A Special Place

13 Nov

*Note:  I am studying Spanish at Kansas State University and had the opportunity to interview Kansas State coach Frank Martin in Spanish and ask him about a variety of topics.  This first article is on his first impressions of Manhattan.*

Before Frank Martin disembarked from the airplane to go to Manhattan, his only experience of the state of Kansas was a recruiting trip to Garden City. Accordingly, he expected that Manhattan would be like Garden City.  But when he was in Scenic Drive and he saw the famous Flint Hills, he was surprised.

The greenery and vegetation of the hills contributed to a beautiful scene, Martin said. Later, when he saw the city, he loved it as well.

“My first impression was that it was completely different than what I had imagined,” Martin said.  “The first day that I went into the city, I loved it, and that opinion continues and continues to become stronger every day in the last five and a half years, as I continue learning more and more about this community, and it is a great place with tremendous people.”

The Martin family has always lived in large cities.  Martin has coached in Miami, Boston and Cincinnati and his wife is from New York.  In these places, the houses are practically on top of each other, and the traffic makes it difficult to get from place to place. Everyone is always running around in a hurry.

So, Manhattan was a new experience for the Martin family.  Here, there is more space. There is not as much craziness, as Martin put it.

But there is one element of this place that Martin appreciates more than any other: the people.

The month that Martin arrived in Manhattan, he became sick.  Anya, his wife, was planning to go for Cincinnati.  He told her that she should go and that he would be fine. But the illness was more serious than he thought.  When he went the doctor, he was sent immediately to the hospital.  Here, in the time between his wife’s departure and return, Martin he was alone.

But one of the doctors, Dr. Wall, tried to make conversation with him and keep him calm.  That generous and understanding attention showed to Martin the importance of individuals to this community.

“I never forgot that,” he said with admiration in his voice.

In this situation, Martin knew that there is something special about Manhattan.

Although moving is a normal part of the life for coaches, it can be difficult at times.  When Martin arrived in Manhattan, he knew nobody and had hardly spent any time in the state.  But along with all other in the profession, moving is a given.

“In this profession, one knows that he has to be prepared to accept the possibility of having to move, of having to be in a new community,” Martin said.

“We came here with open arms and an open mind to accept the next chapter in our life, and we are extremely happy.”

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