Sunday, October 1, 2017

Pep Talk: "We'll Be Rewarded Too!"

Eager to return home to Denver and darling wife, your knucklehead scribe was hustling through Kansas City’s airport. After dropping off a vehicle, while passing the Enterprise counter, three young male employees are observed. They appear bored. It’s Sunday morning and kinda slow. “Go Chiefs!” I snort while cruising past. The young men earnestly agreed. Then, this Mile High City resident couldn’t resist. “Go Broncos!” Their witty response? In a slow and firm tone, “Nooooooooo.”

A few moments later, while on the transit bus toward the terminal, thy cranium focuses on an email received earlier. It came from a spectacular young man known since his birth. Now a freshman at Santa Clara University the basketball junkie, as a walk on, was trying out for the college team. In talking with his mother (she’s a long-time friend and A Stronger Cord stalwart) the proud momma shared about the hoopster's tryout. “He left it on the floor, is proud of the effort and waiting to see what happens.” Scotty Wiese didn’t make the team. Bummer. However, in the referenced email, the incredibly gifted magician (yep, that too) optimistically wrote of the excitement in helping the program as a practice player. Leaving it on the line, proud of the effort and okay with the outcome? What a great spirit.

We’re getting closer to the terminal when the brain zips to Liz Kelly-Hansen. She was one of five folks recently inducted in the Raytown, MO., school district's Alumni Hall of Fame. I was lucky to be honored a few years ago. Anyway, the wonderful woman shared an acceptance story of a young toddler with aching feet. “They hurt so bad I learned to walk on my ankles. I thought my mom would take me to the doctor. Nope. She took me to dance classes.” A star was born. “It turned a weakness into a strength.”

After graduating from Raytown schools in 1969, the dynamo went west. “I chose Los Angeles because of the way the sun set on the Pacific.” She earned a spot with the dance ensemble, the Golddiggers. Soon after, comedian Dean Martin showcased them on his hit 1970‘s television show. Then, Martin’s buddy, Bob Hope adopted the Golddiggers and included them on USO shows in Vietnam to entertain the troops. Almost a half century later, the studio owner volunteers considerable time serving isolated and displaced Vietnam veterans. From achy feet to an achy heart for wounded warriors. A wonderful example to the value of leaving it on the floor and turning weakness into strength.

One more admiring thought blasted the brain before departing the bus. Its source? A beloved husband and wife, the Bullard's. Regardless of the challenge, this faithful duet always seems to respond by leaving it on the floor for others whether family, students or community. I sure hope they’re proud of their efforts. It’s Hall of Fame caliber too. Thanks for letting me crash in your basement.

Back to the point. For us? This week? Lay it on the line, be proud of the effort and turn weaknesses into strengths. We’ll be rewarded too!

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