I’ve always loved the sun.
I’m inspired by it. The way it nourishes. Soothes.
I have an insatiable need to be in it. The sun refuels me. I find guidance and answers in its warmth.
After a beautiful morning workout on the beach on March 2, I went back to mom’s house in the San Fernando Valley to journal. Writing is therapeutic for me, and has become a significant part of my life.
What I wrote initially shocked me. But at that exact moment, a ray of sunlight gracefully passed through my mom’s kitchen window and onto my face in a comforting, almost poetic way.
I took a deep breath, and felt overwhelming relief.
That wasn’t a coincidence, I thought. It was reassurance.
I knew what I’d written was final:
“I’m retiring from professional basketball.”
‘ice’s words reminded me to go searching for another basketball wordsmith, Sherri Coale. From the Desk of…
Coale often shows her appreciation by hand-writing notes. She estimates she’ll write 50 per week. Often, she tasks herself this whenever there is free time. Bus trips or flights are important moments to find the space and clarity to craft these messages.
“I just think it’s one of the biggest little things you can do, and anybody can do it. I have lived just long enough to receive the rewards from having done it. It’s so easy. I spend about 20 minutes a day. I keep a running tally of whom I’m going to write. I’m getting new-wave if I kind of keep it on my phone now. I kind of keep it in a notebook in my purse but I’m trying to transition over to the phone. It’s funny if that’s always in the back of your mind, how many people you know just that you need to appreciate or a fan has been diagnosed with cancer and needs a boost, but these things come across and I write them down not to forget. I refill this caddy probably every two weeks. I go through a lot of notecards.”
Write Space & Time (WHY, oh Oklahoma SID folks, is it so hard to find these…. and their archived versions?) CHASING 20 YEARS, November 2015
Ah to be in the right place at the right time…blessed, I continue to be! In 1996, I was coaching ball in a black and orange sweatbox at Norman High School. In the spring of that year, about two miles across town as the crow flies, the University of Oklahoma began its search for a head women’s basketball coach.
We were still tired jawed from smiling about our second state championship when a group of folks from the community showed up at the tacky precipice of my Lady Tiger Locker room to tell me they thought I ought to throw my hat in the ring at the University.
I laughed at them and asked them if they had been drinking or if they were just flat crazy. I remember how they didn’t laugh back. And I vividly recall starting to sweat. I was eight months pregnant with my second child, I loved my life and my work, and, God, I loved my girls. People think I’m joking when I say even considering the possibility was difficult, but it was.
Just as courage isn’t an absence of fear, but rather a willingness in the face of it, service isn’t just giving what someone else needs, it’s giving what only you can. Gifts laced with pieces of the giver have the power to lift and buoy and rally. They dig a trench for underground connection—the kind that changes people. And thus the gift never stops giving.
As the women’s basketball program at the University of Oklahoma, our team and staff have a broad platform from which to serve.
This past week, our last week of holiday break before the spring semester began, we jumped on that platform every day to try to impact our community as deeply and as broadly as we could.
And, considering the news out of Belgium and Turkey and… something from Anne Frank:
It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them!