Muhammad Ali died today. He was 74 years old. Despite the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease, he remained active, and a source of inspiration, right to the very end.
My interest in sports developed at the same time that a young Cassius Clay proclaimed himself “The Greatest” boxer in the world. He went on to prove it, and his effusive personality refused to be quieted by setbacks. With little regard for what it would cost him, he challenged the establishment. He protested the Vietnam war long before it was popular, and it cost him his prime boxing years. He was not shy about his commitment to his Muslim faith, and with a new identity, “Muhammad Ali” was quick to proclaim it. America was divided between loving him and hating him. I watched him as he aged and he lost his fighting edge, but his spirit never wavered - you always expected him to come back, he was always “The Greatest.”
Muhammad Ali fought his last fight in 1981. He was a shadow of the champion that won his first world heavyweight title in 1964. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984. In the years since, he became an ambassador of goodwill throughout the world. The once outspoken voice of dissent had become one of the most beloved sports figures of all time. The Champ once said, “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” He showed us how. He also said, “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.” Today, Muhammad Ali was right. We honor his legacy in and out of the ring - where he taught us all how to be champions.
Be Your Greatest!
M. J. White is the creator of “Lean Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and well-being at work. It is inspired and supported from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is a thriving work environment where people pursue becoming their best selves. To learn more, visit the website at: www.leanwellness.us or email him at: email@example.com.