The true story of Wayne Wicka’s life, a Horatio Alger-like rags-to-riches tale, a life that begins in Smalltown, USA, Dodge, Wisconsin, (population 300) a journey including stops in Magnificent MCRD the Show Place of the Marine Corps, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, the metropolis of New York City (19 million), and the National Football League (NFL). A fascinating story of struggle and triumph in his quest to overcome failure and discover success.
Intending to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Wayne expects to duplicate a sensational high school athletic career. From the beginning, Wicka finds the path to success is extraordinarily difficult. He fails. He becomes a sideline regular, kneeling on the sidelines. Struggling from athletic and academic futility and ridiculed for his tall, gangly appearance, Wayne succumbs to low self-esteem, loss of dignity, and hopelessness accelerating his life’s downward spiral. He even ponders the unthinkable, questioning the value of his own life after experiencing continuous failure.
Meanwhile, his family—his sanctuary—crumbles around him as his mother files for divorce from his father. Too much to bear, Wayne seeks an escape from the harsh realities—divorce, misfortune, and sadness—from living in Dodge. He desires a fresh start and yearns to experience success. He decides to take action, accept responsibility for his life from this point forward—the turning point—and do something to change his direction and destination in life.
Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps and the military’s toughest boot camp, Wicka finds an escape from his current reality to take command of his future. He graduates from Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego and earns the noble title Hollywood Marine. Benefiting from the mentoring he receives from Drill Instructors and the Marine Corps, he begins building a foundation for confidence and success. Born is his inner belief and confidence releasing the inner winner.
Using the Marine Corps’ leadership principles for success—self-discipline, hard work, dedication, determination, and perseverance to a goal, Wicka emerges from the Marine Corps to retrace his steps, confront his painful past, for a second chance “do over” of his past academic and athletic failures. This is a journey of Academic and Athletic Redemption, culminating in Final Redemption.
He faces an uphill battle and difficult odds as a first-generation, non-traditional college student, because neither of his parents had a college degree. Using the power of positive thinking and the mentoring he received along the way from coaches, college professors at the Winona State University, Minnesota State University – Mankato, the University of Wyoming, the United States Marine Corps, the National Football League, as well as the many other people who foretold his success, inspiration from NFL Stars Howie Long, Bill Pickel, Herman Edwards, and Coach Pete Carroll, his belief in self grows. Unleashed is his self-confidence and his renewed commitment takes him on an incredible journey of academic and athletic redemption.
A story of adversity, triumph, and never giving up, the journey takes you from Small Town, USA to the metropolis of New York City, through his turbulent teen years and parents’ marital heartache, the Marine Corps, college life, the NFL, and the obstacles of life. In the wake, Wayne re-emerges and leaves his indelible mark in both academics and athletics.
This story is hilariously funny, but, at times, emotionally heartbreaking. This autobiography and self-help book serves as a source of motivation and provides life lessons he learned from the United States Marine Corps, great NFL teams, players, coaches, and his college experiences to help others achieve their highest hopes and dreams, because, as Wayne says, “You are closer than you think to achieving your goal and living your dream: The Power of Human Potential: It’s In You!
Wayne has 20+ years of successful higher education experience – University of Wyoming, Minnesota State University – Mankato, and at Winona State University – in student retention and student success best practices.