Our players enthusiastically returned to the gym this week after Winter break and like usual I joined them for their training session in our Racquet & Fitness Center that is also open to the public. While working out alongside one of our Senior WR/DBs who is training for Lacrosse season, I was also realizing the workout was kicking my butt and I almost turned to him and said “it sucks getting old.” But I held my tongue…
A moment later, Jim entered the room.
Jim is an 80 year old member of our fitness center and a “regular.” Jim suffers from Multiple Myeloma Cancer. From what I understand, his cancer affects the white blood cells in the bone marrow leaving him with debilitating pain in the bones of his spine. It is managed with Chemotherapy which not only leaves him in pain but physically exhausted. As I recognized he was really struggling walking into the room, I went up to ask how he was doing and why he wasn’t resting. He replied, “gotta get my workout in!” I told Jim what I was just about to say to that player and thanked Jim for inspiring me.
Jim is a military veteran and a former athlete. I trust the officers and coaches who mentored him, also inspired him to have such an indomitable spirit. While we prepare our athletes in the off-season for the games they will play next fall, we also prepare them for the lives they will lead and the impact they will have on others. I pray I am able to inspire our players the way Jim’s mentors inspired him, and the way he inspires me.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!