[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/08/sunshine.jpg]I was watching Sports Center on ESPN last night when a certain story caught my attention. The focus of this story was Tennessee Tech basketball Head Coach Mike Sutton who was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome. GBS is a rare life-threatening disorder that affects only one in 100,000, caused by the body's immune system attacking part of the peripheral nervous system. Sutton was hospitalized in April as his condition worsened to what he described as if he had been buried alive. Coach Sutton had no use of any skeletal muscles and was only able to blink his eyes during his worst week as he struggled to survive.
With the same strong work ethic that Sutton built his career and led his team, he fought back. Eight months later, after hours of rehabilitation, the determined 49 year old graduated to a wheelchair. Since November, he has regained movement in his arms and legs and can now stand and walk with assistance. Amazingly, Sutton is back to coaching his team despite the remaining physical limitations.
As endurance athletes, we are not strangers to pain and suffering, though the difference is our conscious choice to participate in such endeavors. I am truly inspired by Mike Sutton and the way he handled such a debilitating setback. I hope this story will inspire you.