Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech and I thought it was important to share with you. He said, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth and while I am facing a recent setback, I have a lot to live for!” Mr. Gehrig was diagnosed with what is now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the deadly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular disease with no known cure. If you are not familiar with who Lou Gehrig is, I suggest you look him up. He was probably the best all around baseball player to ever live and the least known. He played 17 years with the New York Yankees until having to retire due to his illness. Why am I telling you this? Well, he didn’t start out as the luckiest boy. He had a rough childhood and in many ways as the son of first generation immigrant parents, he was destined to work in a mill or some other industrial job like his father.
How did he become the “Iron Horse” and Hall of Fame player for the New York Yankees without great workout and practice facilities? What he did have was a tumultuous home life in Yorkville, NY and a father in and out of work due to bouts with alcoholism, a mother working as a maid at a Columbia College sorority and a sister dying at early age from complications from the measles? Those who knew him, talked about the “it” factor, the steely determination in his eyes, and the ever presence of grit and resilience he had to develop as a young boy.