The Bridge Over The Bitter River (Excerpt from Rebound: From Pain to Passion – Leadership Lessons Learned)

“The Bridge” is a long winding road with a hefty emotional toll. There are many treacherous curves without guardrails. It was easy to drive off into “The Bitter River.” Plus, the toll was so hefty I wasn’t sure I wanted to even try to cross “The Bridge.”

I was raised to say the right thing and have a good attitude … to be grateful. I remember my wife quoting Sally Stanford, “When you are getting run out of town, get out in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade.” We put up a good front in public. I was the former UNC coach. 2001 AP National Coach of the Year. I was “America’s Guest.” I’d play golf and was working for ESPN. We attended great events. Life wasn’t too bad, as we moved into a new house, and were surrounded by family and good friends.

However, I drove into “The River” more than I care to admit! It didn’t take much. Triggers were everywhere. A comment here, an article there, a game on TV … I couldn’t escape it. It wouldn’t have mattered if I lived in California. These triggers were all over the place and they would drive me right into the water.

It’s easy to swerve off the road and become bitter. Staying on the road to become better is hard! It is a long-term process. It will test even the best of men and women.

Learn & Grow!

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