Carry on

It’s Sunday evening and the beginning of a new week. Yesterday morning I woke up at the lake, awakened by a barking dog wanting to go outside. This morning I woke in my bed at home to a barking dog, reminding me it was time to get up and get moving. Some things in life are constant.

It was great to get away to the lake. It’s magical. But, there’s magic here, too.

carry_onUp at the lake I was able to relax and breathe. I was also, to find a quiet place and read. When I packed up left the lake yesterday, I only had a few chapters remaining in the book I was reading – Carry On by Lisa Fenn. This morning, after I let Ivy outside and then let her back inside, I poured a cup of coffee and then I sat down in a quite space and I finished reading the book.

There are a few books which after I read, I want to know more, I want tell someone and share. There are books which change my perspective and make me want to continue to be a better person. Carry On is one of those books.

Carry On is the story of three people – the principles in the story – Dartanyon Crockett, Leroy Sutton, and Lisa Fenn. It’s the story of how the three met and how their lives intersected to change the lives of more than the three, and seemingly everyone touched or connected to the story.

The story began in February 2009 when Lisa Fenn first learned of Dartanyon and Leroy and flew to Cleveland, Ohio to meet them. At the time, Lisa Fenn was a producer for ESPN and Dartanyon and Leroy were high school wrestlers, seniors. It would be the last time either would wrestle, competitively. But that day, marked the beginning of a relationship that would change the three forever.

A blind wrestler who carried a legless wrestler.

I first learned of their story five years later in the spring of 2014. I don’t remember how I came across the story, but I did. I’ve been wrestling (no pun intended) with this post for over two years. By the time I had learned of their story, two videos had been produced by ESPN and the story had largely played out. You can watch both – the videos are embedded below. However, if you only have time to watch one video, watch the second video produced in 2013.

Carry On. Originally aired on ESPN – August 2009

Why I stayed. Originally aired on ESPN – August 2013

Dartanyon’s and Leroy’s story moved me. It moved many other people, too.

This morning I sat in church and listened to the sermon. Our pastor pleaded with me that it’s my responsibility to think beyond myself. The pastor was speaking to the entire congregation, but I was taking it personally. It’s the first Sunday in Advent and the message was that I am expected to do great things, actually all of us are.

It’s been a great day. I’ve attended church, raked leaves, made turkey soup (it smells delicious, by the way), and spent several hours planning lessons for the coming week. But, I can’t keep from thinking of Dartanyon and Leroy and wondering what if Lisa Fenn had never heard of the two young men? Would someone else have been there for them?

I suppose the magic at home is the ability to be the light for young people in my classroom. I realize I am not the light for all my students, but for some students I am the best part of their day. Yet, the magic is also what my students teach me.

There is magic everywhere, especially at this time of the year. There are four weeks until Christmas Day, until then, I’ll be Making the Days Count and beyond. Carry on.

Keep working to make the days count.

5 thoughts on “Carry on

    1. Phil, thanks for stopping by. Happy Birthday – I am five ahead of you, let’s keep it that way. The story is inspiring and even more that the tow are growing and developing. Dartantyon won the bronze at London and Rio in the paralympics. Amazing.

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