What I Learned From My Coach

Some of you may know that I was a runner for a Division one college track team back in the early 90’s. I had a great coach who was keen on imparting wisdom along with his torturous workouts. One day in particular I left my keychain behind at the track which had a digital voice recorder attached to it. It wasn’t until I got back to the dorms that I discovered the LED light on the top that signaled that a message was stored. On it were words that still haunt me today: “Don’t forget to get your head out of your ass!”

I can also remember one day in particular when he approached me with a serious message. He asked “Have you visited your grandmother lately?” Although I was taken aback considering the randomness of the question — we were getting ready to start our workout — I admitted that I hadn’t. His seriousness was almost startling as he was never really one to get overly contemplative with us.

“You need to visit your grandmother because someday she’ll be gone and you’ll wish you had.”

That phrase was repeated periodically throughout my time running track for him and I had increased my trips to see her on his advice. And now, years later, I can still hear him compelling me, coaching me, to do the right thing.

We buried my grandma early last week. His words were still with me as I drove down to spend time with her and hold her hand the night before she died.

Thank you, coach…

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