is the one where I feel like I don’t have enough time. For some this feeling is induced by a list of nonsense tasks whose completion yields little in the way of accomplishment. It never is for me, and thus the not-enough-time feeling is precise evidence that I am filled with purpose.
Speaking of, Gary Smith on Jim Valvano:
“But I can’t sit here and swear I’d do everything differently. I wouldn’t trade those years. Nobody had more fun than me. How many people do you know who’ve had their dream come true? You’re looking at one. That was my creative period, my run, my burst of energy. . . .” Start his own company, JTV Enterprises? I can do that. Write his own newspaper column, his own championship-season book? I can do that. Broadcast his own daily radio commentary, his own weekly call-in radio program and local TV show in Raleigh? I can do that. Sell the advertising time for his own radio and TV shows? I can do that. Commission an artist to paint an NCAA championship-game picture each year and sell the prints to boosters of the school that wins? I can do that. Commission a sculptor to produce life-sized figures of the greats of sport for teams to showcase outside their stadiums? I can do that. Write a cookbook? (He didn’t know where the plastic bags for the kitchen trash can were.) I can do that. Make 10 Nike speeches, 20 alumni-club speeches, 25 to 50 speeches on the national lecture circuit and a dozen charity speeches a year? I can do that. Design and market individualized robes to sports teams that have female journalists in their locker rooms? I can do that. Appear on the Carson show, the Letterman show? I can do that. Host his own sports talk show on ESPN? I can do that. Take on the athletic director’s job at N.C. State as well as coach basketball? Are you sure, Vee? I can do that.
This was not for glory, not for money. There was none of either in the AD’s job, for God’s sake. It came from a deeper, wider hunger, an existential tapeworm, a lust to live all the lives he could’ve lived, would’ve lived, should’ve lived, if it weren’t for the fact that he had only one. A shake of the fist at Death long before it came knocking, a defiance of the worms.