Going into the corners

This post was originally posted in TheWorkout.Today on 7/22/19. I’m reposting it here, in honor of my Dad’s birthday: 2/26/20.

“He hits, he jokes, he scores”, reads the headline of a May 1983 profile of Bruce Tillotson, then a 21-year-old left-wing on the Ohio State Buckeyes hockey team.

“Tiger Tilly”, a tough player who was known for his ability to dole out hard hits on the ice, was an infamous jokester too, who even tried “wisecracking on the ice” considering it a “moral victory” when he could get the referee to crack a smile.

Bruce’s good humor never let challenges keep him down for long – even significant ones.

After suffering a severe concussion during a game and spending weeks in a coma-like state at the hospital, Tillotson got back on the ice, telling a reporter, “I can’t let the injury concern me. If I worried about being hurt again, I would not go into the corners, and if I didn’t go into the corners, I wouldn’t be playing the game.”

The corners are where the toughest action happens in hockey: where there is most likely to be rough physical play as players duke it out by the boards for control of the puck.

Bruce knew that the game of hockey comes down to the players’ abilities to face their fears and play in the corners.

Bruce employed that same mental toughness over the past 2 years and 8 months, since he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in November 2017. He was never afraid of heading into the corners, and he fought every step of the way.

Bruce passed away shortly after midnight on Thursday, July 18th. Moments after hearing one of his favorite songs by AC/DC* he opened his eyes for a moment, looked around at his family, and then exhaled his final breath.

Bruce is my Dad and my hero. I’ll miss him every day and I hope to play my life in the corners bravely, just like he did.

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Times have changed

For the second half of the training, everyone trooped to the cafeteria and broke into groups. Each table held a fake limb and a Stop the Bleed kit. The basic kit, which is sold online by the American College of Surgeons, costs sixty-nine dollars. It contains a C-A-T, a compression bandage, protective gloves, hemostatic gauze, and a Sharpie, for writing “tourniquet,” and the time it was put on, in a highly visible location, such as across the patient’s forehead.

As everyone took a turn with the fake limb, the track coach, who had taught at the school for thirty years, mentioned that, after Sandy Hook, each of the classrooms at Mars had been issued a five-gallon “lockdown” bucket. The typical bucket contains gloves, bandages, Smarties candy, and kitty litter, which can be used as a makeshift toilet. Shaking his head, he said, “Times have changed.”

Turning Bystanders Into First Responders by Paige Williams

Do you know how to use a tourniquet? What you should do if you find yourself at the scene of a public shooting? This article is educational, and also sickening and sad.

Death is normal

Death, of course, is not a failure. Death is normal. Death may be the enemy, but it is also the natural order of things. I knew these truths abstractly, but I didn’t know them concretely—that they could be truths not just for everyone but also for this person right in front of me, for this person I was responsible for.

Atul Gawande, from Being Mortal

I started reading Being Mortal this morning at 3am when I couldn’t sleep. Kind of an intense book to read in the middle of the night. This quote hit me as poignant and a metaphor for our culture around failure in general. Life, death, rise, fall: it is the natural order of things. Why is that so hard to accept?

 

This Week(s) in Photos: 4.15.18 + 4.22.18

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The couple we hired to install new floors at our house gave us an air fryer.

2018-04-11 07.09.15

Morning 6k race with November Project.

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Our logo has changed a bit over the years.

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Volunteering at Girls Inc’s fundraise event Power of the Purse.

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Peter and I ran a 5k in Corvallis, Oregon and this was the only photo I took all weekend. Go figure.

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Wish-making potential in our yard.

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Teammates and banana bread.

 

2018-04-21 13.11.28

Mama + coffee. We had a ladies cake-tasting weekend in Bend.

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This is where we’re getting married! So excited.

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Ladies looking pretty (terrifying).

This Week in Photos: 4.1.18

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Running errands. We bought Peter a suit for the wedding!

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Workout buddy. We ran some laps.

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Bus stop coffee.

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Charming business partner being charming.

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Filming a video and cracking ourselves up.

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Peter made me a schedule for my day… it’s a great experience to be walked realistically through what you can get done in a given day and then doing it. I usually set expectations too high.

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Plane snacks on the way to North Carolina.

2018-04-06 14.45.40

Best pillow.

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The spryest 92 year old you’ll ever meet.

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Southerners are peanut butter fans.

This Week in Photos: 3.25.18

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Walking the yard post-run with my fellow homeowner.

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Taking stock of the random junk in our yard… we have a spring clean-out coming up!

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Bridge views.

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Waiting for the bus in puffy jacket + sneakers weather.

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The Mt. Tabor reservoirs… always a pretty view.

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More good-smelling spring things.

2018-03-29 14.33.00

Reading Meaningful Work on the plane to San Francisco for a CEO Coaching workshop. Loving it.

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Dream of running across the Golden Gate bridge, realized! Here’s the sunrise view.

2018-03-30 06.45.16

It’s a mile and a half across – I can’t decide if it looks longer or shorter than that.

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A date with myself, a glass of wine, and my book. I love eating alone and believe it one of life’s great pleasures.

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Curious little neighbor during our yard clean-up.

This Week In Photos: 3.18.18

2018-03-18 11.25.19

I ran to Erika’s house to visit her and her child.

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I organized our office closet and all our stationary and supplies.

2018-03-18 17.29.02

Peter’s best man Richie came over to interview me for a bachelor party game.

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Beautiful view from Mt. Tabor.

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Team meeting views.

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City decoration.

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View from a track workout at Franklin High School.

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My mom’s favorite flower.

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Spying on my favorite lunch-eater.

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A little home yoga.

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Spaghetti squash and meatballs with red wine in front of the fire… YUM.

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IT WAS SO GOOD. No words.

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Waffles and bacon with Pete at Cameo Cafe, the coolest hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot.