I will remember that day – locked into my memory forever. Yet it was only a start.
Walking alongside the back athletic fields of Seaford High, you could see the heat waves in the air and no kidding, there he and she was, in the middle of this heat, in the middle of this day where not many, if anyone should be outside, there he was. Vince Morris and Jackie were in the middle of maybe the hottest part of this day, putting back together a bat cage structure for the field. Vince was legendary BEFORE his amazing fight with cancer and all of you who were honored to grow up with him and know him during his fight, knew how legendary he always was moreso during his fight against anything and anyone that said great things can’t be done in the face of trials and obstacles.
I was reminded of this today. As I was watching the trailer for “I’ll Push You” and privileged to be given the book to this inspiring story – it hit me like . wave, those that have inspired me and at this moment, Vince came into my psyche immediately. And here I was. Delaware, when only a few weeks ago I was in MEXICO and to be honest, my head was still trying to catch up to speed from events that occurred in the last month and a half. I turned my head as my eyes filled slightly with the feeling Vince has always filled my mind, and took in what I saw. I saw this huge expanse of clouds, the bluest sky you could ever imagine, fields and fields of corn, slowly swaying in the wind, and the beauty of the journey. Not having escaped the whispers of Vince, among many, I realized the beauty of obstacles and mind stoppers seeming so overwhelming, but meeting people to let you realize, anything is possible . Vince was always there for me.
Called the Moctezuma stairs, alot of mornings I would climb the steep stairs at least 200 stairs, (more I think) at the Observatorio metro exit, and the funny thing, at the same spot almost every day – there was a whisper almost every day – it was Vince. He would say, “Seriously? You are tired? I was tired and yet, you saw me and the things I did?” Not being asked, Vince was pushing me even in Mexico. All the way.
The first time I walked through The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch last week – the first time in more than six years – so much came rushing back to me. The smells of pine led me to the numerous events that echoed calls back and forth across Chapel Branch, the warmups, the laughter, the tears, the heartbreaks, the picnics, the sandwiches, the pushing of each other, the pushing of yourself, hearing your breath from out of control to paced breathing after much practice, the moments alone, the moments together, I could still the legends of “Do” of Coaches Vince, Rob, Smith, Doakes, Arnetta and a HUGE list of those that learned so much from mistakes, successes and just each other. The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch truly IS a Chapel, a place of hallowed introspection that if you let it, much is learned and recaptured.
My supreme luck to for a needed hiatus, leave a Delaware behind that I never truly expected to, and little unknown to me then, leaving a Mexico I never expected to, returning to a state that had affected me more than I realized, leaving a country that changed me forever — when you say life becomes full circle, you need to realize there are so many aspects that you do not know are on the horizon. Yet the people that have inspired you, and can inspire you, and will inspire you, will always be there, even when you cannot see them in the present. I am so so lucky to have carried an ARMY of inspiration from so many – countless individuals that were students, teachers, mentors, colleagues, that led me to Mexico. A country I never expected to be and as you know from past blogs, leaving Mexico was a heart stopper because I never knew how much beauty, love, and open mindedness was in a country that the news never got right, let alone everyone that is affected by the news they hear and I thought constantly leaving an army of priceless students, colleagues, and dear dear friends in Mexico this month, how amazingly lucky I was to carry the love, the changes to my whole mind, with me back to Delaware where I started from, with the power I left with from so so many, and did not realize fully – you realize much about yourself through the journey, and many not planned.
The power of motivation is powerful, you truly see that in the stories from “I’ll Push You” and the trauma that exists in the world so many face every day, as we learned today in the film “Resilience”, and yet, knowing the amazing people that take you in, support you, champion your causes, and will have your back unconditionally as they have known you for YEARS, knowing that and being able to put into perspective that those moments can carry you through anything life tosses your way? Realizing you can give that gift to others, so they may find their way? This is absolutely priceless. PRICELESS. There is so much that can seem like a mirage, and yet, with the right people the mirage is for a moment, and the reality of what is behind what you are seeing – even thinking at the moment – can disappear and reappear for the better, you just have to allow it.
The reality of individuals to support each other, to remain with each other over countries, miles, and between colonias and neighborhoods can defy any negativity happening in attitudes, politics, locations, beliefs, ethnicities, and opinions. It sometimes take a mirage, and walking through it, to realize the power of one, that actually comes from so many. This is dedicated to the students, the powerful colleagues and friends, and family that believe making a difference is sometimes more important than self, and thanks to those individuals, your self also comes through the difficulties you are realizing at the time. Vince, among so many, you continue to inspire thanks to the determination that you always managed to find, and the place you have settled inside all of us. No mirage. Thank you.