Let Go Of My Balls???
Tristan's Physical - Having The Balls To Say What You Think!
My third son Tristan, is a happy go lucky kid with a great smile, an easy going disposition and the ability to always just tell it how it is. His annual school physical at 8-years old was not only hilarious, but was a lesson on having the courage to speak your mind. It provided a piercing insight into the fears that sometimes hold us back from taking action under duress or from just taking charge of our lives.
This lens starts with the story of Tristan having the courage to say exactly what was on his mind in a moment of extreme duress, while the doctor asked him to cough while holding his balls! It then takes a look at other members of my immediate family and some impacting events in their lives, where they had the balls to think, or to act or to say what was needed.
When you look at life and see how some people seem to get ahead and others always struggle, have you ever stopped to think, what is the difference? Why can some people just seem to always able to get ahead? Why are others so trapped or frozen by their situation? Why do some people to have an inner strength (balls) that allows them to keep going regardless of the obstacles which cause others to shut down? If you have taken action like this in tough situations, or seen it in others, please feel free to leave a blurb about it. I would love to hear your story.
Not While You're Holding My Balls - I Can't Cough
- Tristan Gets a Physical
- Castration is a Scary Thing
- Your Family Always Comes First
- Never Give Up Your Balls to Authority
- Kass is a Beautiful, Strong and Opinionated Woman with Big Ovaries
- Don't Cry For Me
Tristan Gets a Physical
The Greatest Comeback of All Time
"Ooorrccggghh!" Tristan's face contorted, his eyes tight shut as he squeezed out a barely audible screech.
"Tristan, you need to cough for me please" Dr. M asked again.
Tristan looked over at his mother with beseeching eyes "Like Mom, why are you letting him do this to me? I thought you always said this is private and no-one is ever supposed to touch me down here?"
Kass' heart pounded in her chest as she felt the emotional trauma her 8-year old was going through with his testicle check for the school physical. "I know, you're right. But this is different. It's the doctor. You have to let Dr. M check you out. Any other time anything happens, you come and see me or Dad right away. But it's always OK with your doctor."
Even the Intern who is following Dr. M is feeling Tristan's pain and is hopping uncomfortably from one foot to another. Then Dr M asks "Tristan, you need to get your pants down a little further so I can get my hand in and get this over with for you. And I need you to really cough out loud for me please."
Beads of sweat dripping from his brow and holding onto his jeans like a vice, Tristan lowered his jeans another inch giving the doctor barely enough space to squeeze his hand into Tristan's crotch.
"Alright Tristan, one good cough please?" Dr. M is by far the best doctor Kass and I have ever had, but is now showing his frustration with the lack of progress.
"Ooorrccggghh!" His body wracks with the effort, and his big steel blue eyes stare at Kass in disappointment that she is letting this personal violation continue.
Dr. M raises his voice in frustration, "Come on Tristan. Can't you just give me one good cough?"
"Not While You're Holding My Balls I Can't!" Tristan responded, looking his doctor straight in the eye. Well, the place just cracked up. Kass and the doctor are laughing so hard they are crying. The intern staggered out of the room and collapsed in convulsions on the floor outside.
"That's it. We're done." Dr M pronounced a few minutes later after a semblance of order was restored.
The Intern composes himself and returns. "you know what he just did?" he interrupted and then answered himself. "He just said what I've always wanted to say, but I never had the balls to say it."
Dr. M wiped his eyes, "That was the greatest comeback of all time."
Castration is a Scary Thing
Never Let Go of Your Balls
I have told Tristan's story so many times and always got such a great reaction. Grown men crying out and instinctively flinching or reaching for their testicles.
Donny, my barber, shared the story with the soccer team he coaches and he said they were in the middle of a hamstring stretch when he got to Tristan's great comeback line. He said "They all fell over like ninepins and rolled around in the grass, laughing and crying."
It was a few years though, before the impact of this event really started to hit home for me that this was more than just a story. My buddy George is an Australian MLM guru / seminar speaker / motivator and he pointed out that psychologically, castration is one of man's biggest fears. "It's right up there with talking in front of a room and getting eaten by a shark. I have seen grown men shaking like a leaf trying to walk in front of a room to make a speech. It is really such a simple thing, but anyone making their first speech into front of a large group knows only too well the knot in their stomach the first time every eye in the room swiveled onto them."
"What makes this so powerful, is that having given up his balls to the doctor, Tristan was in major fear, enough to shut most grown men down, but was still able to look him in the eye and tell him exactly what was on his mind."
Kass and I have talked about this a great deal over the years and to be honest, I wish that I was the one who had the courage to blurt it out. I know how vulnerable I feel standing there and a doctor has your balls in his hands. It's like you're frozen. Most of us can certainly squeeze the required cough out, but I've never met anyone who claimed that they were cool, calm and collected when someone else had them by the balls. When I looked back at my life on the things I regret or wish I had handled better, I realized that not only I wasn't coming from a position of power, but it was that very same fear gripping my stomach in a knot as if someone else had my balls.
Then I had the epiphany! Castration is a very scary thing, but it very rarely happens. But most of us give up our balls to our spouse, to our parents, to our teachers, to our boss or other authority figure in different ways all the time. You can never reach your potential or full power if your parents are squeezing your balls, or if your boss has them in a vice, or your spouse or girlfriend has you by the balls. Once we relinquish that power, it's over, we're only running at half throttle. We just gave up control of our life. Someone else may be making the rules, but don't let that change your value system or the person that you are, or the person that you are becoming. It may take you a little time to build the courage to break those chains and set yourself free.
One thing I know for certain, is that we all come into this life the same way and we all go out of here the same way. We all came in head first and we will all go out the same way, feet first in a box. The only thing making us all different is what we do with the time between right now and when someone closes the lid on our box. This may only be a short amount of time, so the bottom line is, If you want to live life to the full, pedal to the metal, balls to the wall then grab hold of your balls and never, never let them go again.
My mother - Your Family Always Comes First
It's Easier To Hold Onto Your Balls
Nora was born in England in 1917, and at 2 embarked with her mother on sea passage to join her father, a British Army Major, stationed in Hong Kong. This was the first of sixteen sea passages of one month or me that my mother would make in her life time. They later moved to Shanghai before she returned to Boarding school in England at 5 years old. Because of the 6-week voyage duration, her parents were only able to return on leave for a 6 week visit once every three years. She would see them for only three times while she was at school and spent her other holidays with an Aunt in Sussex. So, on turning sixteen, she left the cold and rain behind in England and set sail for the wonderful climate and good times in Singapore and to re-unite with her family.
Colonial life in the '30s was extravagant. They worked hard and they played hard. Golf, tennis and drinks at their club with many friends and parties. Nora met my father at 20 in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel and married him a year later.
Ray was a New Zealander, from rural Paparoa. His father taught all grades to the 17 kids attending the local school, including four of his brothers and sisters. Most of them rode horses to school. He went to college to become a surveyor, then took a job working for the British Government in Malaya and Singapore.
Ray had recently been promoted to Chief Surveyor of Johore, which afforded him a life of luxury compared with what he could afford back in New Zealand. Ray and Nora had a beautiful estate on 2 acres of tropical gardens and with the finest teak furnishings and crystal. They employed 3 cooks and would often bring 6 or 8 friends back from their club for "pot luck" dinners. They had an amah who took care of my older brother Kit and me. There were 2 gardeners, a house boy, a valet and a driver. Dad was 19 years older than my mother, and he was sometimes away for 2-3 months at a time on jungle survey trips. But Mom was very independent and their relationship worked well. They lived a joyful life in paradise until the Japanese invasion of World War II.
As the Japanese Army advanced down the Malay Peninsular, their home filled up with displaced people from Ray's Department and their families. Finally they abandoned their home on January 31st, 1942 just hours before the Causeway to Singapore was blown up and they moved in with Mom's parents in Singapore. A few days later a British Tommy ran up their drive screaming that the Japs were only a quarter of a mile away. They abandoned everything and my Dad drove Mom to the Port and managed to secure a berth for her on "The Empire Star", which was a cargo steamer that could handle 24 passengers. It was loaded with 2,000 RAF groundsmen, plus 260 women and children. They left port the next morning in a pall of smoke from the burning oil tanks and buildings. By 8.00 am they were attacked by the first wave of 9 planes, followed by 24 more planes and later a final wave of 54 planes. The Captain was later awarded a CBE for his courageous handling of the ship. They had been bombed for over 4-hours but they only had 3 direct hits and none severe enough to sink the ship in the shark infested waters of the Malacca Straits. Only a few of the troops were killed.
They landed at Batavia the next day and Mom was transferred to a Dutch ship where she re-united with her mother who had escaped with 170 others on a British minesweeper. They both just had the clothes they wore and a few English pounds. But they had reason to celebrate; it was Mom's first wedding anniversary. They sailed the next day for Bombay and then onto Colombo, where they finally got passage back to England. They took turns remaining in bed while the other washed and dried their one dress. The whole trip took 12 weeks, and you can imagine the relief of finally being home.
However, it was short lived as they faced the reality of wartime London. They were living in "Fly-Bomb Alley", just outside London and were now under constant bombardment from the German bombers and "doodle-bugs". For the first nine months after their escape they spent every night in an Anderson bomb shelter. Every morning fire crews would be cleaning up after the fires; medical crews would be taking care of the dead and wounded; and construction crews would be working to clear streets and make damaged buildings safe.
A year later they learned that her father had been captured in Singapore and was interned in Changi prison, but at least he was alive. They would get three more messages from him. But there was never any official word on Ray. Another two years passed and they finally heard through friends that he had escaped in a small boat but was captured in Java and may have been taken to a Sumatran POW camp. There was no official news of him whatsoever, until 5 1/2 weeks after V-J Day when she received a letter written after his release. It was 3 1/2 years since her escape.
It was another 6 months before she could get a passage back to New Zealand to meet up with her husband. Later that year they returned to Malaya. My brother was born in 1947 in Georgetown and two yearslater I was born in Kuala Lipis. After two more trips to England and New Zealand to show off their additions we all finally settled back in New Zealand in 1951.
Now my Mom's real adventure began. She had endured some harsh and scary times, but she had also been sheltered in Boarding Schools and with servants for her whole life. At 34 she started over with the stuff she had never done before; like learning to cook and clean and make a home for her family. Whatever had to be done for her family she would do it. She always did. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the three men in her life. The thing with my Mother is that she knew where her priorities lay and family was first and foremost in all her thoughts and actions. She would make any sacrifice to protect what she held so dear.
The lesson that I learned all these years later is that its much easier to hold onto your balls when your primary priority in life is not you, it's something much bigger, it's your family.
Never Give Up Your Balls To Authority
Take Charge of Your Life
After only 6-months of internment, 100 of the 250 men who entered the Japanese POW camp in Sumatra were already dead. Some from beri-beri, or dysentery or malaria and some from torture or beatings, but mostly from the starvation diet of one handful of rice a day. My father, Ray, said he could never understand it. All the big, strong tough guys died first. "They were so tough, but they gave up so quick and you could see it in their eyes, that it was all over and they would be dead inside a week." He had already lost 60-lb himself, but there was a lot of fight left in him.
The stones in the dirt floor of the camp bit into their bony elbows and hips. There were no beds or blankets, just the stony ground on which to catch some sleep and the pervading stench of death, from which you could never escape. Everything always hurt, all over.
"The bastards will never get us" Ray whispered to his friend, Johnny, and they shook their bony hands in a pact. They were making arrangements to get a burial for another friend who had just died. It was a huge thing because everyone was so sick and weak and you needed at least five friends to actually get a makeshift funeral service. Four men to carry the body wrapped in a grass mat and one to read The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23. Then the grave had to be dug and filled in and a marked cross set in place. Most other casualties were already being buried in unmarked graves.
But their friend had made them promise to pick the gold fillings out of his teeth after he died and before the Japs got them. "Just get me a little service and you keep the gold" he had repeated over and over. That macabre pact may have saved my father's life, as they were able to sell the gold "over the fence" to the local Sumatran natives and got a bag of maize in return. It provided just enough additional nutrition to keep them both from starving.
Ray had gone into camp at 175-lb and 3 1/2-years later came out at 6 stone which equates to 84-lb. He was one of only 53 survivors. 79% of the POWs entering the camp had died. (The only photo I can find is of POWs from Pakan-Baru, another Sumatran camp, where the death rate was around 20%. A joyride by comparison.) The day of their release they all got to sleep on a smooth concrete floor without any blankets. He said it was like the concrete was so soft without the stones biting into your bony parts, that it almost felt like a feather bed. It was so good to be free and for the first time in years they slept so well. I know one thing for sure, you had to have some balls to survive that hell on earth.
He didn't talk about it very often, but one time when I was about 15 he was telling stories and I always wanted to listen. "You always keep your head held high, and don't you ever kowtow to anyone. All I know, is that in that hellhole, if you gave up your balls to the Guards, you were dead! You are responsible for what happens to you, so don't ever make excuses about how hard life is. Someone else has always got it worse"
Life is a balance. Never Give Up Your Balls To Authority, whether that is your boss, your parents, your teacher, your spouse, your guard or whomever. Make no excuses, and always be respectful of your situation and the person who makes the rules. Just remember that only you are in charge of your life and you have to keep it in balance. Make the most of it.
Kass is a Beautiful, Strong and Opinionated Woman with Big Ovaries
"Would you like to go out on a date sometime?" Kass asked. I could tell she was really nervous when I met her a few minutes earlier in the lobby of the Seattle Sheraton. Her hands were a little sweaty and she just looked uncomfortable.
"What? Are you serious?" I stammered. I was blown out because Kass had become my best friend in the Company where we both worked. She was a Jersey girl, but based in Seattle at the time and I was working in Los Angeles. We had met at a Company event in San Diego about a year earlier and it just seemed that we always gravitated to each other whenever we had the opportunity. We would often talk for hours on the telephone late at night, sometimes about work, but mostly about life. I just loved her frank and open directness and how she could light up a room on entering. In many ways she was so mature for her age, in that she had such a strong set of values and was so firmly planted in the stance she took about anything.
However, at 24-years old she was 18-years my junior, almost young enough to be my daughter and she didn't know I was dating someone else. I had also been married and divorced and engaged 3 other times, which is a terrible track record. So, I muttered same lame excuses and said "No." But the friendship continued.
A month later we were both working in Houston.
A month after that we were dating.
Another month later I asked Kass to marry me to get a "Green Card" because my attorney could not get it done. She was my best friend and she did not hesitate to say yes. Understandably, this did not go well with her Irish Catholic family. I had three instant strikes against me to start off with; I was divorced, too old and not Catholic. I was certainly not a suitable candidate for their only daughter. Things quickly escalated from there until Kass got the family ultimatum to choose. It's him or us.
One of the things I have learned about Kass over the years is never to tell her what she can't do, because you know for sure she is going to do it regardless.
"Peter is the man I love and he is the man I am going to marry. If you change your mind give me a call." and she hung up the phone.
Talk about packing a set of ovaries. Here is this 24-year old girl, cut off from all her family, friends and support structure,living out of a suitcase, starting her own business on the other side of the country and then agreeing to marry an illegal alien to help him get a Green Card.
I was constantly amazed by the depth of her passion and the strength of her belief in what she choose to put her mind to, whether that was religion, or relationships or family values. Kass was a standout athlete and had captained Holy Cross High School to their first ever NJ State Championship in softball. In fact she was captain or co-captain of softball, basketball and soccer in both her Junior and Senior years. Talk to Kass about Eagles football, Flyer's hockey or Phillies' baseball and you will find an avid fan absolutely passionate about her teams and we have broken ornaments, furniture and telephones to attest to that.
The thing that I learned to love the most about Kass is that she either 100% into something on just not bothered at all. She was never lukewarm or mellow on issues. She just did not take the middle ground on anything. And talk about a short fuse. She was always like a lioness protecting her cubs. Challenge her on something and you will find where her feet are planted real fast.
Another month later, by the time we were married, I was head over heels in love with my best friend. She was beautiful, strong and opinionated and she had the Ovaries to stand for what she believed in all of the time. I had fallen in love with my wife after she had agreed to marry me. 18-years later it is still easily the best thing that ever happened in my life.
Don't You Cry For Me
I'm OK - I already talked to God
There were 10 beds in the St. Vincents hospital ward in Brisbane for children from 2 to 15. They had different forms of cancer and were in varying stages of treatment. But they all had one thing in common, no-one came out of this ward alive and well. Sometimes there was a short reprieve for a few months, but inevitably they all came back. Kristin in fact had recovered enough to come home for a magical Christmas. Her intravenous drip of morphine traveling with her. She was totally addicted by now and could adjust the flow depending on her pain level. But she could remain lucid and relatively pain free. My ex-wife Leslie and I agreed that although we always prayed and searched for magic cures, that all hope of a recovery for Kristin was now gone. Leslie would be with her virtually fulltime from Monday to Friday. I would fly in from Melbourne for the weekends. She was so fragile and had so many broken bones it was impossible to treat them. Our focus was simply to make her remaining time as comfortable, as pain free and as fulfilling as possible. She loved having us there with her.
It was early in the morning and the first blush of sunlight was turning the dark sky pink and gold. My back and neck ached from catching a few hours sleep on the banana lounger now stacked away under Kristin's bed. I stood silently crying as I looked down at her sleeping, still so beautiful in the dim morning light. I knew if I reached around her back or her skull I would feel feel tumors the size of baseballs and the breaks in her wracked body. But her beautiful face had been spared the devastation everywhere else. I just could not understand why or how this beautiful child should suffer so terribly. The tears were running freely down my face now until suddenly I felt Kristin's eyes on me. She raised one bony arm with trembling finger outstretched only a few inches from my nose.
But her voice was strong, "Don't you cry for me Daddy!" her voice crackling imperiously and she was jabbing her finger at my face. "I'm OK. I have already talked to God. He is going to take care of me."
I took her hand, wiping away the tears with my other hand. "I'm very happy with my life, but it gets me all upset when I see you crying," she went on. Once again Kristin floored me with her equanimity in face of death. Her calmness and acceptance of her situation was uplifting for me. She had already accepted that she was dying and could look death in the face and be OK with it.
She seemed to have a real connection with the kids who passed before her. The nuns at the hospital almost always brought the distraught parents of her friends who had died to talk and pray with Kristin. I tried not to listen in on talks and prayers and Kristin made it clear that she didn't need me there when someone came to her in mourning. All I know is, that time and time again, parents who an hour earlier had been inconsolable or angry at their child's passing left her with a huge burden lifted from their shoulders. A quiet peace would come over them and they would walk away with a lightness in their step that was not apparent earlier.
I felt somehow that she was an old soul when she looked at me and just shook her head, "Daddy, you just don't get it, do you?"
"Yes, I do," I answered, but I knew that she knew I didn't really understand at all.
Word spread about Kristin and she got hospital visits from Kylie Minogue and some other Australian Stars. They even did a piece on her in a Brisbane evening News Show and again when she died.
Leslie and I were almost never in the hospital together, but she had been asleep in the chapel and had come in to check on her. We were standing beside her when Kristin died at 2.30 on Sunday morning, August 24th, 1986. We turned off the monitor and everything was silent in the hospital ward. A nurse removed her IV tube and left us alone. I picked her up and held in her in my arms for the first time in nine months and she weighed just like a feather.
In 10 short years, my daughter had taught me more lessons on life and living and death and dying from her own deathbed, than I had learned in a lifetime. Kristin Kylie Wilson; my beautiful angel and she had the biggest balls of them all.
Books To help You Find The Courage To Grab Your Balls Back. - Let Go Of Your Fear
This inspirational book helped me to cope and eventually accept Kristin's death. My sister-in-law, Pam Lane, eventually became Kubler-Ross' agent in Brisbane.
Tony Robbins is very impacting and powerful. Sometimes looking at the same problem from a different perspective helps. This book was a huge help to me.
We all learn at different speeds and in different ways. This booked helped me let go of my fears so that I could find the strength to grab my balls back and keep them there.
Moving and powerful. No excuses. Someone else always has it tougher than you.
Has anyone out there ever wanted to say something, but didn't have the balls? Or wanted to talk to a girl, but couldn't summon up the courage? Or let an opportunity slip through their fingers because they were too nervous to leave the security of their job? Or jump off the high dive? Or express your love or true feelings?
Did you ever feel that your boss had you by the balls and you couldn't figure out how to get free? Or was it your parents with your balls in a vise?
Let us hear your story of people with the balls or ovaries to impact your life in a positive way. Or your story of how you summoned the courage to grab hold of your balls and move ahead with your life?