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I love Hills – (Dedicated to Coach John Heise)

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



Coach Heise had a huge impact on my life.

He knew I was a kid in trouble. So he asked me to join the track team.

But I did not want to be in track.

He enlisted a couple of kids to recruit me. I flat out refused. But they persisted. So, about a week later, I showed up for track practice.

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: I did not enjoy running.


But I kept coming back to practice because I did enjoy the camaraderie and Coach Heise’s encouragement.

He would round us up for a ten-mile shuttle run. One at a time, our group of runners would sprint up 100 yards to where Coach was. We did that over and over for ten miles.

That was my first run…and I thought it was so dumb. It didn’t help that I was wearing the wrong kind of shoes, so my feet were covered in blisters. I was done.

But Coach and my teammates encouraged me to stay. So I stuck around.

Coach Heise got stuff out of us that a normal human couldn’t.


You may remember a hill in Rhinelander called Hogs Back. Man, it was tough. It’s been redone so it’s not much of a challenge nowadays, but back then it was a big hill.

When you finished sprinting to the top of Hogs Back, you were fairly certain you were gonna die.

But Coach Heise had a way of getting in our heads. When we were running up a hill – whether it was practice or during a cross country race – he instructed us to shout, “I love hills! I love hills!”

People probably thought we were nuts.

But y’know what? It worked. Running that hill became a little bit easier… and we psyched out the other teams, too.


We once even beat Wausau West, the team that went to the State Championship. Keep in mind, we were just a bunch of running misfits shouting “I love hills!”

My best mile was a 4:59 in Wausau. And remember, I hated running.

But I loved Coach Heise.

A great coach teaches things that you carry throughout your entire life. Coach Heise was one of the best. He taught me to never give up. To keep pushing. To get through it.

Even today, when I face a challenge, I say to myself, “I Love Hills.”

I hope you have a Coach Heise in your life.

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – This Northwoods Note is dedicated to Coach Heise, who passed away on January 12th 2022. He may have left this world, but his impact will be felt for generations. Thanks, Coach.


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