I was sitting in the bleachers at La Cañada High School watching my daughter Sabine cheer for the freshman football team. I was working hard trying to maintain my focus on “The Heart and The Fist,” a book by Eric Greitens, a humanitarian and Navy Seal. His character was compelling as he spoke of the importance of personal spirit, hustle and hard work.
I read each paragraph and often surfaced for a moment’s contemplation. During one such occurrence my eyes focused on the movements of a young man mingling with the players on the sidelines. He was not dressed in pads and helmet, but wore an LCHS football jersey, No. 29.
He was smaller than the other players, but there was something special about this kid that made him standout among the larger players. I watched his every move. He was running up and down the sidelines distributing water, towels and a pat on the back, and he did so with a skip in his step. I saw a defined spirit in him, a certain exuberance, which, according to Emerson, “Is the mother of all effort and without it, nothing great was ever achieved.”