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June 10, 2016

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Ali teaches us to ‘go confidently’
Ali teaches us to ‘go confidently’
As we mourn the loss of Louisville’s native son, a reflection on what it means to be your greatest self.
Published June 09, 2016
“I’ve never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself.” – Muhammad Ali

Words to live by. What a gift to be blessed with this seemingly inborn confidence. It’s something many of us strive for every day. And it’s something we at Norton Healthcare had in mind when we created our Go Confidently speaker series.

It’s clear from the outpouring of emotion following Ali’s death that “going confidently” through life is exactly what he taught so many of us to do.

As I reflect on The Champ’s accomplishments, I wondered what role he played in the lives of our Go Confidently speakers.

John Baumann, a 2015 Go Confidently speaker, has Parkinson’s disease and says he looks to Ali for inspiration. Baumann told us to tap into our inner strength when going through life’s challenges, to have the confidence reflected in Ali’s now-famous sentiment: “I am the GREATEST. I said that even before I knew that I was.”

Baumann shared his thoughts after learning of Ali’s passing: “Tears have been rolling down my cheeks off and on since I learned of Muhammad Ali’s hospitalization and subsequent death, (because of) what Muhammad Ali has done since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He remained Muhammad Ali over 30 years living with, fighting, dealing with and embracing this horrific disease. He kept his identity. That’s why tears roll down my cheeks — tears of admiration, tears of strength, tears of pride, tears of power, tears of hope. He was the same comedian, magician, showman, family man that he has always been. The difference that Muhammad Ali made in my life, 15 years with Parkinson’s, is to set aside the fact that I have Parkinson’s and go on living. Be lovable. Inspire others.”

To our Go Confidently community, we know you are mourning the loss of our beloved native son in your own way. Join your like-minded friends, family and neighbors at our next Go Confidently experience on June 30. Allison Massari will deliver another message that Ali personified during the last years of his life: to intentionally make a choice to find joy alongside pain.

Thank you, Muhammad Ali, for the inimitable role you play in helping us all go confidently.

– Elicia Newcom Gregory

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