It’s A Good Day!

Heart, mind, and soul. This is the time of year to recognize good causes and the messages they put out in the world. The champions of great causes have often dealt with the disease themselves or have a personal connection to someone who has struggled with it. For example “The V Foundation for Cancer Research” is named for Coach Jim Valvano whose words leave a lasting impression inspiring greatness as we enter a new year.

Hey, it’s that time of year where everyone is raising money for many great causes.  One of my favorites has always been The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Not just because of the cause, but even more so because of the message and how it is delivered every year since April of 1993.

In that year Jim Valvano, the Coach of the 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack, died.  But not before starting a foundation to support cancer research with the help of ESPN.  The ESPY awards were new back then and every year an athletic figure would be recognized for their great strength in tackling one of life’s hurdles.  Now coming from a dyed-in-the-wool TARBUCK, as I call myself, you would think to recognize Coach V would be an issue! Not so! For those of you too young to know much about Coach Valvano go back and pull up the video of the 1983 NCAA BASKETBALL Championship game. An airball turns into a dunk and Coach V runs around the court looking for someone to hug in celebration of the victory! He was acting out of pure joy! I love it!  

Fast forward to 1993 and a terminal diagnosis of metastatic cancer and watch as a man shows his true and wonderful character.  His words echo in my heart and brain to this day.  “A good day is when you can do three things! Think, laugh, and cry.  If you do those three things you have experienced a great day”.  Wow, let’s all take that to the bank as 2020 draws to a close!!

As I recently watched the wonderful speeches that have come in years to follow - Stuart “BooYa” Scott or Robin Roberts, or Craig Sager of NBA fame – All of their speeches bring tears to your eyes as they have all followed in Coach Valvano’s footsteps in dealing with a dreaded disease. But my goal here is not to be a downer but to be uplifting as we approach the Holiday Season of 2020.  So, do me a favor, please, if you get the chance! Put on fire, grab a beverage of choice then first sit back and watch the 1983 Final Game of NCAA basketball and those few minutes of pure joy and celebration.  Then fast forward to Coach Valvano’s poignant speech at the ESPYS in 1993.

 And as the year ends let his words echo in your mind and heart:

“You can take my heart; you can take my mind, but you cannot touch my soul! Don’t give up! Never give up!” 

Go forward into 2021 with this as your rallying cry! I get goosebumps at the thought.    

To read more of Dr. Rick Zollinger's blog "The Script Pad" go to

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