At the end of every summer camp season, Mike Wall and I plan a fall fishing trip. Last year, was no different than any year.  And, like most year’s, Mike caught the biggest fish. We spent a few days in Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. I always tell Julie (my wife) that we’re also having some very productive business meetings. She’s never fooled by my sales-pitch. However, she’s amazingly supportive and always encourages me to take the time to re-charge the batteries. She knows I come home re-energized and enthused about the next year. Of course, there’s always a honey-do list waiting for me when I return.

The trip is always a great time. We build a couple of campfires, discuss the previous summer and plan the next year or even the next few years. It’s been around these campfires that we’ve discussed partnerships, designed changes to our website, and outlined the GMS Coaching Toolbox, etc.

I’ve often heard my dad say, “man plans, God laughs”. He has plenty of life experience so he should know. I returned from my fishing trip on Sunday October 3rd 2010. Julie had planned a meeting the next day with our health insurance broker to discuss some changes to our policy. But, she was overbooked as she had missed a mammogram in the spring and had re-scheduled for the same day. So, I went to the meeting without her. We later met for lunch and she shared with me that she needed to have a biopsy as something appeared in the mammogram. I felt a little trepidation, but Julie wasn’t worried as she’s young and exceptionally healthy so I put it in the back of my mind.

Shortly after lunch, I checked on my mail and there was a package from Coach Suzie Pignetti (Charlotte-Latin HS). It contained a thank you letter for sponsoring their Serve-for-the-Cure event and a pink tie-dyed shirt from the event. Suddenly, everywhere I looked, there were pink ribbons. When I watched Monday Night Football, there were pink towels and pink socks. It was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for some reason I suddenly started feeling as though our situation was a bit ominous.

I’m writing this blog a year later. It’s been a good year, a busy year, and at times a rough year. In my family, everyone has learned who’s the toughest and strongest person in our house.  I once heard someone define faith the following way: faith isn’t a blind trust in something unseen, it’s confidence and trust in what you observe and witness on a regular basis. Something about that statement has always resonated with me. And, in the case of my wife, she has always responded to life’s challenges in the same upbeat, confident, and tenacious manner. At a very early age she started turning lemons into lemonade. So, when the results of the biopsy came back, she responded in that same upbeat and determined way. We caught it early. Julie had worked as a registered nurse and so we knew who to ask for help. We were fortunate to be referred to and to receive outstanding medical care.  Julie handled her situation with grace and courage. A year later, Julie is a survivor.

This fall, volleyball teams all over the country will be Serving for the Cure. There are so many people in our sport who’ve been impacted by this disease.   Likewise, there are lots of people and groups making the time and sharing their resources in an effort to find the cure.  Thank you to the teams in Charlotte for  hosting the annual Serve for the Cure Volleyball Tournament.  To read more about their efforts, click on the link below.

Sports Shorts for September 30