Sean Corvelle sits down with fellow “Mirror Man” and motivational speaker, Gian Paul Gonzalez. As the Founder and Executive Director of The Hope & Future Foundation, Gian Paul provides health and wellness programs for youth. He inspires people with his “ALL IN” lifestyle shown through his students, programs, and teams, including the New York Giants.
Stick around until the end of the podcast to hear Gian Paul’s take on the Tri-State Tough Mudder he did last weekend.
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A LOOK INSIDE THE EPISODE:
TM: Tell us about what happened in the beginning of our life and the experience you had.
G: I feel that this is the epitome for me with the foundation. It all started with a young woman at a doctor’s office. Most of the time, we’re excited to be at the doctors and she’s beyond excited. Most people just want to get it over with, but she’s super excited. Her name is called, she goes to the examination room. She’s excited because she’s pregnant, thinks everything’s fine, everything seems good, everything’s checking out. But she gets handed a note. And in the note, it said, you have the measles, and you’ll recover in a couple of weeks. There will be a fever, flu, bumps, but pregnancy with the measles doesn’t bode well for the child. We also see the possibility of certain things like missing limbs. On the bottom card, it said, we advise thinking about termination; try again later, another time. There was a lot of emotion, as you can imagine. And then when the nurse comes back in and says, “Hey, how would you like to proceed?” She said, “I’m going to try to stick with him. Whether he comes out with one arm or no arms. Whether he only lives for two more weeks. That’s my choice. I’m gonna stand by him.” And I’m so thankful because that person is mom. That’s what “ALL IN” means to me.
When people ask me, “Hey, what does that mean to you? Did you come up with it in college, playing college basketball? or this or that?” I’m like, no, it started from there. It started when my mom shared with me that story at a point in my life when I was old enough to understand. She said, “Hey, listen. This is what it means to be committed. It’s not what you do when you win. It’s not what you do when everything’s going good on a sunny Saturday. It’s what you do when you get bad news. It’s what you do for others when it is a tough month, a tough year.” That’s the time people need it most, when things aren’t going well. I think we all have people in our lives that we can depend on, and they don’t have to have all the answers. I think that’s the beautiful thing about it. We think in our minds, I want to support that person, but I don’t know enough about their situation to make a difference, or maybe I’ll just get in the way. Sometimes it’s just as simple as just sitting next to somebody.
Lorenzo Cray was the best man at my wedding. When my grandfather passed away, this guy sat next to me for six hour at a wake. And he’s the best man at my wedding. Then, we went home and we played NBA Jam on the Super Nintendo for the next three hours and ate McDonald’s. We didn’t say anything, but some of those best relationships, you could go on a car ride that’s seven hours long, and you’re not saying anything. But people say, “Oh, you must not like each other. You hate each other.” No, we love each other that much, it’s not awkward. They’re supporting me by being here and it makes everything all better. For me, that’s what “ALL IN” means to me. That’s what commitment means to me. It’s sticking with something, despite the difficulty, despite not guaranteeing that you’re going to win, that everything is going to work out fine. It’s saying, I’m going to be totally present today even if tomorrow it could get worse. I’m gonna be all here.