Wednesday, 29 May 2024

The Randomness of Life’s Unexpected Turns

This guest blog by Eric Hodgson, chair of the USA Volleyball’s Grassroots Commission, and full-time Director of Outreach for the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball, takes us on a personal journey of unexpected events and reflections. With vivid storytelling and heartfelt anecdotes, Hodgson shares his experience of facing a severe medical condition and the profound lessons he learned along the way.

Struck by the Unforeseen

It all started with a sudden, excruciating pain that brought Eric Hodgson to his knees. Clutching his abdomen, he was faced with the unknown, unsure of what was causing this unbearable agony. After a call to 911 and a harrowing journey to the hospital, it became clear that something serious was happening.

Searching for Answers

As medical professionals worked to diagnose Hodgson’s condition, the uncertainty and fear loomed over him. Was it appendicitis? Gall bladder issues? The questions swirled in his mind as he grappled with the relentless pain. Eventually, a diagnosis of pancreatitis shed some light on his condition, but it didn’t fully explain how he ended up in this situation.

The Power of Statistics

In the midst of his medical journey, Hodgson had an encounter with a surgeon who challenged the conventional wisdom and statistical expectations. This doctor’s refusal to accept a generic diagnosis and his determination to find an alternative answer struck a chord with Hodgson. It reminded him of the importance of questioning assumptions and seeking new perspectives, both in medicine and in coaching.

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The Rollercoaster of Recovery

Hodgson’s recovery was marked by moments of triumph and setbacks. The hospital became his temporary home, where he navigated a nonstop parade of tests, procedures, and sleepless nights. Surrounded by dedicated medical professionals, he found solace in their expertise and their commitment to alleviating his pain. Through it all, he discovered the power of humor and its ability to lighten the heaviest of burdens.

Lessons Learned and a New Perspective

As Hodgson emerged from this life-altering experience, he gained a newfound appreciation for the randomness and unpredictability of life. The medical event served as a powerful reminder to cherish every moment and embrace the unexpected. It reinforced his dedication to coaching and teaching others, and it deepened his gratitude for the support of his loved ones who rallied around him during his time of need.

In this extraordinary tale of resilience and self-discovery, Eric Hodgson reminds us that life’s twists and turns can shape us in unexpected ways. With a renewed sense of purpose, he is now prepared to face any challenge that comes his way.


Q: What was Eric Hodgson’s diagnosis and how did it impact his journey?

A: Eric Hodgson was diagnosed with pancreatitis, which caused him extreme pain and led to a series of tests and medical interventions. However, his case proved to be more complex than initially thought, highlighting the need for individualized care and a determination to find the right answers.

Q: How did humor play a role in Eric Hodgson’s recovery?

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A: Humor served as a valuable coping mechanism for Hodgson during his hospital stay. A well-timed joke or lighthearted comment from a nurse or loved one brought moments of relief and positivity during challenging times. It reminded him of the power of laughter to uplift and provide solace in the face of adversity.

Q: What lessons did Eric Hodgson learn from his experience?

A: Eric Hodgson’s journey taught him the importance of embracing life’s randomness and appreciating every moment. It reinforced his commitment to coaching and teaching, as well as his gratitude for the support of his loved ones. This experience deepened his understanding of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of perseverance.


In this captivating account, Eric Hodgson, chair of the USA Volleyball’s Grassroots Commission, shares his personal story of confronting a severe medical condition and the profound lessons he learned along the way. From the initial pain and uncertainty to the moments of triumph and the power of humor, Hodgson’s journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. With a renewed appreciation for life’s unpredictability, he is ready to face any challenge that comes his way. Join him on this remarkable adventure of self-discovery and find inspiration in the face of adversity.

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