About a month ago, an always insightful coworker left this book on my desk with a Post-It note… “I think you will really enjoy this.”

As it turns out, he read it in about three days.  Being likely the world’s slowest reader and conquering about two chapters a night, it took me about three weeks.  I savor every word 🙂  All joking aside, I did savor this book and it is a quicker read than my pace indicates.

Donn Behnke is a legendary high school cross country coach from Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  With the ease of a seasoned storyteller, he recalls the inspiring, entertaining story of his 1985 team.  The story revolves around Scott Longley.  Scott was a developmentally disabled student living in a group home who became a most unlikely hero.   This book blessed me with three takeaways:

1) People can do amazing things when simply given an opportunity.

2) Pause and appreciate those things in life that are easily taken for granted.

3) Live and “be” in the present as much as possible.

Well, one more that I will not include in my official list above…  Having run cross county for a few years in high school, I am absolutely amazed by the workouts and training of top-tiered teams such as the one in this book.  What we did for practice was their warm-up or even less.  Dead serious!

Whether you’re a runner or not, I’m confident you will enjoy this read.  Give it shot.  It will make you laugh, tear up, cheer, and reflect.  What more can you ask for in a book?  Well done Coach Behnke, and thank you for generously sharing this story.

2 thoughts on “The Animal Keepers

  1. Mark, I just discovered your blog entries. So thoughtfully written and I will be looking forward to future entries. I feel so priviledged to have worked with you and so many other fabulous people at Jewelers. Miss you all. Please convey my greetings and best wishes.

    1. So great to hear from you Diane!! I was very, very blessed to work with you. You left such an impression on me… centered in kindness. Thanks for following my blog. I won’t let you down 🙂

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