Winners never quit

  • Aun

It seems like everywhere I go I bump into someone who knows my son Cory, one of our twins. Cory is a schoolteacher (in the Osceola County School District) by profession but a coach by avocation and trade.

By his own calculation, Cory has coached or taught over 3,000 kids at St. Cloud High School as a science/biology teacher and coach.

Every Friday, I bump into one of his former students at Panera Bread as I pick up a weekend supply of bread for the family. She called him the funniest and smartest teacher she ever had and credited him with her success in college.

Former weightlifters and football players whom I meet at the local Walmart or in church all sing his praises for what he has done for them.

Another young mother said in her words, “Cory is a surrogate father;’ to her son, who was a troubled kid who found his way through sports and teamwork.

“Coach Aun is the only father he knows”

Cory is the head weightlifting, strength and conditioning coach at St. Cloud High School and his magic wand touches every athlete in the school from the football players to the swimmers and tennis junkies. Even the golfers utilize what they learned of conditioning through Cory.

The real clincher for me is when members of the cheer squad turn to Cory to gather the right techniques to lift on another. Or when the trainers defer to him to get his opinion about an on-the-field injury they tend to prevent further harm to a downed athlete.

A golfer told me that God gave him his golf swing, but Cory taught him that his real strength was from the neck-up and the waist down. Your lower body strength is where your power comes from while the brain is where the right decisions come. Out of the mouths of kids.

I always wondered why every bull-inthe-china-shop football coach I ever met was so hell-bent on teaching kids how to bench press more weight. When you tackle a ball carrier, you do not bench press him; your real power comes from your lower body.

Weightlifting, taught correctly, is about methodology and correct technique, not about pounds on the bar. Those follow. It is about the brain in your head and not your God-given talents.

Cory’s mantra, not only to others but to his own two daughters (who also lift) “Don’t be afraid of being a beginner. The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender”

That is why Coach Aun wants them inside his weight room. President Lyndon Johnson once famously said, “I’d rather have them on the inside of the tent p*****g out... than on the outside p*****g in:’ It is like the sign says: “Well... it’s not going to lift itself”

Speaking of signs above weightlifting bars, “It’s time for happy hour at my favorite bar!”

Newcomers to the weight room often ask why others do it. Later they ask... “how they did it!”

Weightlifting teaches kids selfdiscipline. When they fail (and they often do), the workout has just begun. When they find the bar is too heavy, they challenge themselves to further their own limits. Do not limit your challenges; challenge your limits.

All our children and grandchildren are finding the gym is their safe-haven and indeed, their playground. That is why students are up at 5:30 a.m. to workout before school so they can go do another sport after school. They don’t sleep with their dreams; they wake up and chase them.

Dozens of Cory’s athletes come up to me every month to thank me personally for what he has done for them and what he has taught them. When the Publix checkout kid told me that Cory’s science influence is why he wants to pursue medicine, it showed me the often overlooked but more important job he does every day-a science and biology teacher.

Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit. That is what Coach Aun teaches in life.

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