Franco Lalama said those words to colleagues on the morning of September 11, 2001. He had led the evacuation of engineering offices on the 64th floor of One World Trade Center, but then, moments after heading down the stairs, he turned back. He wanted to check the offices one more time—to make sure no one had been left behind. He lost his life ensuring that others would live.
“He put himself last and everyone else first,” his wife Linda said.
Recently I watched my favorite sports documentary: Survive and Advance, the tale of N.C. State University’s inspiring NCAA basketball championship run in 1983 and Coach Jim Valvano’s fight against cancer. I’m always moved by the story of his legendary 1993 speech at ESPN’s ESPY awards, where Valvano, despite having “tumors all over my body,” despite vomiting throughout the flight to the event, despite needing assistance to reach the podium, outlined his emotional and spiritual philosophy for life.
“There are three things we all should do—every day!,” he declared...
As she approached her 40s, Kayt Sukel suffered a midlife crisis—in reverse. Instead of binging on wild adventures—bungee jumping, big-game hunting, flings with Bieber-aged men—Kayt became a play-it-safe suburbanite, which is not how she sees herself. In her youth, she was the kid who’d climb the highest tree and accept the biggest dare. As an adult, she swam with sharks and trekked through Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. For Dirty Minds, her book on sex and neurobiology, she experienced an orgasm while undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging scan (no, she doesn’t have a radiology fetish—she volunteered for a study at Rutgers University).