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Pushing from good to great

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Confidence and ambition are fused for John Brenkus, host of ESPN’s “Sport Science,” a cavalcade of wacky experiments that explore the physics of sports.

In kindergarten, when the teacher called his coloring good, Brenkus was offended: “I said, ‘This isn’t just good; this is great.’”

It’s still his favorite word.

While he became good at sports, Brenkus was never great, so he decided to do two other hard things: write a novel and make a movie. He wrote the novel, which became a script, which led to scut jobs that landed him in the film industry.

“There was just no stopping him,” says his mom.

Along the way, Brenkus slept in broom closets and unheated trucks.

“The movie didn’t make money, but we impressed the investors with our chutzpah,” says Brenkus, who went on to launch a company that produces high-energy science and sports documentaries. “It is sort of the adage, ‘See it and believe it, and ultimately you achieve it.’”

— Adapted from “The ‘Science’ of Success,” Buzz McClain, The Washington Post Magazine.

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