Play the Next Point.

Play the next point...

I think that I've always been kind of a "present" person.  I've never been one to let disappointment get me down.  Because of that I have been able to fend off sadness in

The death of a child...

The passing of a parent, then a friend, then a teenage athlete I helped coach.

Life has been difficult, but at every turn, I rose above, lead the way, and anchored some who were less fortunate and needed help with this skill set.

I don't want you to think that,

  1. This was easy for me (or)
  2. I must be a cold hearted fool

Neither are true.  This shit hurts.  Deep.  To the core.  I have been bitter, angry, and sad.  I just don't see how that helps anyone, so I refused to stay there.

Then the unthinkable happened.

My wife Ellen's cancer returned, she was placed on hospice, and died, all in about two months time. 

This was the most severe test of my mindset.  If I continued to be "present", to lead, to anchor, some people might misunderstand.  That doesn't mean it was the wrong thing to do, in fact, it made it more "right", because so many were watching. 

 

 

Volleyball has been central in my life for so long.  So many times I watched from the sidelines as Ellen would instruct her athletes.  After a point, whether won or lost, she taught, and then she gave a simple instruction...

"Play the next point!"

Then, while interviewing a few members of the national team for the "Ultimate Trust" special edition of "Five Questions" the mindset came up again...

It totally is the basis of the game, everywhere it is played well.

Learn from each point, no matter the outcome, then...

Play the next point.

And so, here I am.

I have learned the valuable lessons, in triumph and in loss, yes even the most severe loss.  The instruction is still clear, crisp, and poignant...

Be present, be solid, be strong and

Play the next point.

 

The notion led me to travel to Brazil, alone on my first ever overseas trip, to watch the same National Team play in the Olympics, and more recently to join a whole new group of friends along with my girlfriend Audrey to hike the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park.  There we found stunning beauty at every turn, along every stream and waterfall, over every hill, and once at the very top of Twin Sister's, a panorama like none I have ever seen.  One of our most experience hiker pals Dave termed the hikes "treasure hunts".  Treasure indeed. 

Healing looks like this.  It's a difficult journey to be sure, but it is vastly worthwhile.  So watch.  Learn.  Live.

I can still hear, clearly, the command.

Play the next point.

 

 

Special thanks to my friends, Bruce, Rosta, Cathy, Timothy, Dave, and especially Audrey.  You all have shown me a new way of viewing the beauty in the world.  I never doubted it's "presence" I just needed help finding it.  Love you all.  Yinz rock!

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Then we drove to Omaha...

Championship point.  This time it's Nebraska's own Jordan Larson Burbach who gets the final kill.  The US Women's National team backs up last years World Championship with a 3-0 sweep of that same Chinese squad and wins the 2015 FIVB Grand Prix title right here, in Omaha Nebraska...

...and we were there!

Wait, what.  Yes we were there.  In the flesh, and some of the best part of the story is how we got there.  So here goes...

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