Brand-New White Tennis Shoes + Winner

April 24, 2009

First, Congrats to Rose who wins a copy of my DVD for her comment about her enabler.

As I look back now I realize that the magic wasn’t in the shoes. It was in my belief in the shoes that allowed me to run faster.

386390_blogI can still remember today what it felt like to be a kid with a pair of brand-new white tennis shoes. It seemed like every year, sometime around the beginning of school, my mom would take me out and buy me a new pair of tennis shoes. The salesman would always ask me if I wanted to wear them out of the store or carry them out in a box. This seemed like a foolish question to me. I wondered, “Who wouldn’t want to wear a brand-new pair of tennis shoes?”

As soon as we are out of the store and in the parking lot on the way to the car, the magic began. With my first chance to run in those new white shoes I would sprint to the car, watching my feet the entire way, and marvel at how much faster I could run in those new shoes.

The next couple days were always filled with more of the same. No matter where I was at, whether at the park, in my backyard, on the street to my friends house or in the playground at school, I would run; and no matter where I was running I always kept my eyes fixed on my shoes, blown away at how fast my feet were moving.

I knew I was running faster. I could tell. It always took less time to get from place to place and I was more dominant in foot races with my friends. I remember sometimes thinking my speed had increased so much that the wind was actually blowing through hair (which because it was the 70’s was beautifully feathered due of the comb I always kept in the back pocket of my Hash jeans).

Then invariably, as the days and weeks would pass the bright white of my shoes would begin to dull. They would scuff and stain. They would become tarnished and dirty. As the new shoes became the same color as my old shoes, my new speed would go and my old speed would return.

What changed?

I’m pretty sure that those new shoes by themselves didn’t do anything to increase my speed. But, know I ran faster. Maybe not substantially faster, but faster. When I would watch my feet moving back and forth, those white tennis shoes made it look like they were moving faster. Because I believed my feet were moving at a faster rate, my speed increased as well. Not because of the strength of the shoes themselves, but because of the power of my belief in those shoes.

As soon as the white was gone so too was my belief in my newfound speed. With no more belief in my new shoes there was no more new speed to be had.

As I look back now I realize that the magic wasn’t in the shoes. It was in my belief in the shoes. Those brand-new white tennis shoes allowed me to believe that I could run faster, and because I believed, it was so.

We need to fill our lives with brand-new white tennis shoes. We need to surround ourselves with things that help us believe we can be better, stronger, faster. That we can do more and be more. That the good were doing today can become better or best tomorrow.

For some people a motivating quote can be their new tennis shoes. For others, properly set goals put in a prominent place can be the bright white that allows them to believe. There are those who find it easier to believe in themselves when they have a list of their talents that they can review regularly. And, there are those whose family photo gives them the belief that they can be more.

What helps you believe in your potential doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that, like my new tennis shoes, you look at them often reminding yourself of how fast and far you can go. For everyone knows you run faster with brand-new white tennis shoes.


Be an Enabler + DVD Giveaway

April 17, 2009
There was a little bit of a snafu with the post so I’m extending the giveaway to Wednesday he night 9pm PST. If you list your Enabler before then, you’re in. Good luck!  Jh-
Two Great Enablers.  Florence & Elmer Hall

Two Great Enablers. Florence & Elmer Hall

We so often hear of people who are enablers. They encourage and allow others to continue their lives filled with bad habits. For example, if someone were living with an alcoholic and created an environment where alcohol was easily obtained, or easily accepted the excuses the alcoholic used to drink, that person would be designated an enabler; enabling the alcoholic to continue with their bad habit.

Over and over on the small and large screen and in print we see, hear, and read of enablers. We take note of these people working hard, or completely ignoring poor habits thereby perpetuating those habits or actions that hurt and damage lives.

Because of this new and popular way of utilizing the words enabler and enabling, they’ve taken on a negative connotation. But, it can be a powerful thing to enable. Putting our efforts toward enabling positive and moral actions and values can make a real difference in others lives for good.

The world today so badly needs enablers. It needs people enabling others to set goals and become better. The world needs people enabling positive mental attitudes, and promoting environments where serving others is more accepted and lauded. In these dark times there must be those willing to actively enable good works and moral strength in order to yield lives lived well.

As I look back at my life I know that I’m the person I am today because of the enablers who helped me along the way. In considering the enabling I’ve enjoyed in my life I remember the following people especially:

  • I think of my Grandma & Grandpa Hall who taught me to love others unconditionally and live a life filled with righteousness.
  • I think of my Grandma Ashby who taught me that there is no value in complaining.
  • I think of my parents, the ultimate enablers, who taught me to look for the good in every situation. They taught me the importance of being positive in the face of any adversity.
  • I think of Major Weaver, a scout leader, who taught me the importance of patriotism and love of country.
  • I think of Darren Haskins and Ben Hendry who allowed me to see how far a little kindness could go in a young boy’s life.
  • I think of Dave Checketts who gave me the opportunity to grow through the lives of great young men when most people wondered if I was ready to grow at all.
  • I think of Maren Mouritsen and Tammie Quick who taught me more about listening, leading and doing what’s right than most people ever have a chance to learn.
  • I think of Gary and Judy Coleman who taught me about acceptance because of the environment of acceptance they fostered in their home.
  • And, I think about Kolette whose pure love has allowed me to love more purely.

Although this list is far from complete, these enablers, along with countless others, have made a real, lasting difference in who I am today. I’m frightened to consider who I might have become had I not experienced the environments these people created and the motivation they provided.

We must enable. We must put people in situations where they can succeed. For, often that taste of success can push them forward and create in them a desire for more. We must show people that they can be better than they are, regardless of how good they are already. We must push people to do great things and become great people, and if we have pushed them a little we must push them even more.

In today’s world where people seem lost and character has become a word some can hardly define, positive enabling is the answer. We have to look for ways to further enable others to become the best they can be. Remember those who have enabled you, and take the opportunity to pay their work forward.

There are so many out there waiting to find out who they can become and what they can do. In many cases your enabling will be their answer.

Be an enabler.


In order to remind us all of the power of enabling, I am doing a giveaway associated with the enablers. Leave a comment where you name someone who has enabled you to become the good person you are today. The winner gets an autographed copy of my DVD. The contest closes at 9 PM PST Monday, April 20, 2009.

An Interview with Gus Lloyd

April 12, 2009
Gus Lloyd

Gus Lloyd

The following is an interview I did on SIRIUS/XM’s Catholic Channel.  I was the “Everyday Hero” on “Seize The Day (with Gus Lloyd)”  It was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to talk about my story as well as those things I feel bring success.

Take a listen and tell me what you think.



Hold Your Head Up High

April 9, 2009

There’s nothing like the feeling living proudly and without regret. If we want that feeling, we have to put in the effort so we can be happy with who we are, filled with pride because of the code we live by.

Strongman 2009 (Infant Class)

Strongman 2009 (Infant Class)

As early as one month into my son Cole’s young life we began to notice his extraordinary ability to keep his head up. Mind you, at that young age holding his head up meant just a few seconds of his chin separating from his chest and included an incredible amount wobbling. But, it was younger than we expected and when it comes to babies and their heads you kind of have to cut them a break.

When you look at their head in comparison to the rest of their body it’s far and away the heaviest and largest part. There is nothing they have that comes within even half of the weight or size of their head.

Watching babies and their heads always reminds me of the movie, “So I Married An Axe Murderer” with Mike Myers. In the movie Myers’ character has a brother that the father in the flick has nicknamed “Head” because of his “Gargantuan Cranium.” At one point in the film the father says Head’s head is so large that it looks like an “Orange on a toothpick” a “Virtual Planetoid” that “Has its own weather system.” All in all, I think it’s a pretty fair description of a baby’s head.

The point is, that when you take into account a baby’s big head accompanied with their tiny neck, it’s amazing they raise their head at all. I have to admit however, Coleman had a little bit of help.

As I worked to find new ways to be able to hold Cole in my arms with my limited movement there were many times when I wasn’t able to support his head the same way an able-bodied person would. It’s not that his head wasn’t secured, it’s just that sometimes he was required to take a larger role than he would have otherwise.

These unique positions forced Coleman to work with and use muscles he otherwise never would have put into practice. It was almost as if our general understanding was that if we both did all we could it would all work out.

On that point, we were right. In the time that has followed the length and strength of his ability has increased. Just a month later he can hold his head up longer, stronger and without all the wobbling. But, even still it’s not easy. He gets tired the longer he does it and has to put in an incredible amount of effort to make it work at all.

As I watch him using all of his physical strength to keep his physical head up high it makes me wonder. Am I putting in the same effort in the same work to keep my own “head up?”

When people talk about someone proud of who they are, who feels honor due to their actions and lives doing the right thing they’ll often say, “They could hold their head up  high.” We all know how that feels. We all know what it is to to be proud of the way we’re living our lives, happy with the blessings that come our way. We all know the sense of accomplishment that comes in the knowledge there we’re doing what we know to be right.

We also know that like Cole, doing those things requires concentration and work.

What we have to ask ourselves is are we concentrating on living a good, honorable life. Are we tirelessly working every day to be honest and true? Are we strengthening our inner selves to be able to keep that head up stronger and longer?

There’s nothing like the feeling living proudly and without regret. If we want that feeling every day we have to work at it, just like Cole. We have to put in the effort so we can be happy with who we are, filled with pride because of the code we live by.

The day will soon come when Coleman will no longer have to work to keep his physical head up. But, he will forever work to keep his spiritual head erect. We must remember the lessons Coleman’s learning now and live lives filled with such honor, grace, pride, and and love that we may never lose the ability to hold our head up high.


Go With What You Know

April 1, 2009
Jason Hall and Kolette Coleman Spring 1992

Jason Hall and Kolette Coleman Spring 1992

Seventeen years ago today my life changed. Seventeen years ago I asked Kolette to marry me. As I think about this day and what it means to me I think about what led up to that day and how decisions I made then make me the luckiest man in the world.

In 1992, as we approached mid-March Kolette and I were in two different places when it came to marriage. We spent every open waking minute together. I picked her up every morning for school and from that point to the point I dropped her off at night we are together. This togetherness brought with it an ample amount of kissing. As far as I was concerned all was well with the world. I liked seeing Kolette and loved kissing her and figured we could just stay put in our little bubble of time forever.

Kolette on the other hand had enjoyed our time dating but felt that the time for moving on to the next step had come. Both then and now Kolette has been a woman of checklists. And as far as engagement went, her pencil sharpened and she was aching to fill the empty box.

As has usually been the case she was right. Not that there is any specific timeline on how long a couple should date, or that we had dated for an excessively long period of time, but we had spoken often about how marriage was our next step.

On a side note, I think it’s interesting how this subject gets broached by most couples. It seems like generally it happens the same for everyone. First, in conversation you start saying things like, “If we were ever to get married, not that we ever would, but if we did then we would…” Then it begins to turn to “If we were ever to get married, not that we would for a long time, then we would…”

Not long after this is a part of regular conversation, the sentence seems to evolve further to something like, “When we get married, not that that wouldn’t be for a long time, but when we did, then we would…” For me, this was the sentence that seem to have the shortest lifespan. As before I knew it, we were saying just regular old, “When we get married.”

The first time we went to look at rings I was so nervous I didn’t even set one foot in the store. Kolette looked at rings with the salesman who, knowing that I was the buyer, shouted through the store so that I could hear him while I was sitting just outside the doorway.

This went on until one day I dropped Kolette off at school and she had a look on her face that broke my heart. Her eyes told the whole tale. They said, louder than any words ever could, “We are never going to get married.”

That was it. I knew I had to make a decision. I had to decide whether I was going to ask her to marry me and move forward, or simply break things off. Staying where we were at and causing her that kind of disappointment was not an option.

I packed my bag full of books written by wise men on the subject of living life well and headed to a local hotel. I checked into the hotel with the help of a bellman. The bellman took my bag, unpacked the books, helped me order dinner through room service and left. When he did, I shut the door so I couldn’t leave, and dropped the remote on the floor so TV was no longer an option. This way, it was just me, my books, my God, and my big decision.

(In case you’re wondering, my cousin who had a date that night with his future wife, agreed to come to the hotel and lay me down around one o’clock. I know there are some out there thinking that if he was locked in his hotel room how did he ever get out. My cousin also stayed the night and help me get up the following morning.)

I ate my dinner and began some deep reading and heavy prayer. Not long into the evening I called my dad to get his advice. He said he couldn’t understand what I was doing since it seemed to him I already knew the answer.

I remember thinking, “Thanks a lot, Dad!” and went back to reading and praying.

The more I read and the more I prayed the more I realized my Dad was right. I already knew the answer to my question before I even went up to the hotel. As I thought about it I knew she loved me, and I knew I loved her. But, I let doubt and nerves get in the way of that knowledge. Luckily, what my fear questioned, my heart had figured out a long time ago.

I loved her.

I called the bellman, had him bring up some dessert, open the door and hand me the remote. My decision was made and all that was left was the asking.

I returned home put together a plan and with the help of a lot of family and friends pulled off this extravagant plan. I was able to rent a place at Sundance, convince Kolette that we had a meeting with the president of the University (I had just been elected BYU’s Student Body President), get her to wear my favorite dress, get a candlelight dinner set up in the room at Sundance, and get the ring (a few weeks earlier I had actually found the courage to go into a jewelers with Ko).

On our way up the canyon, from Provo to Sundance, Kolette asked me if I had made any headway on getting the ring. She knew that there was no way I was going to be able to afford the ring we had looked at without some help. I was just a poor college student. I told her that I was going to meet about financing on the following Monday. Her face got all sad and frustrated because she knew that once I met with the people about financing it would take at least a week to get the money for the ring.

She told me that she had a conversation with her Dad earlier that day and he was beginning to wonder if I had commitment issues. What she didn’t know was a miracle happened just days before and not only had I ended up with a check for nearly the entire cost of the ring, but that the ring was waiting for her up at Sundance (I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pull the ring out of my pocket when I asked her so when they set up our candlelight dinner I had them set the ring box open on the table).

We got to Sundance and it was great. She was right with me believing the whole thing. She had taken the bait and bit hook, line, and sinker.

We opened up the door to the room and with romantic music playing in the background I led her to the table and in front of the candlelight dinner took her hand and said, “Kolette, will you marry me and make me the happiest man alive?”

She looked at me and quizzically asked, “Are you kidding?”

I remember thinking that this was not the response I expected. My mind raced and I wondered if I’d read the whole situation wrong. I thought maybe the best answer was, “Yeah! Ha Ha! Funny Right?” But, as often happens my mouth got in front of my brain and I exclaimed, “No, I’m not kidding. the ring’s right there.”

She looked at the table and saw the ring that she had missed before and said, “Yes.” Immediately after I started to breathe again and we kissed.

If I remember right, we kissed so long the food got cold. But, we were in love and none of that mattered. The next day we went to school and told all of our friends that we were engaged.

There’s not many days that aren’t good ones for asking the one you love to marry you. But, the 31st of March is one of those days. For, the day that follows is April 1st more commonly known as “April Fools’ Day.” This made it difficult to convince many of our friends that we actually were engaged. But on April 2nd everyone knew we were telling the truth in nearly three months later we were married.

It’s been the ride of a lifetime. Any happiness that has been a part of my life since that day is in some way or another a direct result of Kolette. She is the love of my life and the joy of my journey. She is my best friend and my heart is hers forever.

When I think about all the good that has come into my life because of Kolette I think about how it would have all been lost if that day in the hotel room had I decided to doubt things I knew were true. It’s like I was over thinking and under feeling–so worried I was going to make the wrong decision, I was making no decision at all. Fear that I might fail, or be wrong kept me in a holding pattern. Those emotions of anxiety and apprehension cause us to hesitate moving forward with answers we know to be right.

We have to do all the we can do to get the best information out there. We have to study and learn to gain wisdom and understanding. But there will always be more to learn and more to understand. We have to get all the knowledge we can crammed into our head, but at the end of the day that won’t be enough. Our gut has to be included in the conversation, our heart has to be given a place at the table. Along with the knowledge we gain we have to have the courage to act, the courage to trust what we know in our heart is right. There is a reason God gave us not only a head, but a heart to go with it.

There is little question that we’re at our best when we use all the tools at our disposal. When we use our heads with our hearts we gain the courage to go with what we know.


PS To increase your blog views check out alphainventions.  It’s improved my stats, and belive it will yours too.