Usually when I write a post it is to make a point or share information I believe will be helpful for people with health conditions. Not so today! On this occasion I simply wish to pay tribute to one of the greatest personalities of our time. Muhammad Ali!
Ali, born Cassius Clay, passed on this past Friday April 3. He was 76 years old. He, along with John Lennon, were my childhood idols. Both rose from poverty to become larger than life celebrities! Lennon a musician, was part of the Beatlemania phenomenon. Ali, a boxer was part of … well, he was the Muhammad Ali phenomenon! Both made contributions to humanity well beyond their chosen careers … Lennon as a peace activist and Ali as a philanthropist.
I watched all of Muhammad’s televised fights including the historic clashes with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman. I was a big fan! I loved his speed, grace and brashness!
I met him at a trade show in Chicago in the mid-90s. He was a guest at one of the presenter booths. There was a huge line of people waiting to meet him, but there was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to say hello to The Greatest! I stood in line for close to a half hour and when I got to the front, I shook his hand, put up my dukes and asked him if he wanted to go a couple of rounds.I had my Black Belt at that point and I figured between my Black Belt and his health condition, I could take him. He smiled, brought up a fist and gave me his patented lip curl sneer! Enough said!
Ali handled his health challenge with dignity and poise. Of it, he once said, “My patience and courage are being tested!”
You were awesome Champ!