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Superpower #3: Own the Night

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 December 2017

Last Updated 17 December 2017

Motivational Moment - 

"Own the Night"


“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,

Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?


Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin,

Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep,

Six feet under screaming, but no one seems to hear a thing?


Do you know that there’s still a chance for you,

Cause there’s a spark in you.


And you just gotta ignite… the light… and let it shine,

Just own the night, like the Fourth of July…


Cause baby you’re a firework!


Come on show’em what you’re worth…

Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”

You’re gonna leave ‘em fallin’ down-own-own.



Katy Perry singing the song “Firework”

To view video, click here


The entry below was published on July 25, 2011 with the purpose of describing our third human super power of "Owning the Night."  It’s when I decided to spend the next 3 years writing letters to my daughters to guide them.




It is a Sunday in March of 2011. Gina is out tutoring, the girls are in the other room playing, and I am searching for some creative ideas for future journal entries during the upcoming Freedom’s Light fundraising season. In front of me are my computer and some notes sketched out on paper that I jotted down after many workouts last season.


While scanning YouTube for different movie clips and videos, I see the song from Katy Perry called “Firework.” I think to myself, “Over 16 million hits… Impressive. Let’s take a look.” As the video plays, I hear two sets of footsteps come running down the hallway toward me.


Within seconds, Lauren is standing to my left in the chair staring at the screen. To my right is Elizabeth, whose left arm is interlocked with mine. Then, Katy Perry starts singing the song which cue’s Lauren to do the same. Elizabeth on the other hand, stares even harder at the screen, pulling me tighter and squeezing my right bicep.


Now, I am starting to tune into the words. The first phrase that I hear is “There’s still a chance for you, cause there’s a spark in you… And you just gotta ignite… the light… and let it shine. Just own the night, like the Fourth of July…” Then suddenly both of my girls erupt to the main chorus: Cause baby you’re a firework…


After listening for a few seconds I think to myself, “Holy Smoke! This is pretty intense.” Next my mind goes back a few steps to the phrase “just own the night.” I can’t help to think of my military training leading teams during night operations conducting raids, recons, and ambushes. Sometimes we would be in the jungle, other times in wooded areas, and still other times we would be blowing down doors and clearing rooms of “bad guys” in urban terrain. Back then “owning the night” meant that while others ran away, it was our job to go forward usually at the most unexpected moment and neutralize the threat. Smiling, I next think, well I guess not much has changed for me in principle. Isn’t ”owning the night” exactly what parents are supposed to be doing for their children, at least for a little while?

As I regain my focus, I see my girls are still singing. Clearly they identify with the words and the video. And at this point, so do I. It’s a very happy moment for me. You see, I want my girls to grow to face their fears and say, “You can’t break me. I will find a way. Before long, I will own the night!” Just to hear them sing with so much passion and conviction, I know that they both have made the leap to believing. Why is this so important? It’s because the discovery of this inner spark is the first step.  This light illuminates from the fundamental core of our being and is the pathway to the Kingdom of God. That’s where our true strength resides. That’s where we find a way to endure. And, that's where I want them to look when I am gone.  Is there any more important insight I can give them at this stage?




In many ways this week is meant to be a controlled release of your inner core. If you haven’t done so already, dig deep, rediscover that light from within, and let it shine.


Go forth and own the night!

God Bless,


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This Week in Training –

“Fix Bayonets”



“We can’t run away. If we stay here, we can’t shoot.

So, let’s fix bayonets…”



--Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain:
Battle of Little Round Top, Gettysburg, PA

To watch how the battle ends, click here

To watch a summary of Colonel Chamberlain’s “Hero’s Journey,” click here



When at West Point (1993-1997) I fondly remember a scene in the movie “Gettysburg,” showing Colonel Joshua Chamberlain being told that he and his regiment had to “hold to the last.” After the officer making the statement wishes him luck and departs, Colonel Chamberlain begins to think, “Hold to the last... To the last what?!! An exercise in rhetoric… Last shell?   Last man? Last foot of ground?   Last breath?” He is amazed on how those words could be used so casually. The scene sticks with me. As cadet who will be responsible for leading a platoon in the future, I take time to quietly ponder its true meaning when alone on long distance runs. One way is by imagining different scenarios when we are losing badly, and I have to figure out what to do next.


While the scenarios are different, a common pattern emerges. First is the “battlefield calculus” which must be done in the matter of seconds. It starts with the question, “If I do nothing, where does the current momentum take things?” That question allows me to temporarily leave the moment and see across time. Next I ask myself, “As my opponent goes through this move, where is their center of gravity (weakest point)?” I know our best shot is to hit that point as hard as we can to make their forces shatter.

Now it’s time to make some bets and turn thinking into action. I quickly explain the plan and give directions that put us in position. Each person repeats back what I’ve told them and possesses a clear picture in their mind of what success looks like. When complete, I then place myself at the most vulnerable place on the battlefield to inspire courage.

Finally, the patience and the discipline come in. Wait… Wait… Wait… The moment arrives. With all of our collective might and fury the order is given: EXECUTE! EXECUTE!! EXECUTE!!! The “mad minute” occurs. One of two things will happen next. Either we will break the “will” of our opponent or we all die. If it ends here, it ends partly on our terms.

Intense? Yes, because of its context. It’s an examination of what it means to “hold to the last.” But, it’s so much more valuable than rehearsing a hypothetical scenario. It’s the skill of owning the night. When things are not going our way, we have a choice between either accepting the eventual outcome or creating a new reality. After making the courageous choice of reshaping the future, the hard work of thinking, planning, and organizing begins. Then, we have to overcome our fear of losing. What I’ve learned to say is, “God if this is your will, then so be it. But, if this from man alone, then I absolutely refuse to accept this fate! I will find a way to beat this. I will find a way to change destiny.”

This week, treat triathlon as safe training ground for better understanding what it means to “hold to the last.” Don’t just taper off when getting tired. If necessary, make a plan to create a better future. Then, fix bayonets!


Practice the raw skills of owning the night.


Here’s this week’s workout plan:


Monday: Swim 10 x 100m; Run 45 min; Core Strength 1

Tuesday: Bike 45 min; Run 30 min; Core Strength 2

Wednesday: Bike 60 min; Core Strength 1

Thursday: Swim 3 x 300m; Bike 20 min; Core Strength 2

Friday: Run 7 miles; Core Strength 1

Saturday: Bike 90 min; Core Strength 2

Sunday: Long Stretch; Sports with Daughters      


*Core Strength 1 focus on chin-ups, pushups, planks, lower back/abs

**Core Strength 2 focuses on squats, hip strengthening, and stretching
***Questions: Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it      


The Transformation Challenge
“If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It!”

Anna: When the big man was killed, you must have wounded it. Its blood was on the leaves.


Dutch: If it bleeds, we can kill it!




--Elpidia Carrillo and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator”

To watch video, click here



For this week’s transformational challenge, identify the most painful memories or irrational fears that hold you back. Other than that, there is no further action to take. Just be as clear as you can with what you select.


All of us have so many fears and insecurities that hinder our ability to reach our full potential. In the weeks ahead, we learn how to tackle many of them. Some will get resolved. Others will be managed. The goal is to slay those dragons guarding you from finding your best self.