Podcast

The $150 Dollar Pool Shot – OHS031

A close up of a 9-ball billiard ball with a black background. The title is Episode 31: The $150 dollar pool shot.

AlejAndro grew up with a pool table in his home. In his college years he took professional billiard lessons, worked in a pool hall, and traveled around hustling pool for money. As a one-handed pool shark AlejAndro has had many amazing things happen on the pool table. However, nothing compares to this one incredibly amazing and crazy 9-ball shot that cost him $150 dollars.

I grew up with a pool table in our home. I can say it was a family past time. Often my friends would come over and we would stay up all night watching Kung Fu movies, drinking soda pop, and shooting pool downstairs in our basement. As long as I can remember the sound of billiard balls caroming off one other was part of the soundtrack of my life. Not to mention the sound thunderbolt breaks and balls flying off the table pretending to be basketballs on our concrete floor. Despite being born with one hand I shot a very good game of “stick.” I actually started to make a little bit of money as a pool player. In High School I would often find myself gambling with some of the other kids at this seedy pool hall in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana. I suppose the idea of a “one-handed player” made me seem like easy prey. Little did they know I was actually the pool shark. But it was not until college I took a deeper step into the world of pocket billiards.

I found a job at the Indiana University student union bowling alley and pool hall. I mostly worked the bowling side as a “pin setting.” However, I did spend a lot of time working the desk on the pool hall side. The main reason why I sought out the job was for my love of pocket billiards. And the great job perk of getting all my pool time for free. I think in my first two years of college I majored in the “Science of Pocket Billiards” with a minor in gambling. I spent more time shooting pool then studying. It was at this time I started to take professional billiard lessons. It was also the time my skills truly started to deepen. While at Indiana University I was ranked top 20 in the nation at colligate pocket billiards. I made a lot of money as a one-handed pool shark. I hustled a lot, went to a lot of competitions, and did a lot of traveling gambling and “looking for action.”

All that aside, I just loved to shoot pool. I so deeply enjoyed the art and science of pocket billiards. One pocket and straight pool were my favorite games to play. The game of 9-Ball was always a fast paced, high action money game. But I loved them all, 8-ball, snooker and 3-cushion included. If it had balls, cushions, sticks and a table I was all about it. I just loved to play with friends relaxing and drinking beer. And sometimes I would gamble with them. In college I reconnected with a high school friend and we grew closer as friends and rivals on the pool table.

His name was Maximillian but we all just called him Max. He loved to shoot pool and gamble. We always had such a great time playing pool together. But when we started to play for money the intensity and the volume would increase. And this time it drew a crowd. We had people watching, rooting, and cheering. We were tied 6-to-6 in a race to 7 in the game of 9-Ball with $75 on the line. Now most of the time I usually beat Max. But today this guy was on fire and shooting a fine game of 9-Ball. He was giving me a run for my money. The steaks were high and the intensity was a special kind of thick. I just knew that if I got to the table I needed to “run out” and sink the 9-ball for victory. I did not want to lose money to Max and certainly not in front of this crowd. At some point before the break shot Max asked, “double or nothing?!” Knowing I was the better player I took him up on his bet.

Being the superior player is always a good place to be as long as I am the one on the table shooting. I took the break shot and sank a ball. I then started on the 1-ball then off to the 2-ball. Not leaving myself in a good position I was unable to pocket the 3-ball. I sat down and Max got to the table. He looked liked he was glowing. I had a not-so-good feeling sensing Max was feeling the mojo. He started to run and never stopped. There was a crazy lucky bank shot in there that kept him running the rack. Then two very difficult shots that on most days Max would of missed, but not today. This guy was unstoppable!! He was nervous and yet feeling confident with the momentum of this high energy crazy lucky game seven 9-Ball run of pocketing balls. Some how he made the 8-Ball and lined straight in on a long winning 9-ball shot. What happened next is probably the most unbelievably lucky absolutely insane 9-Ball shot I have ever seen live. With my jaw on the floor, people cheering and screaming, and Max smiling ear-to-ear I had to accept defeat. Though it was worth it to see it live, that one shot cost me $150 dollars.

Show Notes:

  • Living life as a one-handed pool hustler.
  • The strangest 9 ball pool shot I had ever seen live and in person.
  • I still cannot believe I lost $150 dollars on that pool shot.

Resources:

Contact. Follow. Share.

instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

How to review the podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed, benefited or were impacted by the podcast, it would be beyond cool if you’d take a minute and write a review on iTunes.  To do that, just launch the iTunes podcast app on your computer or phone. Search for One Hand Speaks, select the album art for the show, select ratings and reviews and then write your review. Big thanks and appreciation. Please spread and share if you feel other will benefit and enjoy.

Play your hand,
AlejAndro

Traveling at Age 81 – OHS030

A night time view of a river and bridge with the Eiffel Tower in the background of Paris, France.

AlejAndro met an 81 year old lady at a pub who just returned from 10 days of solo traveling in Paris, France. This short, sweet and unique interaction had quite the impact on AlejAndro. As the years went by it also had a powerful impact on his mother.

It is interesting where we find our inspiration. Sometimes it is more interesting when inspiration finds me. This is just what happened to me one night sitting at the bar at my local pub drinking a beer. Now it did take a number of years before I was actually able to take the experience, advice, and resulting inspiration to heart. But I did and I still do. I was even able to share this story with my mother who also found great inspiration and motivation. Currently both my mother and myself are bearing the fruits of this one delicate and unique interaction of inspiration.

One of my great dreams and desires in life is just to travel. International travel… To visit places of wonder, meet the locals, to eat the unknown and simply be out on the edge of the mainstream lives many of us tend to live. For many years it was not within my realm of financial reality to manifest walking “around the world like Cain in the Kung Fu.” (A reference made by Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the movie Pulp Fiction.) Then at the turn of the millennium I bought and started to live in my own Martial Art school. A dojo of Aikido. 3 Shapes Aikido to be exact. For ten years I taught, trained, and lived at 3 Shapes Aikido in Boise’s Historic North End Neighborhood.

In that time I was able to travel quite a bit within the United States training in the art of Aikido. I was a “Dojo Maniac!” Mostly what I saw was the inside of an airport, an airplane, and the dojo. Not quite the travel I aspired to do but travel nonetheless. I spent so much time in California some Aikido students thought I actually lived there. Now as cool as cool can be, that was pretty cool. Yet my heart deeply yearned for long term solo international travel.

One night after arriving from a weekend Aikido training seminar in another state I felt like having a beer. I walked the three blocks to my local pub and eatery to get a late night drink and get the feel of being back in Boise, Idaho. I was sitting at the bar drinking my beer. The unique and somewhat “non-ordinary” conversation I had inspired me in ways I did not know were even possible. Then years later in sharing this conversational story with my mother it inspired her. And now years later I find myself living my dreams. But more importantly I am helping my mother to live her dreams.

Show Notes:

  • Inspiration has a funny way of finding us at times.
  • Who would think an 81 year old woman could so deeply inspire you to travel.

Resources:

Contact. Follow. Share.

instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

How to review the podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed, benefited or were impacted by the podcast, it would be beyond cool if you’d take a minute and write a review on iTunes.  To do that, just launch the iTunes podcast app on your computer or phone. Search for One Hand Speaks, select the album art for the show, select ratings and reviews and then write your review. Big thanks and appreciation. Please spread and share if you feel other will benefit and enjoy.

Play your hand,
AlejAndro

Coffee Shop Kindness – OHS029

A coffee shop scene of a young red headed barista girl making espresso

AlejAndro loves to drink coffee and therefore spends a lot of time in coffee shops. As a result he has had many weird, cool, and quaint one-handed experiences in coffee shops. Most of the time it is with other customers and coffee drinkers. This time it was with the barista.

I am a big fan of coffee. Which I can say is related to my love of coffee shops. As a result I do spend a lot of time drinking coffee and hangin’ out in coffee shops. Many hilarious, captivating, and unique one-handed experiences have unfolded while I was just “chillin’ like Bob Dylan” in a coffee shop. This story is about one of those moments. However, this is not some quirky Q&A conversation with a 5 year old about the ins and outs of a life with one hand. Nor was this an accidental “two-handed” slip of the tongue in conversational phrasing leading to awkward moments of greatness. No… This was a something much more subtle and deeply more profound.

It was a day like any other day at the Java Hyde Park coffee shop in the historic “North End” neighborhood of Boise, Idaho. The place packed with people sitting, drinking coffee, eating, and waiting for their java “bowl of soul.” The moment was alive and active in that pre-work kind of way. It was early morning and the line was long. I waited patiently as one of my favorite baristas was taking orders. Her deeply considerate and profoundly sincere simple gesture of thoughtfulness left me slightly stunned in a momentary state of eternity. It is a moment and a gesture I have never forgotten. And I will always appreciate.

Show Notes:

  • A powerful moment expressed in a single sincere gesture of thoughtfulness.
  • The kindness of a coffee barista.
  • A moment that moved me deeply, I have never forgotten, and often share with others.

Resources:

Contact. Follow. Share.

instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

How to review the podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed, benefited or were impacted by the podcast, it would be beyond cool if you’d take a minute and write a review on iTunes.  To do that, just launch the iTunes podcast app on your computer or phone. Search for One Hand Speaks, select the album art for the show, select ratings and reviews and then write your review. Big thanks and appreciation. Please spread and share if you feel other will benefit and enjoy.

Play your hand,
AlejAndro

Greatest One-Handed Moments #1 – OHS028

A black and white image of a subway hand rail loop strap.

One of the many great one-handed moments for AlejAndro occurred on the inner airport subway rail car at Sea-Tac airport just outside Seattle, Washington. Timing, baggage, and the hand rail unfolded into one of the funniest one-handed moments for AlejAndro and everyone on the airport subway.

Living this one-handed life has many fun, unique, and funny moments. In fact, the opportunity to lift people up, make people laugh, and to inspire people in the moment arises often. I guess the question to ask is will I utilize the moment or not? A long time ago I made the decision to look at my life as a blessing. To inspire people and bring humor and joy to as many moments as possible as a benefit for them, for, me, and for all the people around us. I decided to use my one handed life as a reflection of the power of positive thinking. As a symbol of how we can overcome our obstacles and live a life of greatness.

Living this one-handed life has not always been easy. When I was a child it was very difficult. But overall I am not the kind of person to only share, or mostly share all the bad parts of life. Or share how hard life has been. I think people can understand how difficult life can be with one hand. So I go the other way. I push the envelope of positivity. I use my perceived limitation as a source of unlimited power. As a way to help people.

There is not a day that goes by when I am not approached by a child or an adult who wants to know what happened to my hand. Mostly child stare and are amazed that I “only have one hand,” or that I am “missing a hand.” Child are so open and curious. I simply love that quality of children. They will just come up to me and start asking me questions as if there is no problem at all about asking. And they are right.

My interactions with adults can be very different. Most of the time adults are much more reserved with their curiosity and potential questions. They seem to not be as forthcoming with curious questions despite wanting to ask. In most cases with adults it takes an awkward moment turned good to open their hearts. When this happens the laughter can flow like a broken down dam. We can all just feel the joy of life just flooding into moment. And when people see and feel I am OK with who I am, it allows them to be OK with who they are. This podcast is about one of those moments.

I traveled a lot as martial artist and Aikido instructor. Traveling to the West Coast for training and seminars was a monthly activity for ten years. Oakland, San Francisco, Reno, Portland and Seattle were my main cities for travel to train in Aikido. After I landed at Sea-Tac Airport on my way to Seattle, Washington I had to take the airport subway to the baggage claim area. We all had to do it. The one-handed moment that unfolded is one of the greatest one-handed moments of my life. It is an experience and memory I will never forget and one I often share as a professional speaker. I also know it had a huge positive impact on the person in the subway whom I was fell upon, the people he was with at the time, and everyone in the subway rail car. We all laughed so hard I thought the subway car was going to derail and explode.

These moments are priceless.

Show Notes:

  • Funny one-handed moments due to timing.
  • The kindness of strangers tested accidentally.
  • Laughter so deep and long our stomachs hurt and we almost could not breathe.

Resources:

Contact. Follow. Share.

instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

How to review the podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed, benefited or were impacted by the podcast, it would be beyond cool if you’d take a minute and write a review on iTunes.  To do that, just launch the iTunes podcast app on your computer or phone. Search for One Hand Speaks, select the album art for the show, select ratings and reviews and then write your review. Big thanks and appreciation. Please spread and share if you feel other will benefit and enjoy.

Play your hand,
AlejAndro

Talking TED Talk with an X – OHS027

TEDx branding Logo for TEDxBoise and TEDxTwinFalls.

AlejAndro has delivered two TEDx Talks for the Cities of Boise and Twin Falls in the state of Idaho. For the 2015 TEDxBoise event his idea worth sharing was “Disabled Thinking.” At the TEDxTwinFalls event in 2017 he shared “Understanding the Single Present Moment.” He was also a speaking coach for the Boise and Twin Falls speakers in 2017.

This year I delivered my second TEDx talk as part of the TEDxTwinFalls event. In 2015 I was one of the speakers for the TEDxBoise event. Having the fortune of offering and delivering two TEDx Talks has been a true privilege. The experience of formulating, practicing, and sharing my ideas has helped me grow as a speaker. Plus, having been a Toastmaster for the past 7 years it is quite refreshing to speak in an arena so different than the Toastmasters stage. In 2017 I was one of the speech coaches for the TEDxBoise and TEDxTwinFalls events. I coached six speakers all together. One was an eleven year old girl and another was a pair of women together on the stage to share their idea. I will share some of my experiences and advice as a coach for these two most recent TEDx Talks in Idaho. It is also important to keep in mind these are NOT TED Talks. They are “independently organized TED events” and speaking platforms. Anything TED with an “X” are locally organized franchised events supported by TED.

In my podcast this week I share my experiences training and offering my ideas worth sharing. There is mention of the differences between giving a TEDx Talk and competing in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. I also give some advice about speaking for TEDx events and going through the application process to speak at TEDx. I share this knowledge as a speaker, a speaking coach, and as someone who has put on “TED Talk Workshops” on applying, speaking, and formulating a TEDx talk. 

Show Notes:

  • Delivering a TEDx talk in my local area.
  • Advice of the nature of practicing for a TEDx Talk and a bit of advice on writing the application.
  • Being a TEDx coach for two local event and some pointers and advice given to help the speakers.
  • Key differences between Toastmasters International and TEDx Talk and TED in general.
  • The History of TED Talks.
  • The Benefits I have received from Delivering two TEDx Talks and coaching TEDx Speakers.

Resources:

Contact. Follow. Share.

instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

How to review the podcast on iTunes

If you enjoyed, benefited or were impacted by the podcast, it would be beyond cool if you’d take a minute and write a review on iTunes.  To do that, just launch the iTunes podcast app on your computer or phone. Search for One Hand Speaks, select the album art for the show, select ratings and reviews and then write your review. Big thanks and appreciation. Please spread and share if you feel other will benefit and enjoy.

Play your hand,
AlejAndro

1 2 3 7