Monday, May 09, 2011

Figure It Out by Mark Speckman [Book Review]

Mark Speckman was my college football coach at Willamette University. Two characteristics about Coach stand out to me:

First, he was hilarious. I laughed all the time around him. It's rare to find someone that can have such a deep focus and passion, yet be able to find humor in almost every situation.

Second, he had no hands. Born without hands, Coach had to figure out how to live in a world clearly designed for people with hands. As a result, his ability to figure things out is better than most people. It helped him figure out how to drive, win football games, and even play baseball. So far, the biggest challenge he hasn't overcome is figuring out how to tie his own shoes.

So, when I heard that Coach had a new book called Figure It Out, I got it. Sure enough, it's full of hilarious stories and inspiring lessons. I think one of the interesting aspects of his book is how he was attracted to football because it didn't matter what you looked like - just how you performed on the field. As such, he was able to play linebacker and started in 40 college football games. Now he's the head coach at Willamette and enjoying success at that fine institution.

To really get a feel for the type of book and person Coach is, I recommend this 10 minute video of him giving a talk. Even if you don't buy the book, this video is worth watching.

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