Let’s toast to…GOLDEN DREAMS



I don’t think there is one person that watched the Olympics last year and didn’t KNOW the name “GABBY DOUGLAS.” She was INSPIRATIONAL, WELL SPOKEN, CONFIDENT, and a TEAM PLAYER although most folks on twitter, facebook, and beauty parlors…just wanted to talk about her hair. Fly hair~do or not, I was EXCITED to meet “GABBY” and impressed with how she said she dealt with the “negative comments” that tried to over shadow her accomplishments. “Yeah, it hurt…but I didn’t focus on that.” “I have been working and training (since I can remember) and have been away from my family for so long…(she had to move to Iowa to stay with a HOST FAMILY) I was just in the moment.” “I HAD TO FOCUS.”

We joked around with her about “boys” and “dating” for which she quickly told us…”I don’t have time for boys, with ALL my traveling!” LOL She did however confess that she LOVES Lil Wayne, Kanye and Jeezy’s music and uses it to get ‘pumped up!” Her mom was there as well, and as impressed as I was with Gabby, I realize that “kids” learn from their parents…so we asked her mom to say a few words. Her mother was BRUTALLY honest about their previous financial situation and I was nearly brought to tears listening to how GOD brought them from mud to the mountain top for the WORLD to see.
Gabby wrote a book titled GRACE, GOLD, and GLORY…in which she signed a personal copy for my nieces: Autumn and Summer who are pictured above with me.

Now while we were ALL screaming the name “GABBY DOUGLAS,” I had no idea that another teenage girl was kicking butt at the Olympics. 17 year-old CLARESSA SHIELDS (quietly) became THE FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN to win a GOLD medal in boxing! In fact, she was the ONLY AMERICAN to win GOLD in boxing this past Olympics. Am I the only person that didn’t know about this???

On a separate day, CLARESSA SHIELDS walked in so cool and calm that I stared at her for the first 10 seconds saying to myself…”THIS girl WON a GOLD MEDAL? In BOXING?” She sat down and we jumped right into, WHY did she get into boxing? She told us, she initially got into to control her temper and attitude, but then she found a way to use her temper and attitude in the ring.” When we asked her WHAT exactly did that mean? She said, “Man..I get mad as soon as the person shows up for weigh in.” LOL!!! “All I can think is…”You got the nerve to SHOW UP on time?” Thinking you gonna whop ME?” “Imma make you PAY!” The best was, she was saying all of this in her sweet southern voice. LOL!

Female Boxing doesn’t seem like a glamourous sport to me. And with the exception of Laila Ali you don’t see ANY of them with endorsement deals either, so how can you really maintain a living outside of the ring? That being said, we were curious as to what Claressa’s plans were once she finishes high school this year. Surprisingly, Claressa shared that she wants to go to college to study PHOTO JOURNALISM!!! We were so impressed with her aspirations that Sway even offered to help her in that field once she finishes school!

I wanted to share these experiences with you because I spent the past 2 weeks with my nieces trying to not only show them a good time in NYC, but encourage them to RAISE THEIR STANDARDS! I told them it is UNACCEPTABLE to deliver or accept mediocrity…IF the maximum is available! Even while we were out shopping or enjoy the sights I reminded them that if you want to be successful AND respected… it takes HARD WORK! And…YOU HAVE TO put your WORK IN! Of course we got into a conversation about “HATERS”, but I’m from the school of…”Haters create layers! If you wanna win, you need THICK skin!” WHO CARES what a HATER thinks???>>>>>>FOCUS! and “CLAIM” what GOD has put your name on!

Family…THAT”S what I’m toasting to tonight: Toast with me if you have…”GOLDEN DREAMS” in 2013!


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