WARRIORS DO NOT CHOKE...

It was the morning after Indy's surprise going away party and we had three days left of life as we knew it. Every weekday morning is the same...my alarm goes off at five, Indy up at 6:15, Mattie 6:30, hair flying, mascara wands blazing, toast eaten, out the door by 7:15. We listen to music all the way to town *loud*...and I dance. I do not know how to drive if I'm not jamming...Mattie has embraced this...Indy rolls her eyes and shakes her head but she smiles and sometimes says, "Mom, you are really cute.". We had dropped Mattie, were making the Starbucks circuit (trenta strawberry refresher, no water for me, grande vanilla chai for Indy) when Indy looked across the truck and said, "You know you are the one who's advice made this dream come true.". Mine? "Yes mom. Your's. You said, 'Never choke when it counts...It's that easy....Don't choke.'." I half laughed, half "choked"up. I do say that. I say it to myself and I have said it at important junctures to the girls. I even said it to all you wonderful 125,000 Warriors who downloaded our podcast. You can't choke. It's my mantra for everything scary I've done since Warrior died. The most public example was the first Warrior Award where I spoke publicly without any training. I was in front of 20,000 people with 1.8 million watching on the network and my husband's huge mantel slung across my little back. The only thing I said to myself right before walking through the curtain was "This counts. This matters. DO NOT CHOKE." So I didn't. When I watch trained people flub I want to shake them. I want to look them square in the eyes like I have my own mirror reflection and say, "YOUR LIFE MATTERS, DON'T CHOKE". In this politically correct world I'm sure I'll be seen by some as too harsh and that's ok...you have my permission to invite failure into your lives if my declaration is too definitive... but it serves me. When failure is not an option you are more likely to succeed...even if only in your own head. Your own head is the first and most important place to be successful. I have been blocked and knocked down plenty since my life fell to ash but as Denzel Washington says in my favorite movie since Braveheart, Magnificent 7, "What we've lost in the fire we'll find in the ashes.". When I looked at the burned wreckage of my life after Warrior died I immediately began combing the ashes. I did it in Calvin Klein dresses and five inch heels for the first year and now I do it most often in cowboy boots and cutoffs but the work is the same...I look for the treasure. I look for the good. I seek the possibility. I rake the ashes with pink, polished fingernails for the diamonds that are my daughters' birthright. I fight like a warrior through every closed door for JUST the chance to be great. All the scrapping and scraping is my training ground so when at last the door buckles under my persistence I will be prepared to face my opportunity head on... ...I WILL NOT CHOKE. Part one is just the prep, part two is the test. The test is the time to lay every hard earned skill on the table and FREAKING SHINE!!! Mistakes happen, of course. Please do not miss what I'm trying to impart in this message. Some of the "failures" have been my greatest teachers but I failed because I did not have all the information, education, or timing necessary to be successful. Never was the failure due to my lack of desire to catapult to the top. Never did I get in my own head and block goodness. Never have I paralyzed my power. Never have I lost something I wanted out of weakness. Never will I be bested because I choke. You Warriors are a powerful freaking bunch. You are imbued with his spirit and power in a way I have never seen. There is nothing you cannot go out and achieve in this lifetime. You are the example of believing something unthinkable into existence. You never forgot my husband and where he belonged. For this reason before his last day were his best ones with all of you and among his WWE family. Warrior assumed his rightful place as a hall of famer, industry icon, and true legend. He stood in that New Orleans ring on his final night at RAW and showed the world his greatness one last time in an eerily prophetic promo. My husband spoke from his heart as we all cheered from wherever we sat. Warrior was Ultimate till the very end and proved the importance of Believing in something bigger than ourselves. I believe opportunities are actually finite. I believe without courage we let good things slip through our grasp. I believe it's one thing to do the work, it's another to take your rightful place among the stars when your door opens...I believe we DECIDE not to choke...I believe that is when you CHOOSE to succeed...ALWAYS!! xo⭐️Dana

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