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Our Champions

Win the Day!

On the evening of October 17th, 2023, I remember sitting at the dinner table with my wife, Cristina, and our son, Jett in the highchair. As Hootie and the Blowfish played in the background, we were attempting to have a conversation about the recent news of baby #2 as we battled through meatballs being thrown at us as if we just hopped off a boat at Normandy. Jett was screaming, laughing, and crying all at the same time with a Picasso of red meat sauce painted on his face. I remember being in that moment and thinking, “This is LIVING.” Everything seemed so perfect to me at that time.

On October 20th, 2023, my life and my family’s life changed forever with an ALS diagnosis from UC – Irvine. With a 2-3 year life expectancy and no cure, every dark thought bounced around my head like a pinball machine on a Friday night in the late 70’s.

“Who is going to raise my children and support my family?”

“Who is going to be there to tell my wife she is loved every night?”

“Who is going to be there to teach my sons life’s most important lessons?”

“How many more months, weeks, days, do I have left with a functioning body?”

These questions continued to riddle through my head for the next two weeks. I was in a deep depression for the first time in my life. I was angry, frustrated, confused, and felt sorry for myself. I couldn’t come to grips with the fact I was just given a death sentence and there was nothing I could ever to do to change that.

Getting punched in the mouth with a terminal illness like ALS, made me realize I needed to punch myself in the mouth for not embracing the word LOVE and cherishing everything and everyone that truly embodies that word for me.

In the last few months, my wife and I started a new tradition. Before we say I love you and give each other a nice smooch and pass out, we share the highlights of our day. The highlights are never work related. They always involve spending time with each other, our son, or doing something we’re truly passionate about.

Shortly after the diagnosis, one of my best friends reached out to me and told me that I will have some bad days, but that it’s critical to focus on stacking good days together and the bad days won’t hurt as much. That stuck with me and quickly migrated to 3 words that I have been living by.


It’s so easy to get caught up focusing on an outcome and milestones but almost always, that outcome or milestone is out of our control. For an ALS patient right now, that outcome sucks. Like I have been telling my athletes for years, you supply the focus and the effort between the first whistle and the last, and let God determine the outcome. I had the answer this whole time. I just never applied it to my own life.

If I wake up every day to do what I LOVE and cherish my time with the ones I LOVE, I can almost guarantee to WIN THE DAY, every single day. And what a colorful life it is!


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