Inspiration comes in many forms – sometimes it comes when you least expect it.
In 1993, I began an 8 year journey in coaching that transformed my life like no other experience (except my conversion). I had just graduated high school three months ago from LA Baptist, and a friend of mine asked if I would join him coaching. I said sure.
For 3 years, I struggled to find my coaching formula, but in 1996 we began to find success and it came to me through the smallest of things – encouragement. When I invested in the girls that I coached, they responded. We are an at-large entry in the CIF SS Cross Country Finals that year, placing 13th out of 13 teams, but the point was we were there.
In 1997, our girls team upset the long-time league champions and went on to place 6th out of 13 teams at the CIF SS Cross Country Finals. That year – visualizations, pool workouts, letters, investing, flowers, and whiteboard sessions were the focus of our success, and an alter-ego named “Fat Harvey”.
After a year off for school, I returned in 1999 to use the same formula to win another league title. Unfortunately, not all the encouragement in the world could erase an end of season tragedy when one of our girls went home to be with the Lord two days before her 16th birthday from a rare form of leukemia.
In 2000, we won our last league title, and I bid a fond farewell to coaching and the girls I had coached since they were freshmen. Almost everyday, I am reminded of lessons I learned while walking and running with these teams. Everyday was not easy, but in the end my inspiration came from seeing dreams become realities – even from the most unlikely of people.
Inspiration is what touches us most, when we need it most.
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