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Part I Above all Else 1
1 Waking Up 3
2 Following Your Dreams 13
3 It All Starts at the Beginning 15
4 Finding My Passion 21
5 Growing Up 25
6 Another Passion 29
7 Defining Spirituality 33
8 The Process of Pursuing a Dream 37
9 It's a Sport? Discovering the Competition Sport of 4-Way Formation Skydiving 51
10 The Greene County Sport Parachute Club 57
11 The College Years 61
12 Greene County Fusion, My First National Competition, and Learning How to Reproduce My Peak Performance 67
13 Going into Business 73
14 The Game Changer 83
15 Wanting to Be the Best: Winning 85
16 Dreaming Big 89
17 A Goal with No Plan 93
18 When I Started Following My Gut 97
19 The Coolidge Fource 103
20 Finding Work 105
21 Discovering Arizona 109
22 1989 National Skydiving Championships 113
23 What's It All About? 117
24 The Fource 1990-1991 119
25 The World of Competitive Skydiving Had Changed Forever 123
26 Perris Airmoves 127
27 California Dreaming 133
28 Let the Training Begin 139
29 "Skydiving Plane Crashes in Perris" 145
30 Out of the Hospital 161
31 Back to Apache Lake 171
32 Losing my Halo 177
33 The New Airmoves 181
34 Finally, Back to Training 187
35 1992 U.S. Nationals—Game On 193
36 Moving On 201
37 Till Death Do Us Part 207
38 Arizona Airspeed 211
39 The Ultimate Power of the Human Spirit 221
40 World Champs225 Epilogue 231
Part II Playing to win 235
1 The Goal of Winning 237
2 You Have to Believe 241
3 Make the Decision 245
4 Overcoming Obstacles 249
5 The Team 259
6 Training for Peak Performance 285
7 The Power of Visualization 299
8 The Goal of Personal and Team Best 307
9 Competitive Magic 319
10 You Win the Competition before It Starts 325
Posted April 13, 2013
His story is incredible. If he can come back after that accident and accomplish what he did, it makes me feel that I can do anything. The only reason I didn't give it a 5-star rating because the 2nd part of the book seemed a bit preachy (IMHO). Still good reading regardless and advice worth remembering. I glad I bought it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2013
Posted March 12, 2013
Posted March 12, 2013
"LET ALL CATS OLD ENOUGH TO CATCH THEIR OWN PREY, GATHER AROUND SKYROCK FOR A CLAN MEETING!!!" Heatherstar yowled, and every cat gathered around except me and Lilykit, who watched from the edge of the nursery. Once all the cats settled, Heatherstar began. "As you all may have heard, Thornpelt tried to kill Dawnclans only kits." She meowed "hey look, isnt that Thornpelt over there?" Lilykit mewed, pointing with her tail to the golden tom, sitting at the back of the group "yeah" i nodded "i guess he returned sometime this morning" i looked up and saw Heatherstar and a few other cats looking at us, waiting for us to be quiet, along with Redtail our mother, she looked at us disapprovingly, and i looked at my paws in shame, and Heatherstar continued "that severely breaks the warrior code..." she hesitated "so im afraid... that Thornpelt, is banished from Dawnclan, and shall be attacked if seen on our territory..." she meowed, and Thorntail spun around and snarled at us, glaring. Me and Lilykit flinched and huddled together. Whispers of astonishment and disbelief rose around the camp. "That is all" Heatherstar meowed before leaping off of Skyrock and padding over to Thornpelt, saying something we couldnt hear. He nodded and bounded out of camp, his pelt bristling. "Come inside" our mother said blankly, regret and sorrow in her pale green eyes. She sat down inside the nursery and stared at the wall "im sorry momma" Lilykit mewed, pressing against Redtail, and i did the same. I looked up at her, and i saw tears threatening to spill ove in her eyes. I licked her comfortingly for a while, and soon she calmed down. I began hearing growls outside, follows by shrieks. I looked outside and saw Heatherstar cornered by Tigerstripe, Lionpelt, and Windtail. And as if some imaginary signal sounded, all three cat leaped at once, and attacked Heatherstar, hate blazing in their eyes. Lionpelt pinned her down, Windtail clawed her flanks, and Tigerstripe, Thornpelts closest friend, delivered the killing bite to the neck. I gaspe in horror as my leaders last life drained from her body, and her blue eyes clouded. I looked up and saw my mother watching in horror. "Lilykit, Skykit, its not safe here... we must leave now!"Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2012
"Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary of a fool." I'm not sure who may have said this but ever since I was in high school and came across this quote for the first time, it spoke to me. Since then, I have been magnetized to people, literature and ideas that capture the essence of what it means to be living a life based on this paradigm.
"Above All Else," is compelling not only because it offers non-skydivers a glimpse into the unique nature of the sport of skydiving, more importantly, it is abundant in its offering of an honest, sensory-filled perspective about what it means to be living a passionate life. Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld has an internal compass set to acknowledge his dreams, however big, follow his gut with every perceived "risk," and to generously share this realization with others.
I'm finding it difficult to quote the book in this review because there are so many gems of wisdom throughout. Quite simply, and at the risk of sounding cliché, it is just a "must read." While there are many books written about overcoming obstacles to achieve greatness, Dan's perspective is unique in that he shares, through constant reflection, how his own understanding of what it means to pursue a goal and to "win," morphs over time. Where some might lead with the misunderstanding that the end result will change everything, Dan pushes back with, "Titles are temporary." It's the "commitment, dedication, passion, perseverance, and drive" that define winning in a person in pursuit of a dream or goal. These characteristics are generative in nature and indicative of people who have learned to embrace the gift of life. He shares with the reader that it's what happens to us in the process of our pursuits and how we respond to those game changers that shape not only who we are, but also what we can be for others. Make no mistake, Mr. Chenfeld was set on winning and ultimately accomplished that goal but the reader gets to experience this accomplishment with Dan long before the gold medal was ever hung around his neck.
As generative as the defining characteristics of commitment, dedication, passion, perseverance and drive are in one's approach to life, so are the lessons of this man's experiences applicable to every reader who chooses to pick-up this book. This isn't a book about skydiving, it's about reversing our false perceptions of limitations, recognizing that, "minimal desire leads to minimal goals, requiring minimal effort," and the understanding we are "born dreamers and it is in our nature to want to expand our capabilities." He shows, through example, a perspective of abundant, honest living, leaving the readers inspired in their own unique, passionate pursuits.
Posted October 12, 2011
Dan demonstrates passion for a vocation and avocation! Despite set backs, including an accident that killed friends and colleagues, Dan persevered and demonstrated to the skydiving world that he is, indeed, a winner!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 23, 2011
Wow! What a roller coaster ride! I was literally wiping away tears while reading the first few pages of this book, and then laughing out loud as Dan recalls his early skydiving days and then sitting on the edge of my seat as he recalls his fight to become world champion, overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds along the way. Dan is a great story teller and his story is an amazing one to tell! In part two of his book Dan shares his tried and tested methods to be A Winner; How to pursue and achieve your dreams, whatever they may be, regardless of your walk in life. I am now choosing to apply these methods to pursuing my own dreams and I encourage others to do the same. His book is a thrilling, gripping and inspiring read from beginning to end and I could not put it down. I would highly reccommend this book to both skydivers and non-skydivers alike, to all those who enjoy a riveting read, as well to those who are looking for a little motivation in life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2011
This book isn't really about skydiving but more about a pretty amazing sounding guy who fought hard against all odds to get his life back after a dreadful accident. A great story and an inspirational readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2011
An inspiring story about Dan's journey from a novice skydiver to a multiple world championship winner in spite of the tremendous setbacks and losses he suffered. It is a compelling read with a narration that flows smoothly and I often found myself turning pages with anticipation. One is easily touched and motivated by Dan's passion, commitment and courage to pursue his dreams. I also enjoyed reading about the places and people who have shaped the world of competition skydiving and how Dan was in the middle of it all. Dan shares the insights he has developed over the last few decades in building, leading and coaching world class teams and the processes, attitudes and tools that create success. These techniques can be used by everyone in their daily lives to perform at their best. I feel there is something for everyone in this book. Highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2011
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