Recently in Leadership class, we were assigned an essay in which we chose a ‘decision for success’ from the book “The Traveler’s Gift”. I chose to write about the last “decision”, ‘Persist Without Exception’. It turns out a great example of this trait is seen within my football coach, Chip Sherman.
Here it is:
If someone were to ask me how I would describe persistence before this year, I might have responded by saying something simple like, “just keep going.” But experiences this year alone have provided me with a better way of defining what it means to “persist”.
Coach Sherman is a prime example of this success trait. Earlier in the year when coach was diagnosed with cancer, I was heartbroken and frustrated with the world. I cried for the first time in recent memory, which is really saying something.
My outlook completely changed on his situation the first day of summer conditioning, when the team walked into the weight room and he had a smile on his face. He was happy to see the team, and the team was happy to see him. He explained to us that the next couple months would be rough, and that he may be in and out of the program with chemo and various appointments. Yet, coach hardly missed a beat, making it to almost everyday of conditioning and every camp. Even more, he shows up at the crack of dawn just to exercise for his own personal well-being. Not to mention, he’s around after hours leading successful practices.
How does he do it? I couldn’t say. But he never questions what he does. He “persists without exception”.
Even more, coach has physically and orally expressed that he will not cave to this illness that causes many others with the same condition to stay in bed all day. Everyday, Coach Sherman persists without exception.
Coach is the reason I chose the seventh decision for success, I Will Persist Without Exception, as the decision that has the most significant impact in my life now. Facing challenges in my own life everyday, I am humbled when I compare them to those of coach and it helps me find personal strength to get things done.
By just living his life the way he wants to live it, Coach Sherman, is in my eyes, a physical representation of what it means to persist without exception everyday.