October 25, 2022, HIlton Hotel Coffee Shop, Munich Airport, Germany
A great cup of coffee before my flight. Hilton hotel, Munich airport, Germany
Checked in for my flight back home to Israel. As there is no El Al lounge at the Munich airport we are given a pass to the Hilton hotel coffee shop/restaurant. After a bit of a hectic time finding the El Al terminal, a bit off the beaten path for security reason, I can relax. The kind waitress brings me a cup of coffee.
Soft music is playing, the coffee is good, the atmosphere is calming, it is one of those rare moments where my heart says...life is good. Now you might say it is just a cup of coffee, what's the big deal, but it is so much more, to me. Here I am, after a successful seminar series, sitting in the Hilton hotel in Munich and enjoying a cup of coffee. To me this says, "You've come a long way, you have made it". Yes, the little boy chosen 23rd out of 23rd kids for the soccer team in third grade, the nervous young man who walked into the Kyokushin dojo in Manhattan, has come a long way. Hard training, hospital visits, facing my fears in hundreds of full-contact fights. and now I relax with a cup of coffee. I have made it where most have failed. I have achieved an almost impossible goal, as my father's favorite song....to dream the impossible dream...I have dared to dream and succeed.
And I sit, sip my coffee, and wonder, how did this all happen? How did this all come about? traveling the world, seeing such interesting places and meeting such interesting people? Sitting in the Hilton hotel in Munich. And then I picture my father sitting across the table. He loved coffee. To sit and enjoy a good cup of coffee, that was life. So, I look out across the empty table, and I continue the conversation. Yes Dad, it was your example. I watched you face your challenges with dignity, never letting on how bad things were at times. I watched how you were knocked down, but always came back fighting. I watched how you never gave up and how you always believed in yourself, in your abilities.
And I recall how the synagogue forced you to leave because you stood firm for justice and would not compromise. You found a better job and succeeded. I saw how you applied for a job as a stockbroker, willing to work only on commission. I recall you telling us how during the interview the man said, You are over 50 years old, I have a waiting room full of 25-year old's eager to take this job, why should I hire you?
and you replied, "I have 4 teenage boys who like to eat. I am hungry". and you got the job, and you made "The Presidents Club" and you made the top echelon of earners and earned a cruse with Mom. I recall how when you returned to Israel the firm back in LA, wanted to close the Israel branch (some antisemites at work) and you outmaneuvered them and succeeded. I saw how with every setback you came back fighting. And that is why I am sitting here at the Hilton, because of your example.
I too have suffered my setbacks. I have been attacked personally on the internet, accused of being a fraud by people who were jealous. I have had other Krav Maga associations try to force me to shut down because they did not want the competition. I have even been accused of purchasing my ranks with bribes. But none of this harms me, these arrows bounce back right off me, you raised me well. I just work harder. I just move forward. Every setback is a motivation to go further.
I look across the table and imagine you there, and I say, this cup of coffee is for you Dad, and I drink it and enjoy it in your honor.
Evening coffee, Comfort, Munich Airport
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