Rose and I had the opportunity to listen to Chris Speilman speak on Wednesday at the Victoria Theatre. The title of his talk was “Living with Hope”. He is doing motivational speeches on behalf of his late wife’s foundation for breast cancer research. He was inspiring, straightforward and very positive.
Chris told us a bit of his background which I can sum up in one phrase: “I was born to be a football player”. He was a very successful linebacker in high school, college and professionally. He was the prototypical “tough guy”. But none of that prepared him for his wife being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. The rest of his talk was about that ordeal – but in an uplifting way. His wife commanded the family upon her death that her death was NEVER to be used as an excuse, but as a motivation. He talked about his family (he has four children 18 years and younger) having a mantra that was something like “today is a good day, tomorrow is looking good and all the days beyond that, who knows?”. His point was they needed to live in the moment because that is where we are.
Talking about hope, his emphasis was on the kind of “hope” he believes in. Not the “hope of “wishing”. But the hope for the future. It was a strong faith-based hope for the future. I am sure I cannot give Chris’ passion and articulate the justice it deserves. But it was powerful. We all face adversity in life. Some more than others. He closed with asking us all to not allow our problems to define us. We get to choose how we approach every day. As he put it “cancer is incapable of love, it is incapable of caring. But we get to choose to love, to choose to care about others, to choose to help others”.
It was an inspiring and thought-provoking night. Rose and I bought his book, “That is why I am here”. I’ll let you know what we think after reading it.
A short video about Stefanie Speilman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XoN9GA-mGU&feature=related