The Burn In The Greatness of Morning

by Kenny Eller on January 26, 2012

The Burn In The Greatness of Morning

After just under six hours of sleep, 5 a.m. nudges me, letting me know that it’s time to work.

It’s Friday morning.  I know that I need more rest, but that will have to come later.

It’s time to have a great morning!

Coffee, smoothie, dressed in Jordan gear and out the door.

For the next 45 minutes or so, I ride alone in the darkness over the thirty-seven and a half miles of cool asphalt, rap music filling the early morning air as I prepare mentally to get better.

I arrive at my destination and the only light that I can see anywhere around, is that which is pouring out of the large rectangular windows at B Meyer Training.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing on this day.

I never know.

For two months my workouts have been different every single time.

I love it that way.

I grab my bag, my clothes, tell myself it’s going to be a great day and enter the gym.

I’m the first one there.

I’m always, the first one there.

Sign in, morning greetings with Dave and Coach B, bag down, it’s time to work.

After 50 or so minutes of push, I’m drenched in invigorating struggle, and I know I’ve gotten better.

But on this day, I’m not done.

Coach Dave Rubin points to the elliptical and says, “Let’s go!”

I take a deep breath, wipe the hard work from my brow and begin walking in the machine’s direction.


Every single morning when I arrive at the gym, Dave Rubin, the guy that’s been training me, is already there.  He’s got the music going, he’s upbeat and he’s ready to help me get better.

Dave’s tough, I’m not gonna lie.  His expectations are high, but they’re coming from the right place.  He’s a HUGE Jordan fan.  Some would say that it’s merely a coincidence, but I don’t believe that.


I step on the machine, still not sure what I’m going to be asked to do.

30 seconds prior I had thought that my workout was complete.

Dave says, “OK, let’s get better!  I want you to go all out, as fast as you can…let’s go!”

I begin, giving it every ounce of what I have remaining.  Arms and legs pumping back and forth, up and down, in a torturous rhythmatic performance.

15 seconds in, Dave informs me, “We’re gonna go a minute.”


27, 28, 29, 30

The burn begins sliding up and down my legs, as my pace slows.

“You’re slowing down!  Come on, pick it up!  You’ve got to get stronger at the end of games!  You said you wanna get under a minute in the 300 yd shuttle, let’s go!  Push!”


The burn isn’t moving.  It’s set up camp on my legs, as I try to give more.

My mind says, YOU GOTTA STOP!


And it burns like hot cast iron skillets have been strapped to my legs!



My legs, perhaps feeling a pain they’ve never felt, are trapped…between a mind and a heart.

My mind is screaming, QUIT!  QUIT!  QUIT!


My mind is weak…but my heart is strong!

“Great job! OK, now walk it out,” Coach Dave says as he gives me a fist bump and more instruction.

“Control your breathing.”

“Cheek to cheek…move those arms!”

“Give me some light shuffles.”

“OK, you’ve got 15 seconds and we’re going to do it again.”

My mind is telling me, NOOOO!

He says, “Grab a quick sip if you need it.”

I make one step towards the water and then internally say HELL NO!  I’m about to bust this machine’s ass!

I get back on the elliptical, determined to succeed!

My mind is weak, buy my heart is strong!


I may never be able to jump out of the gym or keep up with the likes of the facility’s most recognizable athlete, Dwight Howard, but what I can control is my effort!

My whole goal as I prepare on this journey to play Michael Jordan, is to be the best ME, that I can be.

That’s it!  So I push!  I give my all!  I strive to be the best Kenny Eller that I can be!

When God handed out gifts, he may not have given me the natural tools to be the best basketball player, but HE gave me a lot of determination.

HE gave me heart of belief!

Great Mornings!

Much like I control my effort in those early morning workouts, I’ve learned to also control my perspective.

I awake every morning and I tell myself, it’s gonna be a great morning!  Then, it’s gonna be a great afternoon!  Then finally, it’s gonna be a great evening!

Ask me how I’m doing at anytime and I’m going to tell you, “GREAT!”

April of last year, I sent one of my many hope filled emails along this path to a gentleman who has become a friend and mentor.

Dave Hopla received my email and a couple of hours later we spoke.  Three weeks after that initial conversation, we met and shot hoops together.  Since that time, nearly every few weeks I receive a call from Mr. Hopla, checking in to see how I’m doing.

You see Dave doesn’t deal with good.  He only associates himself with Great!

That’s why he shot 98.92% during his basketball shooting clinics last year.  With over 23,000 attempts, while speaking, he made almost 99%.

It seems undoable, but it’s not.

It begins with proper perspective.

Right before we ordered our lunch some nine months ago, Dave said, “People don’t remember good movies, but a GREAT movie, they recount every line!”

He said, “No one remembers good players, but GREAT players…they’re never forgotten!”

He went on with, “So why would you ever want to be good?”

“Why would you want to have a good day, when you can have a GREAT day?” he added, “It begins with how you think!”

Since that meeting and with the help of some Hopla perspective checks, I’ve incorporated this mindset into my daily life.

I ask people every single morning, how they’re doing and I NEVER hear great, other than the handful of people I’m working with, because they’ve heard my Hopla stories.

I hear, “OK”, “I’m good”, “I’ll be better in a bit”, “Alright”, “Ehhh”, and the list of improper responses rolls out like a red carpet, except their red carpet is leading to a mediocre day and worse, a mediocre life.

Shame on them!  Shame on YOU!  Shame on ME, until a few months ago.

You’ve been given the gift of another day, so be respectful of that and make it great!

It begins with YOU!

Getting Better!

There is no doubt in my mind that I’ve gotten better!  No doubt that I’m more prepared!

And the next time the burn says hello in the greatness of morning, my heart will smile the greatest smile and triumphantly say, “LET’S GO!!”

me vs. Michael Jeffrey Jordan…the journey continues!  Thank you so very much for following along!


I’ve been working with Dave Rubin and Coach B Meyer for right at two months now.  I really can’t say enough great things about either of them.  I can tell you that I have thouroughly enjoyed every bit of the experience and the improvement physically has far exceeded all of my expectations.  I have just a month remaining on what was my initial commitment, but I can already tell you that the things I’ve learned there I will carry with me for life.  For more information on B Meyer Training, which I HIGHLY endorse, check out!


Connect:  Twitter (@KennyEller) and Facebook Fan Page.


If you’re new to the site, I set out in August 2010 to get a game of 1-on-1 vs. my childhood hero Michael Jordan.  This site is about that journey…through every valley, to every mountain top of triumph! 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Risa Garner January 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

Kenny this post ROCKS! I am going to pass this one on again and again. Your words make one feel like they are in the gym right there with you. You are so right about how someone responds about their day set the pace for how that day will go. I think we should push more to be GREAT and AMAZING. You truly are a motivational inspiration! So proud of everything you are and everything you will be! Have a absolutely wonderful Thursday!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

Thank you so much for the kind words Risa! I really appreciate your continued POSITIVE support!! It makes my day!

PS: I really appreciate you passing it on!!! :-) THANK YOU SO MUCH!


dave February 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hi Kenny,
Any 1 on 1’s coming up?
Good luck.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller February 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Yes sir! Lot’s of cool stuff upcoming…including some 1-on-1 battles! Stay tuned!!!


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