The Packer Sweep

As many of you know I am a big Green Bay Packer fan. Being born in that city means it is in your blood. I recently watched a documentary on Vince Lombardi who many believe is the greatest coach and motivator who ever lived. His players would follow him anywhere. One of the bread and butter plays of those teams was the sweep. Pulling linemen from one side to the other side to provide more blocking and creating a bigger hole for the runners to go through. Even though the defense knew it was coming they couldn’t stop it because of the precision of eleven men doing their job.
It got me thinking of who I have followed in my life. As life comes at me who is creating the holes to go through and leading me to a greater good. Obviously for me the person providing the greatest opportunity to follow is God. Then I think of all the people who have led and motivated me.
My parents guided me for many years growing up and still are to this day. My mom is always there to lend an ear, and although my father has passed, his lessons and presence still resonate. I learned many business and sales techniques from the different bosses I have had. When I was diagnosed with ALS I had my faith, family, and friends to lean on but still something was missing. I had no one to relate to, no mentor to guide and lead me through this process. That all changed with one phone call from New Orleans a few years ago. Whether he wanted it or not, on that day Steve Gleason became my “pulling guard” leading me through the hole and showing me how to continue to lead a full life. I thought I was but see someone going through the same fight in the matter Steve did was very motivating. Trust me, there are many days it is easier to quit or give up but then I think of him and I push on. I don’t know how he feels about this role in his life but I’m not the only who feels this way about him.
I have since met other ALS patients who motivate me by their actions and I’ve been told the same by many others. It is like a relationship, when one is down the other is there to pick them up. We all need people to help lead us through life and if my life is any example I’ve had many people fill that role. Like the Packer Sweep it takes a team effort to find the greatest success. We can’t do it alone. And like Vince Lombardi was to those Packer teams, Steve Gleason is a leader to many of us fighting ALS.
 
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The Front Line

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How can you really appreciate a battle without going to the front line? There often is a disconnect that occurs. This can often happen in corporations. As a field rep, we would often get our direction from corporate and oftentimes felt that they didn’t really understand our needs or issues. The good leaders would travel… Read more.

What an Honor

This is the most difficult time I’ve ever had writing a blog. I know this because it has taken me over three weeks to write. The reason it is difficult is because I’m writing about myself and an award that i recently found out I won. Anyone who is competitive wants to win. I’m no… Read more.

Heroism and Suffering

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Life continues to amaze me. Every time you get content or feel sorry for yourself, something happens that wakes you up. Problem is we don’t always see it. In this case, it was very easy to see.   Today is Veterans Day. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the… Read more.

The Beat Goes On

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How often do you think about the legacy you will leave behind? It may not be often but I am sure all of us have at one point in our lives. I am sure if you are dealing with a terminal illness you probably think about it more often than others. But the truth is,… Read more.

Desire to Inspire

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  People come in and out of our lives all the time. If you’re lucky every once in a while someone will not only come into your life but they will change your life for the better. I consider myself lucky because this has happened to me two years in a row. In 2011 when… Read more.

This can be a simple question to some but a deep question to many others. As I said in my previous blog it starts and ends with Faith for me. Without faith how can you have hope, and without hope how can you live your life no matter what you are facing.

That kind of brings me to acceptance and denial. For a while I denied what I had and hoped it was something else. Eventually I had to accept this diagnosis to continue to live my life. Some may believe that if you accept something difficult you lose the ability to have hope. Nothing could be more false.  I went from denial and hoping for a different diagnosis to acceptance and hope for a cure or a difference maker in the medical field. Little did I know something would happen this week? For the first time ever a doctor has discovered a cause for all forms of ALS. It is hard to fix something very complex when you don’t know how it broke.  Now the hope has shifted again for the difference makers in the medical field to discover a medicine to attack the problem and slow down or hopefully find a cure for all those suffering with ALS.

As a parent I have many hopes for my kids but health and happiness are at the top of the list. I can’t imagine what it is like to hear that your child has a terminal illness no matter the age. My mom is 83 and I can see the worry in her eyes and feel the heartache she has for me. I also know this has added additional stress to her which isn’t healthy for anyone. This new news brought new hope to her that maybe something could be done to help her son.

I don’t know if they will discover anything soon enough to help me but I hope so. I don’t know what my children will grow up to be but I hope it makes them happy. I have many hopes but most of all I have faith. My hope is that all your hopes and dreams come true and no matter what you are facing. Never lose hope in what may seem impossible there are many difference makers in this world.      


Jim.