Alex Weber On Choosing A Life of Integrity

“At Roxbury Latin, as you know, we care not only about helping you develop your intellectual passions and pursuits, but also about helping you develop the tools to lead physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy lives,” began Headmaster Brennan in Hall on September 14. “Three years ago we launched a new program aimed at addressing—in formats like this—topics related to health and wellness. We have welcomed speakers on topics related to addiction, mental health, nutrition, social media, gender identity, and healthy sleep. This year we will bring to campus a range of individuals who will focus on various facets of masculinity: what it means, how we experience it, and how it manifests itself within us and in society at large.”

In the Smith Theater, Roxbury Latin welcomed its first speaker in this year-long series, Mr. Alex Weber. Mr. Weber is an internationally known speaker, award-winning entertainer, and an elite American Ninja Warrior athlete. A college lacrosse player at University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Weber has been awarded the U.S. Lacrosse Coach of the Year distinction, for his role as varsity head coach at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. He also competed in the lacrosse World Championships, finishing as a top scorer.

“Despite these accomplishments,” said Mr. Brennan, “Mr. Weber knows what it feels like to experience setbacks, self-doubt, pressures, uncertainty, and failure. And he now knows what it takes to overcome them.”

Bringing great energy to the room, Mr. Weber began by pointing out the difference between have to—“I have to do my homework,” or “I have to run sprints at practice”—and get to. “It is a great privilege for you to attend this remarkable school, so remember this: You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to finish that project, or head out to the practice field at the end of a long day. The choice is all yours. However, if your goals are to get into that college, or to beat that rival team, then these are decisions you get to make. What are you going to put into life to reach your goals? No one can decide that for you.”

Who do you want to be? was the essential question that Mr. Weber posed. “Who are some men you admire? Dwayne Johnson? Abraham Lincoln? Will Smith? Your grandfather? Your teacher? Your coach? What do you admire about them? There are no rules for what it means to be a man—there are only suggestions, maybe some best practices. You get to choose and be anything you want. Study what you like about men you admire, what you respect, and then try it out. Acquire from those you admire.”

Mr. Weber—through personal stories of triumph and tribulation, struggle and success—underscored that we all are the product of what we do most often; none of us are perfect, and at times we will choose something we regret, but what we choose to do most often will be who we are, and how we are known. He suggested that boys adopt the three-step strategy of Define, Decide, Do. He urged boys to build, rather than bail. “Remember that this life has no rules. It’s a choose your own adventure. I urge you to be open, choose positively, and surround yourself each day with people, choices and habits that are ‘floats,’ which build you up, rather than ‘anchors,’ which weigh you down.”

“If you give the game the best you have—and remember, the game is whatever you choose it to be—then the best will come back to you. We are at our best when other people need us. Be there for one another, be floats for the people in your lives, and choose to surround yourself with floats, as well.”

One student shared directly with Mr. Weber after his presentation: “I just wanted to thank you for the great words you said in the Hall this morning. It made me think more about how everything really is in my hands, on how hard I want to work to succeed in my dreams. I appreciate it, and I hope you come back to RL soon.”