Archives For life


“The wisest man/woman in the room is the one who’s made the most mistakes. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect, but if you don’t learn from those mistakes, then that’s all they are . . Mistakes.”

I can’t take full credit for the quote above, as its a mixture of something I heard somewhere else with the addition of my own thoughts in the second sentence, but the truth in this little statement is so huge and powerful.  Life is full of successes, but filled with even more mistakes.  In fact, I think that it can be said with much certainty that very rarely will you have success without making a few mistakes.

So what is a mistake?  Can we define it as an accident?  A failure?  Using poor judgment or making “bad” decisions?  I think it’s all of those things and more.  Our mistakes can probably be classified as anything and everything in our life that has brought about hurt, pain, suffering, disappointment, heart ache, frustration, and even sadness.  Many of you can relate, you’re either going through a “mistake” right now or struggling to ensure that you don’t make one.  It’s part of daily life and yes, making mistakes sucks.

I remember going through a divorce about 6 years ago and feeling like such a failure.  I had been married 12 years and with that person for over 18 yrs.  That’s half of my life!  Regardless of the reasons for the divorce, I did love that person whole heartedly and I fought for the marriage as long as I could so I have no regrets.  It’s not something that either of us ever wanted, but it happened, and was definitely a failure and disappointment, not to mention a very sad part of both of our lives.  But with that said, I can sit here and type this all out and say that I am much wiser after going through that, and as a “mistake” in my life it provided experiences that I felt I learned from and I worked to apply what I learned in the next relationship.  Unfortunately the next relationship had it’s own share of struggles and after having that person abandon the relationship, I found myself alone for the first time in my adult life with lots of time to reflect on mistakes, lessons learned, and all the time in the world to work on myself.


Does a “mistake” like a failed marriage or relationship make me want to be on guard with my heart or love less?  I’m definitely guarded, but my failures make me want to love even more and cause me to want to give the next person more love than others in the past.  I have a lot of love to give away regardless and when i love I love with all of my heart.

The same goes for other areas in my life such as business.  I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made over the years doing business or at least trying to.  I’ve lost so much money in the past on ventures that I later felt were a waste of time and energy, but I learned from them.  Some lessons learned took longer than others, but I’m wiser from them none the less.  I remember hosting BMX Flatland events from 1999 – 2006 in an effort to push an apparel brand as well as help promote the sport.  I did it out of love for BMX but I wasn’t a smart business man and I lost money every year.  Flatland is a small part of BMX and there isn’t enough involvement to help sustain these types of events, so 2006 was the last event for the Elevation Flatland series.  I get asked all the time to host another series or flatland event but with the help of my good friend Cisco, I’ve taken what I learned from that time and turned it into one of the largest outdoor bicycle festivals in Houston called the HTX Bike Fest which celebrates it’s 5th year this September 2016.


Making mistakes is a fact of life.  If you’re in a relationship, you and your partner both are going to mess up and it’s important to give each other room to do so.  Some “mess ups” will be “bigger” than others but the both of you need to give one another room to mess up, over and over again.  I don’t know where this ability to forgive comes from but in my past two relationships, one being my marriage, I was put in positions to have to forgive many many times.  I could have given up and walked away but I loved the people I was with and I wanted to give each forgiveness that I too would need at some point.  No couple is able to celebrate 10, 20, or even 50 years of marriage without having made 1,000’s of mistakes along the way.

So if you’ve had many failures, made many mistakes, and are even in the middle of the hurt or disappointment, know that you are a wiser person because of it all.  Learn from these mistakes and do something different because of your new wisdom.  Don’t ever give up on yourself or on others.  If we could all understand that every single one of us is an imperfect human being and that we’re going to make mistakes, there would be a lot more forgiveness in the world.

If you don’t allow your mistakes to produce change inside of your mind and heart, then all you will ever be able to say is that you made a mistake, and that in itself is a big mistake.

Make more mistakes, but not on purpose.


TV Made Me: It’s not the same anymore…

“Television is bad for you. It makes you dumb.” These are the things we hear quite often these days. In my opinion television may have saved my life and for better or worse, I can proudly say it made me who I am.

Unfortunately, growing up alone in a house of 6 is something you may understand.  There was love in the house, but in my family’s own special way. The bills always got paid and there was always food on the table and as we got older the birthday and Christmas gifts got better.

I had friends in the neighborhood and in school, and though I wasn’t one of the popular kids, I was definitely in the “it” circle. As far back as I can remember I was never affected by what people thought of me and I was always the comic that could lighten up any mood. I’d  also give the shirt off my back if needed and I say these things in the most humble way possible. I wish I could say my parents and siblings had something to do with any of that, and maybe they did, but it might have been indirectly, like doing the opposite of what my environment was doing.


As I reflect on my life I can clearly recall the first moment when I can say TV had altered my life.  As the assistant principal waited for me to explain my actions -I simply answered . . .

“I don’t recall.” She then asked, “do you know what that means?”

I said, “what”?

“The word recall,” she said.

I said, “yes, I mean, like…, to remember?.”

She asked where I had learned such a big word.

“Isn’t recall smaller than remember?” I asked.

“Well, yes but a word like that isn’t typically used by a second grader” she said.

I guess she expected to hear that my teacher, my parents or even my siblings may have taught me such a word and for some reason I didn’t want to admit I had picked it up from watching Mr. Belvedere. I mean you could only be taught from a teacher or by someone sitting you down and teaching you what words mean, right? What if my context clues skills were not as accurate as I thought. Needless to say I just shied away.


Growing up there were many family sitcoms that had positive messages and more importantly they showed me love and compassion for others that my environment seemed to dismiss. Programs like Mr Belvedere, Growing Pains, Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Little House on the Prairie and of course Good Times all found a special place in my heart and helped me view the world in a different way. I found myself engulfed in the antics and complications of a scripted life, and was always satisfied with the way everything came together at the end of every episode.

This may sound ridiculous but some of the valuable lessons that I adapted into my life came from watching TV such as:  honesty is always the best route because at the end of every episode the truth always comes out, to take responsibility for your actions, and be ready to pay the price because every action has a reaction.  I also learned to always apologize to someone if you have hurt them because at the end of the day we are all in this together, as well as defending yourself in a tactical manner because life is not linear and you never know what life is going to throw at you after each commercial break.


The most evident thing that I have kept in my life is the one liner approach to life… (thanks Cheers and Night Court) I sometimes surprise myself with my quick wit and one liners and it sometimes feels like I’m on a show… I’m sure you know what I mean. We all have that moment when that perfect joke lands. (Except for me it’s all the time, yeah I’m funnier than you.) This may not all be tied directly to TV and I’m sure my environment gave me no choice but to look at the brighter side of things. What I can give credit to TV for is teaching me the timing to a joke and the ability to take the blunt end of a joke for the sake of a good time.

There are so many things and so many shows that are not on this list that were and are fantastic that can be very useful. I know they should be listed on here, like Herman’s Head… I know you don’t know what I’m talking about so take a break and google it. Herman’s Head was awesome and ahead of it’s time, the idea and concept was used for the animated movie Inside Out.


I understand TV is what you make of it but unfortunately this generation and my kid’s generation will not have the privilege to know what I am talking about. How there were more positive messages on every channel and the “bad” shows were limited. Television these days is focused on the wrong things and is being used to project the wrong messages. (Yeah I know I sound old but your mom likes it…) I understand that TV works off ratings and if the junk shows are what people are watching then that’s what’s going to be on the majority of the menu.


I say all this to say, thank you 80s and early 90s TV sitcoms for making me the person I am today. You taught me many lessons while my brothers were too busy with their lives and while dad and mom worked so hard to keep the little we had. Thank you for not being full of crap, and for allowing me to escape for a brief moment and walk out the other side a “wiser” kid. Yes, thank you for Alf and Pee-Wees Playhouse as well, I took the good with the bad you dished out…. I was able to see what kind of family I’d like to have when I got older. I was able to envision what kind of career and environment I’d like my children to grow up in. Don’t get me wrong I still have many flaws which my environment and TV are not the blame for. If you’d like a list, I’m sure my wife would be glad to forward to you.


I encourage you today to reflect on that one source that you may have over looked and say thank you. It may have been tv, comic books, that one teacher, the weird uncle or that aunt that always seemed to understand you and make you feel like everything was ok with that warm smile. Take those positive values and share them with the world.

So once again, TV, Thank You and know that I will share all the positive things you have taught me with my family and friends. As in all great sitcom . . . fashion, hugs and fade scene – roll credits.

Shout out to:

Mr Belvedere, Growing Pains, Full House, Who’s the Boss?, Married… With Children, Mork & Mindy, Happy Days, Diff’rent Strokes, Little House on the Prairie, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, The Jeffersons, Taxi, MAS*H ,The Cosby Show, Cheers ,Herman’s Head, Boy Meets world, Saved by the bell, Fresh prince of bel-aire, Sledge Hammer!, Knight Rider, Sledge Hammer!, Three’s Company, ALF, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Tracy Ullman Show, Miami Vice, Fraggle Rock, The Love Boat, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, MacGyver, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Quantam Leap, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Wonder Years, Magnum, P.I., Night Court, At the Movies, Martin, In living color and many many more ….. especially all the cartoons.

– Steve Martinez:  Guest Blogger


I’m not sure how it started but at any given point, in what might appear to be a serious conversation with someone, I’ll randomly provide what they think is going to be the best advice I’ve ever offered.  When the time is right I’ll say “You know what you need to do, right?” which is always followed by “What’s that?”.  I’m very careful with what follows next because it has to be perfect and timed just right.  Sometimes I’ll start it with “Well . . .” or just pause for a few seconds before I offer my mind blowing advice, which is then “You need to lose yourself in the music, the moment you own it . . .”.  Haha, once the person realizes that I just fed them a line from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself”, the response is always “Ah man!  Shut up!” and sometimes even a “Fuck you!” followed by some laughing.

You have to admit though, that line is a great piece of advice and it really can apply to just about anything.  Most of all it can serve as a mantra for everyday life in this crazy messed up world.  Yes, that’s right, this world sucks.  It’s mean, has no mercy and wants to beat the shit out of us every day.  We need inspiration everyday just to make it through sometimes, and this one line in a song can be just that.

If I ever give you those lines as advice, I may be playing, but at the same time I really do believe that we should lose ourselves in the music.  The “music” is life, and the song is different everyday and sometimes the music is a moment in the day or a moment in time that is simply asking for us to get lost in it.  That moment can be anything from a spur of the moment job opportunity, a first kiss, an opportunity to give back, or it could be you riding your bike home and getting caught in the rain.  You could get pissed that you’re getting all wet or you could simply embrace the rain, get lost in that moment, and enjoy what many kids would love to do everyday . . . play in the rain.

Living a life of “getting lost in the music” is an attitude.  It’s taking everyday and whatever it brings and being willing to embrace whatever it is that life lays in front of you.  It’s being flexible and not taking life so damn serious.  It’s being free, it’s listening, it’s following your heart, it’s feeling the beat of life and moving with it.  There will be many many moments in your day where you will feel like you are “owning it”, and you should always be prepared to lose yourself in those.

Life is too short to not take advantage of moments that could change your life forever and if you’re not listening to the right “song”, you could miss them.  If you watched Eminem’s movie 8 Mile, then you know what the basis of his song is about.  In the movie he’s one of the best rappers in town yet he chokes in an opening scene rap battle out of fear and intimidation.  It’s not until he goes through some life situations that he is finally able to stand up and show what he’s made of.  It’s then that he is able to literally destroy every rapper that he battles on stage, ultimately winning and walking away as the champion that night.

What “music” is playing right now in your life?  What beat are you moving to?  Whatever it is, let it move you.  Feel the music.  Dance.  Move your feet, your hips, your hands.   Lose yourself in the music, the moment you own, don’t ever let it go.  You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime.


Crazy Dreams

A good friend / brother of mine sent me an email a few days ago.  I hear from him regularly which is always good.  His email contained a recap of a dream that he had of me back in July.  The dream iwas hilarious, but also impacted me to write something today.  Here it is:

“Had a dream where Hector passed away while I was visiting & there was conflict with a landlord.  His death was in reaction to a very weird ice virus where His body exploded like a high pressurized paint packet onto some wooden beams.  He was facing me on my right hand side & exploded up and to the left like a paint ball.  There was someone else… maybe his flatland buddy who does all the video.  He was facing me on my left hand side and exploded up and to the right.  Homie (Hector’s golden retriever who passed away a couple of years ago) was around and went crazy running in circles and then wouldn’t move at all, because he was so sad.  There was a great sadness, because Hector died earlier than he should have.”

This dream cracked me up because of how crazy it is.  Dreams in general are crazy and just the other night my dream involved me floating outside a space station in my space suit while holding a cigar in my mouth the entire time . . . with my space helmet on by the way.  However crazy my friend’s dream was, the last line in the dream recap was deep, very deep.  “There was a great sadness, because hector died earlier than he should have”.

No one wants to die earlier than they’re “supposed” to.  Of course no one knows when they’re going to die or when is “too soon”.  For me, there’s still so much that I want to accomplish that if I died today I WOULD be dying too soon.  Not because I’m only 41yrs old, but because there’s still so much that I haven’t done.

At 41 yrs old I still have very big dreams.  I want to touch the world, even if it’s only the world around me.  I’m always dreaming.  Haha, not sleep dreams, but heart dreams.  Many of my dreams are big and seem unattainable and require a lot of resources and hard work, but that’s why they call them dreams, right?  The day I stop dreaming is the day I lose hope, and if that ever happens then yes, I would rather be dead.

Don’t ever stop dreaming.  Don’t ever lose hope.  Stay alive and breathe life into those around you everyday.  Dream, big or small, but dream.

Have an Awesome Christmas.





He was a successful stock broker, making big money with a bright future ahead of him.  He was at the top of his game until one day he lost a ton of money for one of his clients.  This failure broke him down and his days on the exchange floor suddenly came to a hault.  The next time you see him he’s delivering packages on the streets of New York City working as a bike messenger . . . and he loves it.

This is the story behind the 1986 bike movie Quicksilver, starring Kevin Bacon.  yeah, that’s right, freakin Kevin Bacon!  ha.  Well, the financially successful person who leaves it all for something more simple is a story that resonates with many across the world.  Someone shared with me last week about a friend that spent years in law school only to end up as a park ranger at Yellow Stone National Park.  And it wasn’t because times got tough or there were no attorney jobs available, it was because working at the park was more desirable and fulfilling.

How much happier would we all be if we could do something we loved, rather than something we HAD to do.  Many students leave high school with no clue about what they want to do with their lives.  Many do what is expected or status quo which is to go to college and study to be in a field that will make the most money.  I did it and I knew many others who did the same.  College campuses are full of people who don’t know what they really want out of life and hope that whatever they’re doing pays off or makes them happy.  In my case my major changed almost every semester because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  Unfortunately I never finished school and left early to pursue other interests.

I personally feel that most people leaving high school have no idea what they want to be when they “grow up” and don’t even really know who they are yet.  There are many adults walking around right now who still don’t know what they want to do when they grow up.  For me, it wasn’t until i was in my mid thirties that I finally realized what I would like to do and what I would like out of life in general.  If I had to go back to school to study something, only now do i know what I would like to study.  Most likely won’t go back, but at least I know what I want.

So wherever you are right now in life, take the time to figure out what you really want out of life.  If you’re fresh out of high school, take time to learn a little more about yourself.  Maybe take some time off or if you need to stay in school to keep the rhythm going, take courses that might be in the direction you see yourself going but classes that can easily be applied to other majors.  If you’re an adult who feels like you’re in a rut or unhappy with where you are, begin asking yourself what makes you happy.  What do you have a passion about?  What are you most passionate about that could actually make money or become a job opportunity.  In the case of the lawyer who became park ranger, she chose to do something that made her happy, not rich.  She chose her passion over comfort, and she’s probably more happy than any of her attorney friends.  Maybe, who knows?  🙂

Be happy.  Choose passion.  You only live once.  Make it count.  Do what you love.  Love what you’re doing and be the best one in the whole wide world at it.

– Hector