Monday, October 31, 2011

What's important to you?

Brett Greenwood was a walk-on football player for the University of Iowa but soon began to take over the field. After graduating he came within one step of making it onto the Pittsburgh Steeler NFL team.

However, he didn’t was cut this fall and returned home. On Sept. 9, the dedicated player was working out to not lose his edge. On his old high school’s football field he collapsed during a workout.

Greenwood had developed an abnormal heart rhythm, which caused his heart to stop. He lay in the University of Iowa Hospital for about a month in a medically-induced coma as doctors figured out how much neurological damage had been done.

According to the newly established Brett Greenwood Foundation, he is recovering and working to regain his strength and mobility.

People from throughout the state - those who went to high school with him, those who played Hawkeye football with him, those who simply watched him play Iowa football - have banded together to raise money for him and support him and his family during this hard time.

Even football games were dominated with green shirts while he was in a coma.

Greenwood was an acquaintance of mine. Although I didn’t know him well, I think I knew his personality. Even when he was younger, he was the type of be committed to his sports 110 percent - if that’s possible. He rarely smiled and seemed to think everything in life serious.

Greenwood had great success in his college football career, and I’m sure that getting cut from the Steelers at the last minute was like a shock to the heart. I’m sure it seemed like football was the only important thing at that moment.

However, as he struggled for his life and now struggles to get back to a life he remembers, I bet football doesn’t seem anywhere near as important - if not to him, then at least to his family.

It can take serious situations for people to realize what’s important.

Sports, work, hobbies — people have different priority lists. I talk to people who are so busy that they can’t find 15 minutes in a week to talk with me for an interview. I never want to be that busy, at least with activities other than spending time with my family.

Many people fly from work to play practice to Bible study to the computer to check on work and then head to bed after saying hi to their family.

I want to make sure that people are the most important part of my life for my whole life, and that if something serious happens to me or my family that I know I’ve had my priorities in line.

I’m not saying that Greenwood’s priorities were out of whack. I just think that situations like this give us a good reminder to remember what’s important in life. Are you treasuring it like you should?

To find more about the Brett Greenwood Foundation, visit

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