Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reflections from the Home Team January 7, 2015

“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live,
 and in the manner in which you live” Stuart Scott

Greetings from Cedar Falls,

It’s been a while since I have written a Reflection, so I wanted to take a moment to update you all since my last Reflection in late October. Some have asked how I am doing given some recent concerns with what appear to be the ongoing side effects of treatments. In short, the “visiting team” has not returned for extra innings, and I continue working through those ongoing side effects.  As I shared in my last Reflection, some cardiac issues were corrected with the implant of a pacemaker in July and I’m very thankful for the medical support I have received and the fact the pacemaker has allowed me to resume my normal pace and activities.

As I often do, I have turned to reading to help keep a positive outlook as I deal with some of those physical issues.  I wanted to share a wonderful book I recently picked up by author Jon Gordon titled “The Carpenter”. It is filled with many powerful lessons.  It’s about a young man named Michael who wakes up in the hospital with a bandage on his head and fear in his heart. The stresses of building a growing business with his wife Sarah caused him to collapse while on a morning jog. When Michael finds out the man who saved his life is a Carpenter, he visits him and quickly learns that he is more than just a Carpenter; he is also a builder of lives, careers, people, and teams. 

As the Carpenter shares his wisdom, Michael attempts to save his business in the face of adversity, rejection, fear, and failure. Along the way he learns that there's no such thing as an overnight success but that there are timeless principles to help you make an impact on people and the world around you.One of those lessons included; “Remember, life gives us warnings for a reason. Learn from this. Do things differently.”  Sometimes the pace at which we are expected to perform in today’s world can divert us from what really matters…the fact that we should slow down, taking time to love life and enjoy all of it while fearing none of it.  Certainly, that thought is great advice, but my experience is that it’s not always easy to live out.

Another lesson the Carpenter shared which struck home for me was; “When you love, you serve, and when you serve, you sacrifice. Service requires a sacrifice of something. Whether it’s time, energy, money, love, effort, or focus, serving others always costs you something, but with service and sacrifice, you gain so much more.”  Life truly is about loving, caring for and serving others, along with the joy it can bring in our lives each and every day.

As many of you may also know, the sports industry also lost a great individual as Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died this past Sunday morning at the age of 49.   At just 49 years old, Stuart’s battle with cancer came to an end.  As I’ve shared in past reflections, most of us have been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form.  It has always bothered me that we often refer to people who have died as a result of cancer as having “lost their fight with cancer”.  I recall watching Stuart during his ESPY speech earlier in 2014, and I thought his remarks about not losing the fight when you die, but instead, winning the fight in how you live was inspirational for me.

As I watched the tributes, read the articles, followed the tweets and posts following Stuart’s death this past week, the words that people used to describe him were amazing... Words such as passionate, energetic, courageous, fighter, dynamic, fearless, game-changer, dad, friend and leader were some of those words used to describe Stuart and his life.  Those words certainly described what I think Stuart stood for in his life, both when he was healthy, as well as after he was diagnosed and was fighting this disease.  How he lived, why he lived and the manner in which he lived are a true testament to the quote he used when he received the “Jimmy V” Perseverance Award in 2014

“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live,
 and in the manner in which you live”…  

You can his full speech at this link if interested:  

That speech inspired me to think about the manner in which we live each and every day.  Make the most of every day.  Enjoy the people around you.  Inspire others with your actions, your attitude, your words and your effort.   If you get knocked down, pick yourself up.  If someone else gets knocked down, help pick them up.  Obviously, that’s not always easy to do, and I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve not always been successful at that.  It’s certainly something to strive for, and Stuart’s example helps me work toward that goal each day.

As a friend recently shared, “A New Year is a reset button.  Let’s control what we can control – which starts with our attitude, our energy and our work ethic – and it will lead to amazing things in 2015”.

 If you haven’t had a chance to watch this tribute to Stuart Scott, I encourage you to take the time and view it at this link.

Blessings to each of you and your families, 



Link to: Reflections from the Home Team BLOG

Link to Vimeo: Reflections from the "Home Team"... Go the Distance
Link to: Tommy Emmanuel and "Angelina"