This is a story about sports, but at its heart it speaks to the passion that we all strive to pursue in our own daily lives.
To those of us in the Diabetes Community, an Indiana man named Brad Stevens could have been a piece of the larger puzzle we experience in Living with Diabetes. We should be thankful that he didn't, but we should also take a lesson from his playbook.
But it wasn't meant to be. While living a comfortable life as a recent college grad, the Lilly spot didn't entice him as much as his lifelong passion for basketball. He'd played since he was 5, and was a high school and college player. A modest and humble one, at that. He didn't see that being his career, so he went for a "real job" at Lilly. Though he was volunteering outside Lilly, he wanted more. So, he quit Lilly to pursue that passion. He took a job at Applebee's, and his girlfriend at the time went back to law school in case his dream didn't work out. He volunteered to work at Butler's basketball camp and he soon worked his way up the ranks, taking the head coaching job in 2007.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer on April 3, Brad's wife is quoted as saying: "We were 23 and realized this was our chance. Five years down the road, we were probably not going to be in a position to do that. The more success you had at Lilly, the harder it would be to leave."
All because he had a passion, and left the ranks of Eli Lilly to pursue a dream.
Since the Final Four came to Indianapolis a week ago (as it does every 5 years, as the NCAA HQ is here), the city has been awash with optimism, hope, spirit. It's brought fans in from across the country. Granted, I haven't traditionally been a Butler fan. Even in the final matchup to get to the championship game, I was rooting for Michigan State - as I am from Michigan, and my dad's got a law degree that has MSU's letters on it. Personally, my alma mater is Oakland University - which got to Dance this year for the second time ever after its Dancing debut in 2005. Sadly, OU got knocked out in the 1st round - but they'll be back. Go Grizzlies!)