Getting Up When Life Knocks You Down

Lasse Viren – 10,000 meters 1972 Munich Olympics

The 10,000 meter final of the 1972 Munich Olympics showcased one of the greatest running performances in Olympic history.

Everyone thought the battle would be between Dave Bedford of Great Britain and Emiels Puttemans of Belgium. Both of them had broken the Olympic record in their qualifying heats.

At the halfway point, Bedford was in the lead. ottomans was in forth place followed by Lasse Viren, a 23 year old Finnish policeman. Suddenly, Viren tripped and fell.

“I don’t know what caused the accident,” said Viren. “My only thought was to get up as quickly as possible. I was lucky not to get trampled by the others.”

Viren lost more than 50 yards because of his fall – half a football field. However, he was able to catch up to the lead runners quickly. Amazingly, he took over the lead to win the Gold Medal.

Viren’s heroic victory brought honor to Finland, who had not won a Gold Medal in 36 years.

Lasse Viren

How about you?

What do you do when life knocks you down? Do you wallow in self pity or do you bounce up and get back into the fight. Winners get right back up so they don’t lose their momentum. Next time life knocks you down decide to be like Lasse Viren and astound the world.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


40 Minute Podcast by Ruben

Yesterday I was interviewed for a British podcast. I usually don’t do radio interviews anymore but I had a feeling this would be a fun one so I accepted it. You can listen to the 40 minute show here. Enjoy!


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez


LSU Tiger Dreams

Gumbo cover

by Ces Guerra, author of “Gumbo for the Tiger Soul”

When we make a decision to pursue our dreams, we all experience the inevitable challenges, setbacks, hurdles and obstacles that are bound to get in the way. After all, if the dream was so easy, it wouldn’t be such a lofty dream. Gumbo for the Tiger Soul is a story that resulted from me chasing my dream to share the Tiger Fan experience. I’ve been thinking about putting it down on paper for over three years now, and decided to produce the book late last year.

Were there obstacles? You bet! Were there challenges? Absolutely! Did the notion of just giving up cross my mind? Yes! Deep down I knew that if I just continued to follow the plan, to follow the path I had envisioned, the book would come to be! So, when my hard drive crashed, I found a way to continue. (Thank goodness I saved everything on DropBox earlier that week!) When I was hit with an episode of kidney stones, I took that setback and just kept on pushing. When people did not respond to my vision, I just kept on going, and going and going!

The result is a colorful story of friendships, family, food and fun! The LSU Tiger fan experience as we have come to love is more than just about a football game. As you read through the chapters and understand that the memories are often not about the game itself, you’ll get the drift. And, when you hit the end of each chapter and find a tasty Cajun recipe to try, you’re soul and your stomach will be fulfilled! You can order your copy of GFTS through or ask your local bookstore to order it.

For more information on speaking events and book signings go to the Facebook page at Gumbo for the Tiger Soul or the website



Ces and his lovely bride Laura at an LSU game.


Note from Ruben:

Ces and Laura climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with me a few years ago. They are both a blast to be around. Always encouraging, happy and fun. Just the kind of people you want in your “DreamTeam.”



Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez

Commit and Unforeseen Forces will Come to Your Aid


In his book, “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition,” 1951, mountaineer W. H. Murray talks about how things started to fall into place once they boldly committed to their effort. I have experienced the same thing whenever I’ve “burned the bridges” and boldly committed to a dream or goal.


Until one is committed

There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,

Always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),

There is an elementary truth,

The ignorance of which kills countless ideas

And splendid plans;

That the moment one definitely commits oneself,

Then Providence moves too.

All Sorts of things occur to help one

That would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,

Raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen

Incidents and meetings and material assistance,

Which no man could have dreamt

Would have come his way.

I have learned a deep respect

For one of Goethe’s couplets:

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

– W. H. Murray


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez