There are no rules on how to raise a family.
You can read a book, listen to some expert. but when family time starts for real, it is pretty much learn as you go. It is an adventure complete with smiles, tears, triumph, adversity. It is not something you can fake and get away with.
Kids know, parents know.
The Redick children of Roanoke, Virginia, can stand on their own and pat themselves on the back…if they choose to do so.
The oldest, twin girls Catie and Alyssa, both have college degrees and were basketball players at Division I Campbell University in North Carolina.
The oldest son, J.J., is a graduate of Duke, was Player of The Year in college basketball in 2006, and was the first round draft pick of the Orlando Magic in the NBA.
David lettered in three sports in high school, is a freshman at Marshall University, and is attending school on a football scholarship.
The youngest in the family, Abby, is a high school student, a star basketball player, and intends to play basketball in college.
Their parents are Ken and Jeanie Redick. Ask the kids about their individual lives, about what matters to them, what is important to them, and they come back with the same answer though the wording and emphasis may be a little different. Mom and Dad, the family.
Abby says, "My favorite moments are when my entire family is together because it is hard with all of our busy schedules. It is great to just spend time together and it is always entertaining."
Adds Catie: "My favorite memories always include my sister and my mom, either hiking in the woods, my mom teaching us to cook and cross-stitch, playing dress up and dancing. Whatever the activity, the best thing is how much time my mom spent with my sister and me and how much we laughed."
For Alyssa, the answer again goes back to family: "The day I married my husband was the very best day of my life. My family was there to celebrate and enjoy our union. It was very special."
"Every summer my family goes to the beach in North Carolina," says J.J. "Those are my favorite moments - spending time with my family."
For David, he appreciates the role big brother J.J. took in encouraging him to play football in his junior year of high school, when he had never played the sport before. He calls football "the best experience of my life" and says he would not be a football player at Marshall without the influence from J.J.
David also counts among his favorite memories an accomplishment of his brother.
"My brother woke up the morning of the state championship game with a torn ligament in his foot and he could barely walk. I remember praying for him all day that God would take the pain away. J.J. went out and scored 43 points and his team won the state championship. That was something really emotional to experience."
"We taught our children to never give up and never say never. What you dream and believe, you can achieve with God’s help. Nothing is impossible with God. We gave them opportunities, support, and encouragement. But the work was up to them," Jeanie says.
The Redick name is a familiar one to AIM Members. Jeanie participated in a skit at the Tucson convention in 2005, she directed a workshop at the 2006 convention in San Antonio, and she is a regular facilitator for AIM teleclasses. She also has her own nutrition business, Eat for Life.
As is the case with a lot of AIM Members, adversity drew Ken and Jeanie to The AIM Companies™. They were facing a health challenge, heard about the AIM products and gave them a try.
"After switching to AIM's whole food supplements, we noticed increased energy and reduced symptoms," says Jeanie.
"At first I just wanted to make enough money to pay for our family's use. We signed up a few people, held a few meetings, and got a check every month to pay for our personal use. Then Ken had a career change and we needed extra income. We realized we were sitting on a gold mine if we just tapped into it. We got serious about our AIM business and saw it grow. Then I went back to school to become certified as a nutritionist and have even more opportunities to help others improve the quality of their lives. This work is very fulfilling."
Jeanie and Ken are great believers in the AIM products. They use the Garden Trio®, Herbal Fiberblend®, Proancynol® 2000, Frame Essentials®, and, just recently, added AIMega® to the list.
"We have always been health conscious," explains Jeanie, "raising our organic garden since 1976 and vegetarians since 1971. We used to take handfuls and handfuls of vitamins and minerals. We still suffered colds, flu, sinus infections, and fatigue. But when we switched over to AIM's whole food supplements we noticed not only did our energy increase, but we didn't get sick any more."
Like parents, like children. The Redick kids are also believers in AIM nutritional supplements.
For Catie, it is BarleLife® and Herbal Fiberblend®. "They keep my energy up and my digestive system clean and regular," she says.
For twin Alyssa, it is the same two as Catie, plus Proancynol® 2000. "For regularity, overall health, a stronger immune system, and as an antioxidant."
J.J. takes BarleyLife®, Herbal Fiberblend®, RediBeets®, Proancynol® 2000, Frame Esssentials®, and Just Carrots®.
Ken and Jeanie are graduates of Ohio Wesleyan University. Ken has a degree in English literature, Jeanie in pottery. They met in the school's pottery studio, were married after college, and bought land in Tennessee, where they constructed a large pottery studio and worked at it for fourteen years. They built a studio/home themselves, cleared the land, planted fruit trees, and home-schooled their children for ten years.
"Our children learned teamwork and sacrifice for the good of the whole," says Jeanie. "With home schooling and a home business, everyone had to pull their weight."
In the 1990s both went back to school; Ken became a certified addictions counselor and Jeanie a certified nutritionist. By the early 1990s the Redicks had five children who began heading off in at least that many directions.
How do they keep track of it all?
"I have a color-coded calendar for sports," Jeanie says. "Each child has his/her own color and the games are entered and highlighted by color. Last winter I had three children playing basketball – two in high school and one in college. In December we had twenty-eight games and in January we had twenty-five games to attend. But we love every minute of it and would not trade it for anything. We have logged an average of 35,000 miles each year on our travel car since 1997 when the twins went off to college."
The children have worked at becoming the athletes they are, but having good genes in the family does not hurt. Ken played basketball in high school and in college. Jeanie participated in high school basketball, was on the track team, the golf team, and the ski team.
J.J. feels coming from a family of five kids helped each of them to succeed.
"We all pushed each other to succeed. And our parents were very encouraging."
Catie agrees. "We are all goal-oriented and very competitive. We learned this from our parents. We saw how hard they worked for all of us and the sacrifices they made for our family. We all want our parents to be proud of us and we have always pushed hard to be on top or be the best."
Alyssa adds: "We were raised to work hard for what we want in life, to strive for the best, and follow our dreams. Our parents have always supported all five of us."
It is no different with the youngest, Abby.
"Having parents who support you, no matter what, make our goals more reachable. I motivate myself but it is also great to have the support of your family behind you as well."
As the youngest, Abby “got the chance to see what hard work can do and how it can pay off. My siblings all have fantastic work ethics and I got to learn from their experiences."
To their credit, David says, "our parents never pressured us into doing anything or playing any sport." He says his older sisters set the tone when they worked hard and earned college scholarships in basketball, then came J.J. and Duke, and David and Marshall. David feels Abby will follow in their footsteps. "We are an extremely competitive bunch of kids," he adds.
Ken and Jeanie point to their parents as the foundation for the family work ethic.
"We were raised by our parents who taught us the value of hard work," says Jeanie.
"They had been World War II veterans and children of the Depression. We were not afraid of hard work," a trait obviously passed on to their children. Hard work and motivation. Talk to a Redick and those terms keep coming up.
"Your motivation is your leverage," Jeanie believes. "It's what keeps you going when the going gets rough." Abby's motivation, her leverage, "is that great feeling when you succeed."
For J.J., "My motivation is to be the best at whatever I do. I love winning."
Catie notes, "My motivation in accomplishing something is knowing that I gave 110 percent and did the very best that I could do."
For Alyssa, "I know this sounds corny, but I try to do the very best I can in all that I do. I don't feel satisfied until the best efforts are put forth."
David says he wants to "represent my family name as well as I can" because family members "before me have worked so hard to make a name for the Redick family."
This is a family who works when work is called for, but also has a variety of hobbies and interests. Jeanie is a tennis player and enjoys hiking, riding bikes, and working out in the gym with her husband. They also spend time with a couple of family pets, an English Springer Spaniel and a Hungarian Vizsla.
J.J. plays video games, watches movies, and likes to read U.S. military history. David, like J.J., enjoys video games and watching movies. Catie relaxes by lifting weights, running, playing some basketball and football. Alyssa, too, likes to work out and finds time to design jewelry. Abby, like Alyssa, has an interest in jewelry. She designs and makes it and, she notes, “I actually have a small business."
For Jeanie, the mother of this achievement-oriented, hardworking family, how something is achieved is simple enough to explain.
"You have to keep your eyes on the prize. The prize is your goal, it is the WHAT. The motivation is the WHY. You have to always remember the WHY. Otherwise, you will lose your focus, get distracted, get discouraged, and give up."
Special Occasion Calls For a Special Speaker
When his basketball career at Duke ended in 2006, J.J. Redick had enough records and accomplishments to fill several pages in the Duke basketball guide.
How he got there - the hard work, the motivation, the setbacks, his dreams, his use of AIM products - will kick off The AIM Companies™ 25th anniversary celebration June 20-24, 2007, in Orlando. Redick will be the featured speaker on the opening morning of the convention.
At Duke, he was Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) player of the week eight times and twice ACC Player of The Year. He was also named the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player two times.
A member of several All-American teams in his junior and senior years, was named by several sports organizations and groups as the college player of the year in his senior year.
Redick was selected in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft by the Orlando Magic.
What fans never saw was what it took for him to become the best.
At age seven, J.J. decided he wanted to play basketball at Duke. He began practicing three hours a day in the family driveway - rain, snow, ice, it didn’t matter.
By the time he reached high school, he was practicing five hours per day. He led his team at Cave Spring High School in Virginia to the state championship and he earned his scholarship to Duke.
There were times when he might have given up, but he didn't.
He broke his wrist three times in six months in the eighth grade. Each break came on the basketball court and each time he was on a fast break and he was undercut (his legs taken out from under him as he went up for a shot). Not very sporting, but if he couldn't use one hand, well, he learned to shoot with the other hand.
His mother, Jeanie Redick, knew when she watched her son outside in all kinds of weather, that he was practicing to realize his dream and that he was putting in all that time knowing the moment would come when it would all pay off.
She recalls one of those moments.
"When J.J. was a freshman at Duke, they won the ACC Tournament. They were behind with 12 minutes left and it looked like they were going to lose. J.J. got that look in his eye that he knew he had to step up and help his team. He went on fire and started draining shots. When they won, I started to cry. I realized he had played this game before over and over in his head as a child in our driveway. It was always the championship game and there were only seconds left on the clock, his team was down by a point or two, and J.J. had the ball. Swoosh, he would drain it at the buzzer. He had practiced that over and over in his mind and over and over in the backyard, then it happened."
J.J. now has a professional basketball career to concentrate on, to be the best he can be at the very highest level of the game he has played since he was seven years old. When his time in pro basketball is finished, he says, "I want to be successful at whatever I do - coaching, business, or TV-related."
It is hard to imagine him being anything else.
As for the AIM meeting, J.J. says he is "excited and honored to be part of the AIM convention."
His mother only smiles: "He will do a good job," she says.
She should know.