by Dana Cavalea December 10, 2019


Hi Team!

Good morning from Laguna Beach, California!

I flew out West on Sunday morning.... and am so glad that I did!

With just a few weeks left here in 2019... there were a few more things I wanted to do before shutting it down the last 10 days of the year!

One of those things was promoting my new kids books, Johnny the Jet Saves the Day & Girls on the Run, Starring Mighty Melina (who is actually my niece!)....

So yesterday, I took the glorious 2hr. drive against LA morning traffic to Universal Studios to go on the Hallmark Show: Home & Family... 

The segment will air this AM at 10/9central.... so if you are looking for something watch while escaping some December work... give it a watch!

But this is not the reason I write to you today....

I firmly believe that when we leave our day to day, we meet some amazing people and have the chance to learn through experiences....

It seems that when we leave our day to day nest, we are more open to possibility...

We somehow start meeting new people...

And, for me, yesterday I met somebody truly amazing.

Her name is Susan.

She is a producer for the show Home and Family and has a great energy about her...

Well appointed, truly professional, and a veteran of the entertainment industry....

She has an incredible poise and grace about her....

While we were talking prior to the show, she dropped something truly jaw dropping on me.....

"Coach, I am sick. I have stage 4 cancer"...

Wow. Totally not expecting to hear that....

She looked wonderful and amazing..... but she is battling.

She is a true Champion.... 

She shows up every day... filled with spirit.... filled with excitement... filled with heart and passion for the show and all of the guests that she works with....

I was amazed.

My first thought was: "Why is she here and working?"...and then I asked her!

She said, "Coach, I have to work. I have bills to pay.. and frankly, this job keeps me excited and focused and I have no time to think about myself and my condition when I am here. I am just too busy!"....


She went on to say, " I feel great. I do not feel like there is anything wrong with me and as a result, I am fully confident I will beat this thing.

And, if something happens to make things turn for the worse, well, I will be on to the next adventure. A place I have not yet seen. An adventure I have not yet experienced."

So powerful. 

She had me locked in on her, her story, and her elegance in approach to life.

What she also told me was she does not focus on her condition... she focuses on how great her life is, was, and can be.

She was a dancer, an actress, an executive for an ad agency, a producer, a graphic designer.... she has done it all....

She also said, "Maybe if I didn't have so many things to fall back on I could of been a real star actress!".... but all things happen for a reason....

Susan is a Champion.

Don't be one of those pseudo-champions that does things for the hype.... but rather somebody who shares her story each day to help people improve their view on their own life...

When you want to think about how bad things are for you... or how slow things are progressing, or how you are just not feeling that great today...

Remember Susan.

Show up.

Do the work.

Be excited about life.

You have so much in front of you and so much left to do!

Be excited about the next frontier and not afraid!

Thank you Susan.

You are amazing.

From all of us.

Let's go and win....

Let's go and fight with/ for Susan....

Your Coach,


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

2 Responses


January 24, 2023

Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
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February 14, 2020

Thank you for reminding us of what it means to be a true champion.

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