Single phrase keeps columnist from giving up, quitting
By Joe Black | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At his induction ceremony into the NFL Hall of Fame, Michael Irvin offered these words of wisdom to those facing trials and tribulations: “Look up. Get up. And don’t ever give up.”
I really like that. I like all that it implies.
Keep in mind that Michael Irvin didn’t always enjoy the best of reputations. He made more than a few mistakes. His prowess on the football field is inarguable but his life off the field left a lot to be desired.
In her book “Sum It Up” about dealing with Alzheimer’s, Pat Summitt describes an episode in a losing locker room when she insisted that her crying players look up, to look her in the eye, to focus on the good things that the just ended season had produced.
There is a spiritual side to “look up” as well that I like.
Back when I coached youth sports, when I spoke to a team, I always started by saying, “eyes and ears,” which meant I wanted both. There’s something about looking someone in the eyes that improves communication.
I know that’s what my son does with his daughter when he really wants her attention.
All of us have had problems at some time, some much worse than others. I’m reading a book called “Tell My Sons” by Lieutenant Colonel Mark Weber about his terminal illness and the messages he wanted for his three sons. The book is so emotional that I find that this father can only read a few pages at a time. But the underlying story is to not wallow in self-pity. Get up and fight the fight.
“Don’t ever give up.”
When I was a teenager, I had the poem “Don’t You Quit” on the wall of my room. Actually, I had it decoupaged (remember that?) on a wooden board. It travelled with me for many years and I’m pretty sure it is still in a box in storage somewhere in the house.
To pull from parts of the poem:
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill ...
Rest if you must but don’t you quit ...
... stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
Look up. Get up. And don’t ever give up.
Pretty good advice.
Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Write to him at (email@example.com)