Trainer Teaches Eight Phys Ed Classes a Day

These past weeks I experienced the most consistent kindness that has ever come my way other than from my wife. I was at Holland Hospital, and the staff there created an exceptional fusion of professionalism, expertise, and warmth.

Imagine a world where this is a universal incarnation.

I once knew a minister who greeted everyone with “Hi ______! Man, you look really good and with all that’s going on right now in your life . . . ” He knew.

I wonder what it might be like if we gently assumed the pain of one another and greeted each other with such understanding, compassion?

Trainer Teaches Eight Phys Ed Classes a Day

And he goes to
every game. He
knows pain’s
every name, lets it
lead him through
its landscape
to the perfect
place to stay.

He’s a priest
to the mortal
sins within
the skin, the
muscles, blood,
and bone.

If pain refuses
to confess,
he prays
his prayer,
says, “Can you
still go?”

–Jack Ridl

First published in Nebraska Territory
Subsequently published in Losing Season (CavanKerry Press)

I’ve hit a bump in the road, requiring surgery and a long healing time. And that means unscheduling or rescheduling a few things:

The August 13 Reading at the Red Dock will be postponed until next year.

The August 20 Reading at Book Nook in Montague will be rescheduled for some time in the fall or winter.

Good News! Noah Davis, son of long time friend/poet/writer/environmentalist Todd Davis, has won the Emerging Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize from MSU Press!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Visit Reader’s World or Hope-Geneva Bookstore in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

Jack’s page on Amazon.

Click here to subscribe to receive Jack’s poems and news in your inbox.

Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

Click here to watch Jack’s TedX talk.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Kindness.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Everyday Forgiveness.

Jack at Fetzer Institute on Empathy.

Jack Ridl at Fetzer Institute on Suffering and Love.

Beyond Meaning with Jack Ridl, C3: West Michigan’s Spiritual Connection

24 thoughts on “Trainer Teaches Eight Phys Ed Classes a Day

  1. Dear Jack,

    I hope this message reaches you. As always, you inspire me, even in the midst of challenge; especially in the midst of challenge. Please continue to heal and receive kindness. 🦋


    Sent from my iPhone


    • I can’t imagine being inspiring. But it’s an insult not to accept your
      sustaining words that in turn inspire me to keep on. Deep thanks!

  2. We  hope your surgery provides you relief from pain and that your recovery–though long–will be as smooth as possible.  Many folks out here in Holland-land are thinking of you and wishing you well. Ann and Herb Weller

    • What a joy to hear from you two! The physical healing will take care of itself.
      The thoughtfulness of your message heals the heart.
      My deep thanks!

  3. Pleased to know you can hit that keyboard again. Trusting you to be compassionate toward our friend Jack. ??Yes?? Hoping so. Heal more. Lots more. XO

    A Traditional Foods Enthusiast

  4. So good to hear from you here — and to know you’re receiving good care. And you know there are thousands of us sending love from every which way to you!

  5. Left the house this AM very early (need to be at work by 6:30). Left asking myself if I could make it all the way to October without hearing your voice through your poems and decided it was time to unpack my books when I got home. SO DELIGHTED to know you are now in the process of healing! May it continue without incident!

  6. Ministers of a new covenant – ministers of kindness, compassion, the kind of love that has no strings attached – Many of your replies to your friends resonate in the same chord as Psalm 16:3 “I say of the holy people who are in the land, ‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.'” You delight in people and it is a delight to witness – and so you are a minister of delight. Thank you deeply. Glad and grateful for your words.

    • Ben, how did you know that quiet delight has been central to my days?!!!
      Thank you so very much for sending me to that verse!
      And thank you for your words that hold to this heart.

  7. So glad to hear from you again. Here is to your continued healing. So glad you received loving care at Holland Hospital.

  8. Jack, hope the recovery from surgery is going well. It needs to, as you need to continue to share your gifts with the world.

  9. Good vibes and get well soon wishes from all your friends at Ludington Writers. Thinking of you, Jack
    Jeanie M.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s