Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marcus Lattimore and the (occasionally horrific) trials of the elite student athlete

Marcus Lattimore
A day later it's still there. The image on my mind as I awoke this morning was that of a horrific injury to a student athlete. Right now, I am wishing the best for all of the young people who believe so fervently in their sports and give it their all on the field. I am ironically reminded that those of us who root for them as athletes, but care and work with them first and foremost as students, have a tremendous opportunity. 

Guided well, student athletes routinely grow into people who make you beam with pride. Marcus Lattimore, who - in images of vivid clarity - was injured in a nationally televised football game yesterday, has an incredibly challenging road to recovery ahead of him. ... Though it might seem detached, overly-romantic and sappy to write this, it remains that when I interact with former student athletes, I routinely see the way in which initial adversity has been key to the strength of character they have come to embody. As Mr. Lattimore recovers I pray that he is guided and supported well. He will be struggling to walk normally before even thinking about running. He will also have tough times emotionally. But when he comes through it, and if he comes through it having been guided spiritually and emotionally as well as physically, he will be exactly the person I will be cajoling to come and talk to kids I work with ... exactly the type of person we'll admire most. My thoughts are with all student athletes this morning, and of course, are especially with Marcus Lattimore.

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