Today’s lesson for me was a lesson in humanity. Earlier in the day I had a meeting with mentor and friend, Steve Smith, to discuss business and he mentioned something that I had heard before, but it was refreshing to hear it again. He said, “You have to be present in order to take advantage of an opportunity.” Later in the day I would find perhaps the most poignant example of being present. I needn’t mention the world we live in, we know it isn’t always good and it can drag a person down. I’m an emotional guy in the first place, and when something like this happens I run for the nearest copy of Brian’s Song I can find; in this instance perhaps it is better to shed a tear for the moment that I was actually experiencing.
Joey Bach is a senior running back for Rocky Mountain High School with special needs, and last night, for the third time this year, he carried the ball and scored a touchdown. Let me explain. Both teams meet at the 50 yard line, exchange high-fives and then get into formation with Joey in the running back position. The ball is snapped, he gets the hand-off and both teams run down the field with him rooting him on, the crowd is going an honest crazy, and the public address is calling the play. When he scores the entire stadium erupts further still. I decided it isn’t just because Joey scored but also because we all still care. It isn’t just something nice to do for Joey, it gives us all a chance for just a moment to remember that we are all people, and we all can contribute for the good. I’m reminded of Joe Ehrmann, the Coach for America, and his book “Inside Out Coaching” that encourages activity such as this, among other things. I don’t know that Rocky Mountain football uses that material, but it sure feels like it. I just know that last night Joey scored yet again, and I saw a stadium exhibit the kind of humanity that seems to be on back-order these days. Cheers to Joey, cheers to thousands of people, and cheers to being present. Until next time.