All Clear and Ready for Lift Off

I’m from Queens. When I was growing up, anytime anyone asked me where I lived, my mother (whether she was with me or not) quickly answered that “we live on the border of Forest Hills and Rego Park — you can say either one,” even though we clearly lived in Rego Park. And this was, and still is, indisputable. Any World Atlas would corroborate it then and now.

My mother probably answered that way because of a shared inauthenticity among folks from the area who were perhaps too concerned with the value of living in Forest Hills. We had a perfectly wonderful apartment — 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a terrace and 2, yes 2 parking spots in the garage. Her kids went to wonderful schools, had great friends, and she could see Forest Hills from our home. But it wasn’t enough to avoid the shame of being from Rego Park.

(Editor’s note: Post posting, I’ve been called out twice. “Every time I’ve heard you tell people where you were from, you’ve never said Rego Park.” And yes, I won’t deny it, I hadn’t. But the truth is it was because I was being lazy. And from what I knew, we were from Forest Hills, or Rego Park. Didn’t matter. It was only until recently that I actually took the (extremely small amount of) time to look it up. And voila, I’m from Rego Park! And proud of it!)

This is not an indictment of my mother. In fact, my mother is one of the most authentic people I know. But I think a lot of people lack a certain authenticity when it comes to being bold and sharing who they are and what they love to do, and therefore do not contribute in a way that they can. But…

…at least we didn’t live in Flushing.

And speaking of flushing, I had my first colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago. I’m not 50, but the doctor and I agreed it’d be in my best interest to do a dry run before it became a par 5 for the course.

A week before the procedure, I’d run into a great friend of mine. In the spirit of authenticity, I was all too happy to share that I was having the colonoscopy, and he returned serve by sharing that he was having a run-of-the-mill surgery… on his back. While our procedures were slightly different, we did align on the fact that we were both looking forward to getting anesthesia.

“I have a new favorite number. Number 9. When you’re lying on the table and the anesthesiologist tells you to count down from 10…,” he told me.

Well, I didn’t make it to 9. I actually didn’t try. I just took a deep breath and was in the moment. Zzzzz…

It really wasn’t that big a deal. In and out in 2 hours, start to finish. The worst part of the process had been “the drink” on Procedure Eve, which ensured I remained in close proximity to my bathroom from 4:30PM until

Something like this.

the next morning. I was completely cleaned out, purged of everything except my organs.

Armed with a clean bill of health, specifically a sparkling clean intestine (I have the pictures to prove it), the following day I had a come-to-Jesus conversation with the founders at my company. Considering where my passions lie, the current Daily Fantasy Sports landscape and what I saw ahead for the industry, it was a good time for fresh start in the new year.

So now I’ve been given that fresh start. And I intend to make it a fresh, Rego Park start. I’ve always tried to be authentic in my interactions with others, it’s the man in the mirror that needs to embrace his reflection to maximize his contribution to himself, his family, and this world.

But it prompts me to ask myself: how do I make my contribution? Stay tuned.

World… it’s on.

Originally published at on January 4, 2016.