i know i said i was going to read the captain’s leaves of grass, and i even started it, but then two things happened. one, it was really hard to read. as in, too serious and difficult for me to concentrate on when i am reading in bed at the end of a long day. definitely not something i’m going to read on the bus as i make my way around the city. and two, i found out about stuart scott’s autobiography every day i fight, published just after he passed away in january after battling appendiceal cancer for 7 years.
if you know even the slightest, smallest thing about me, you know that i love sports. if you’ve spent any time in my parents’ house, the television has generally been on a sporting event or on espn. i grew up on sportscenter, and i grew up watching stuart scott. i loved watching him, whether he was anchoring that show or showing up on another. i loved his enthusiasm for sports, and i loved how he always seemed like a kid in a candy store when he was at live events.
i was living in india when scott was first diagnosed, so i could only follow his story from time-to-time. i remember visiting my parents and catching him on an episode of sportscenter and commenting on how different he looked but how awesome it was that he was still up there, doing his thing. it was one of those reminders that nothing in my life was ever as bad as it seemed, and that if he could get up there in the middle of chemo to anchor a show, i could probably deal with whatever got thrown my way.
in scott’s book, he chronicles his life with cancer while providing background information on growing up black during a time of integration in winston-salem, north carolina. he talks about his days as an undergraduate student at unc during the era of michael jordan. he discusses his journey from beginning as a reporter in florence, south carolina, to his eventual appearance as an anchor on espn. and above all, he writes about the two greatest loves of his life, his daughters taelor and sydni.
scott has always been open about how much he loves and dotes on his daughters, and that love is never more apparent than it is in his book. any reader will immediately recognize the genuineness of his love and admiration, and there were many points where i felt like i knew them myself because of his words.
i highlighted a lot while i was reading, and i thought i would share two of the things that stuck with me the most:
when you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. you beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live
…in sports, the media, or the cancer ward, the one true thing i’ve learned is that life is hard but that there is redemption in the struggle
the first quote is from scott’s acceptance speech when he received the jimmy v award for perseverance at the 2014 espy awards. i made the mistake of watching a video of his speech before leaving the office one day, and i’m just glad that most everyone else had already left because i definitely cried. kind of a lot.
stuart scott, you are missed every single day, by your family, your friends, and by those of us whose lives you became a part of. i never knew you personally, but your spirit and your legacy will live on for a good long time. thank you for sharing your words with us.
my goodreads rating: 4 / 5; average rating is 4.52.
crossing off the popsugar reading challenge: a book published this year.
next up: i have not been following my predictions very well in the last few months, but i think i’m in the mood to revisit harper lee’s to kill a mockingbird. it’s been a seriously long time since i read it in school, and i would like to see how different my reading experience is as an adult.