what you should be doing and working on entirely. Set some time out for yourself and enjoy the process of expansion and contraction. Life isn’t always about the outcome, although it may be hard to convince you otherwise. After all, you are the Modern Benjamin.

Happy Birthday America : The 4th is a time for Pot and Tits

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The Fourth of July means so much to so many different people. What does it mean to you, and why? As it was originally the birth of our nations independence from England, and we are no longer under the tyrannical rule of a king foreign or domestic; we tend to focus our attention to more freedoms many of us would like to have, but do not possess at the moment. Freedom to smoke pot without incarceration or fines, freedom for women to bare their breasts without public outcry. If it seems that I’m just going to talk about smoking pot, and checking out bare breasts, then you are correct. That’s the stuff that America is (or at least should be) comprised of.
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No, we probably shouldn’t go around blowing reefer smoke into the lungs of children at play. No one should even blow cigarette smoke their way in my opinion. Nor should we be allowed to get high and operate heavy machinery, fly planes, or perform surgery on people while under the influence. But two guys sitting on the corner, minding their business, being respectful of children and elderly on the Fourth of July should just be able to enjoy their smoke without persecution. Many people would likely agree; and the laws are bound to change sooner rather than later.
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Also, who can argue with tits? Seriously, and not to be facetious at all, but tits are so lovely and the fact that a man can go around baring his chest wherever he pleases, or at least wherever he is allowed access without a shirt (restaurants not included) so should his woman be allowed the same freedoms. It is not a perversion to have breast about, it’s the liberation of the nipple that we’re talking here. Who could be upset with that? Hitler, that’s who! Why is it such a big deal that women walk around covered. Who are we to tell women what is acceptable anymore? What is it that we are trying to preserve? What great danger or harm is being avoided by clothing women’s nipples? Wouldn’t it be the norm and not such a big thing if the practice was allowed, or rather not discriminated against.
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Think of how lovely a summer evening you could have if you and your friends were leaving or heading to a pool area where there is alcohol being served, marijuana being lit, and topless women lounging about the sides of the pool. Sound like an interesting place? As soon as it’s legal, it will surely be my night club of choice, if not my place of business. Do I think this is some kind of euphoria that can be achieved without people getting their feathers ruffled? The answer to that is “no”. Someone is always going to find fault in whatever takes place. Those people are not invited to the party however. They are to be banished to their television sets and their comfy chairs in their drab living rooms until someone wakes them up out of their time warp. Or better yet, until they can fully wake themselves up. I don’t have much time for evangelizing.

Maybe a few private social clubs would be in order to ease people’s transition into a topless, pot laced America. Who’s freedoms are being harmed by the practice of marijuana smoking, and topless gatherings? Should our nation be governed by such a conservative, approach that holds little to no merit? Is it an extension of some Christian paranoia that the world is going to hell in a hand basket and we must therefore take all measures to make sure people aren’t exhibiting signs of lewdness, debauchery and some kind of devil worship. We’ve all got our one lives to live and shouldn’t we spend that time enjoying our freedoms if they are not encroaching on the freedom’s of another? Why so many rules? This is America and America is founded upon not taking any shit, any unnecessary rules, and any tyrannical approach from anybody. Happy Birthday America, let’s continue to grow and be enlightened until the end of your days.