By Matthew Lukshaitis Pine River Area Schools Superintendent Sometime in August, my wife, Terri, and I found a small antique store and pulled\u00a0in. While Terri browsed, I went book\u00a0hunting. I found a book entitled "When Pride Still Mattered" by David Maraniss,\u00a0the Pulitzer-prize winning biographer. The subject of the book: Vince Lombardi. Of course, the book was about Vince Lombardi and how he grew up in a tough\u00a0neighborhood in Brooklyn, attended Fordham University, coached high school,\u00a0became as assistant football coach at West Point, and later as the head coach\u00a0of the Green Bay Packers became the living embodiment of the pursuit of\u00a0excellence in sports and to many people, in life. A\u00a0teacher, Vince Lombardi had a lot to offer to a nation entering the\u00a060s and 70s. His lessons about football and living were driven in like nails. Be strong. Improve yourself daily. Dare to challenge\u00a0yourself. I read the book and found myself gaining insight into my father\u2019s life\u00a0and my own. My father coached high school and college football, baseball,\u00a0softball and hockey for about 35 years. He\u00a0didn\u2019t share his emotions much, but on the field, the ice and on\u00a0the diamond, he was Coach Luke and he guided his players and his kids through\u00a0life and he taught us how to face our nemesis,\u00a0Adversity. My dad never was Vince Lombardi,\u00a0but the lessons he taught to his many players and me were similar: life is tough,\u00a0so be tougher. Never underestimate your opponent. Prepare. Play harder than\u00a0you have ever played every single down, every single at-bat. My father often\u00a0quoted Lombardi, \u201cIt\u2019s not whether you get knocked down, it\u2019s whether you get\u00a0up.\u201d I realized while I was reading that I\u2019d heard my father repeat Lombardi\u2019s lessons\u00a0all of my life. The quotes on the\u00a0wall in his office like, \u201cWinning is not a sometime thing, it is an all time thing. You\u00a0don\u2019t do things right once in a while ... you do things right all the time,\u201d and my\u00a0favorite, \u201cA man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and\u00a0have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and\u00a0if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things\u00a0that are worthwhile, it can be done.\u201d The greatest lessons in life are learned when you are down in the mud\u00a0and that something happens inside of you and you get back up. Your willpower\u00a0takes over. Nothing can stop your ascent. It\u2019s an amazing\u00a0feeling when you stand up then, even if your legs wobble and your head spins,\u00a0even if your stomach is queasy and the world looks out of focus. There is a\u00a0clarity in standing that just matters. Forever after that first climb up from the mud and rain you see, you know that\u00a0you can. That was Lombardi\u2019s legacy for my father, my father\u2019s legacy for me,\u00a0and the legacy of a teacher-coach. My father was and is the most powerful figure in my memory \u2014 he shaped me\u00a0and helped me dig down deep and get back up when I didn\u2019t really want to\u00a0many times \u2014 and I guess I owe some of that to Vince Lombardi\u2019s dogged determination and to David Maraniss for writing that book so long ago. When you keep your eyes open and your mind sharp, you just might find a life lesson in your teacher, your coach or a book in an antique store. Our education doesn\u2019t just happen while we are in school, but a lot of impressionable moments sure seem to mark themselves upon us while we go through school. Honor that teacher who mattered to you while you were getting up the first time; be a legacy for your kids.