Published On: Wed, Mar 2nd, 2011

Area man is motivational speaker

LAUREL — Laurel businessman Lynn Madsen has a story to tell. Actually, Madsen has several stories to share. He could talk about being a professional football player, his acquaintance with Donald Trump, or becoming a single parent to three young daughters when he lost his wife to cancer. He could talk about starting a succesful business in California. He could also talk about moving that business to small town Nebraska. The list goes on and on.

Madsen, who now owns and operates Giant A&M in Laurel, was a defensive end for the University of Washington Huskies in 1991 when they beat Iowa 28-0 at the Rose Bowl. He played football for Donald Trump’s USFL team the New Jersey Generals and went on to play in the NFL for the Houston Oilers. “I love sports,” Madsen said. He married the women he fell in love with and they had three young daughters. Then he lost his wife to cancer at the age of 38. “I spent 10 years dealing with my wife’s cancer,” Madsen said. “The first five years I was helping my wife die – the next five years I helped my kids recover from losing their mother.” He learned just how courageous women can be during those 10 years. Madsen also knows the strife that ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can cause in a young boys life and with other family members. Madsen lived with the affects of ADHD which can include inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity or a combination. “I know what it is to feel like a misfit as a kid – I was one,” Madsen said. Despite his early problems, Madsen went to college and graduated from the University of Washington with a major in history and can give some interesting history lessons. He also loves to talk about politics. It comes natural for Madsen to weave a little humor into the talks he gives. “Everyone needs to laugh,” he said. Madsen has used the many experiences from his life in the opportunities he has had to do motivational speaking. “I have had so many experiences. I can craft my talk toward the audience I will be speaking to,” Madsen said. Life has been filled with a number of triumphs and struggles for Madsen but he knows one message he wants to get across. “Perseverance – never give up, is a big one for me. I tell it from my heart. My stories come from my life – they are true,” Madsen said. Madsen has another gift he can share with people – the songs he composes at the piano. Madsen took piano lessons for a couple of years when he was a kid. He didn’t necessarily like the lessons but his mother insisted. His gift for music came after he held his wife Krista in his arms in their bedroom as she took her last breaths and then he watched his daughters say goodbye to her lifeless body. Something in him broke and a few days later he sat down at their piano and notes started to come and his fingers began to play. “I realized I could do my own things musically. Slowly my memories of Krista became the story and the notes became the melody,” Madsen said. “I am a jock – not a musician. My music is inspired by God.” Over the next seven years he recorded the songs whenever he could find time. Madsen has occasionally played at his church in Laurel, the United Lutheran Church; has shared his gift of music at nursing homes and has played the grand piano at the hospital in Wayne. Some of Madsen’s life experiences have taught him “positive thinking”. His football coach pounded it into the team that anything is possible. “He told us we could be giants. I have played football before thousands and have had success. I loved Krista and she returned that love to me. I started my business from scratch,” Madsen said. “I believe anything is possible.” Madsen now has another dream he wants to see come true. He has a tragic but an inspiring story that needs to be told and he knows two people he would love to share it with – Donald Trump, who is an old acquaintance of his and Oprah Winfrey. “My positive thinking is a blessing and a curse,” Madsen said. “I believe it but if I tell the wrong people they think I am crazy.” If readers are interested in hearing some of the music Madsen’s composed, they cna to the website