The Jimmy V Speech

I’ve been thinking about the Jimmy V Speech a lot lately.  For those that don’t know, Jim Valvano was the head basketball coach at NC State who was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the first annual ESPY awards.  The speech was delivered the summer after he was diagnosed with bone cancer and less than two months before he passed.  Though cancer had spread through his body, he still stood and delivered one of the most incredible speeches of all time where he focuses on the other people in his life, and some simple words to live by.

Even in the little time he had left, he still focused on helping others and fighting to get beyond this disease.  The speech is famously referenced by one of the closing lines of “don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” but I found two parts that I found more inspiring.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities, but it cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul, and those three things are going to carry on forever.”

-Jimmy V

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