Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coach K

The latest on Dori is posted on CaringBridge. As our friend Al said this morning after church, it's the Battle of Bull Run, Part Three, for our family. Instead we're waging war in Houston, not at Manassas.

Last night, I took the kids to hear Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who spoke at Lipscomb University to a dinner group of 350 and then again to 3,500. I briefly considered not going, as I have plenty to do before driving to Houston tomorrow with Kathryn. But the kids were excited, which made me excited. Dori's mother is a Duke grad, too, and I knew she'd love to hear what he said, which I shared with her this morning. It was a great call.

I'll never forget Coach K's discussion about dealing with adversity or tragedy. Upon learning of sickness or other bad news, he said the normal reaction for nearly everyone is to exasperate and fret, often saying or thinking, "I can't believe this is happening to me." He hunched over for effect, and repeated the phrase.

These moments are what makes us decide to be great or to be ordinary, he said. Our children heard the best basketball coach of our time explain how coping with difficulty is when we earn our reputation, but more importantly demonstrate our character. My favorite athlete is golfer Jack Nicklaus, not because of his 20 major championships but because of how he conducted himself after losing.

Coach K later repeated the phrase, "I can't believe this is happening to me," but this time with optimism and with his shoulders back and head up. That's how you win four national championships. Here are some quotes from a man I will always admire and respect.

And here is a photo of the two children we love very much, before last night's event. Many of you have asked how they are doing through all this. I see shoulders back and heads up. Fear is around us, but fear can kiss our asses.

By the way, Will found a four-leaf clover in our yard this afternoon and asked me to take it to Houston. No problem, young man.

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