This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Who tells the world they are the greatest? Some scream it, others live


it––but the most authentic ones ARE IT in thoughts and actions. My father challenged me to be the greatest at whatever I did.


My father was from Kansas City, Missouri. When he decided to leave the U.S. for the unknown of Canada’s wilderness, it was because he disagreed with what was considered to be the societal norm at that time. He knew that the lack of opportunity and the mentality of racial bias would most likely kill him, so he left all that he knew behind to step into the unknown. Who does that? Who is that brave? When Cassius Clay stepped out as Muhammad Ali the day after he won the 1964 heavyweight championship, he went on to declare himself a part of the Nation of Islam. When he later refused induction to the U.S. military, he was acting upon his beliefs. Although he is now known as a hero for his actions, we forget that this was a very unpopular decision at the time. He was scorned by blacks and whites alike––denied the ability to earn a living and feed his family. But these men believed in something else, something higher. They believed in themselves and their principles. They also knew that change is constant, undeniable and not easy. However, if you embrace change, the world will reveal the most


Sol on location with 4Real.com: with Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Cameron Diaz, and Eva Mendes. Photos: Jade Thome


beautiful things the universe has to offer. These men taught me to embrace the many changes and challenges that come with living.


When my father was on his way out of this life, we sat and talked. I was 25 and scared as hell, but I did what he always told me to do. I kept my head high and my back straight. During those last few days that I sat beside him, it was only right that we passed the time by reading from a biography of Ali. Chapter by chapter, we sat with the words, which in themselves were not important. The man we loved and the idea of his greatness was paramount and present in that room. I left my father one day promising to come back in a couple of weeks. I took the book and promised to finish it when I returned. We never got the chance to finish it.


I still have that book. It travels with me wherever I go, and so do my father and Ali––Eternal Champions in my heart and mind! When I come to a crossroads that requires a decision, I ask myself what they would do and whether my decision would make them proud. The choice then becomes very simple.


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