I am sitting at my good friend Dave Moritz's house in Dyer Indiana (just a stone throw over the IL-IN border and on the south edge of Chicago). Dave played at Iowa back in the 80's and was a great wide receiver in his day. He and his wife Kathleen hosted us Friday night on our way over to the Purdue game. From their house it is about 90 minutes to the stadium so it is a good stop over for us.
Dave is a lifelong resident of Chicago and a huge Cubs fan. So he and the entire city are all a buzz for Game 1 of the NLCS tonight at Wrigley Field against the Dodgers. Plus the Bears are in town on Sunday so it is a big Chicago sports weekend. Lot's of energy and we are looking forward to a great weekend.
Last post I spoke about having a vision for your life and the importance of visualization and believing in your vision. Yesterday we were driving out to Chicago from Iowa City and as we were driving I noticed the geese were flying. A cool, beautiful fall day, football in the air, leaves on the trees changing colors, and the geese flying. It reminded me of an experience I had back in my days as a GA at Iowa. I was just done playing and was working with Coach Ferentz on the offensive line at Iowa. Kirk always loved to go visit his mentors and watch them in action. At the time his good friend Joe Moore was the OL coach at the Vikings. So we loaded up and drove up to watch a couple of practices with the Vikings.
Back in the day Bud Grant was the head coach of the Vikings and I believe generally very well respected. He was there for a long time and of course got the Vikings to the Super Bowl 4 times (but without a victory). Growing up in Cedar Falls my dad was a big Vikings fan and still is to this day.
But Kirk and I were up in Minneapolis at the Vikings practice facility. After sitting through some meetings and the like, we headed out to the field to watch practice. Typically practices in preseason are around 2 hours long and this one was about that. So about an hour into practice as we were on the field and everyone was going about their business, we heard a long blow of the whistle. Everything on the field stopped, an entire professional team and all of its coaches, players, and support staff, came to a complete halt. I was a bit confused and as I looked around people pointed to the center of the field were Coach Grant was standing. He was completely oblivious to everything else going on and was staring up at the sky. I followed his eyes up and there going across the sky was a huge flock of geese. Honking away as they do, in formation, and just filling the sky.
Coach Grant stood completely motionless, eyes up to the sky, and just watched the flock as it passed over us. We all stood there, in silence, looking up for several minutes until the flock passed overhead and slowly disappeared into the horizon. Once they were out of sight, Coach Grant blew his whistle lightly, giving permission to start again. As he did everyone redirected their attention from the sky to the field and we were all back to football.
I later learned that Coach Grant was an avid outdoorsman who loved nature and wildlife. Apparently this was not an unusual occurrence for the Vikings. For as much as Coach Grant loved football and was a "big time" football coach, he never lost his love and passion for the other things in his life and always strived to make time for those other things. I always took this as a good reminder of the need to set priorities, have goals, and make sure to appreciate the little things in our lives that make it so special. Taking time to appreciate the moments, people, and things that stir our soul and nurture us in so many different ways. A reminder not to let your work and other interests lead you in to missing the small and very important things in your life that make it so rich.
So encouragement to keep your vision strong. Believe in that vision. See it in your mind. And be sure to include and take time for the things in your life that make you feel truly alive.