Todd Lynch, OD ’07, has built many parts of his life upon one foundation: an enduring love of basketball. He believes that the teamwork, trust, and sportsmanship intrinsic to the game have made him a better man. Dr. Lynch applies basketball fundamentals to optometry, fatherhood, and his secret (until now) passion: writing. He has completed three books in what will be a six-book fiction series about basketball players, coaches, and fans.
Dr. Lynch co-owns T.S. Advanced Eye Care, Inc., a practice with two Costco locations near Madison, Wisconsin. There, a trio of ICO alumni offer “integrity-driven, empathetic care to a diverse group of people from infancy through adulthood.” Dr. Lynch is an active husband and father, carving out time to write between business ownership and children’s activities. The stories he authors are about teamwork, growth, courage, and, of course, basketball. We followed Dr. Lynch for a day as he balanced work, family, and his journey to getting his hoop dreams published.
"Mornings are typically busy. My wife, Jennifer, is a twelve-year educator in our school district. She and our son, Graham, need to leave for school before 7:30 a.m., which means I’m generally getting lunches made, backpacks set aside, snow gear packed, dishes washed, water bottles filled.”
“Once Jen and Graham are out the door, I take Penelope to her preschool. We’ve been fortunate to have wonderful day care providers and early childhood education programs in our community. ”
“I guess the secret is out, now! For the past twelve years, I’ve been writing a series of books in the sports-fiction genre about a boys’ high school basketball team. They’re a reflection of life lessons learned from my experiences on the basketball court. I’ll often try to sneak in some writing time before I start work.”
“For the last year and a half, I’ve been learning what I have to do as far as getting published. Here, I’m speaking with Joyce Gilmour about submission material. Joyce is a friend to our whole family and a freelance copy editor. She points out some of the big and little things in my writing that I don’t always see and has given me stylistic feedback.”
“This is Sean Sweeney, OD ’07. Sean and I were classmates at ICO. We’re both tall, from the Madison area, and like basketball. It’s no wonder we co-own a business! Sean and I have learned a lot over the years from both our patients and each other. The best part is that we’re still friends, and still have fun with what we do.”
“Looking back, I think we both envisioned a scenario where we’d be opening cold. Great opportunities can sometimes come around in ways you don’t expect. Life is all about adapting. I’m far from perfect at it, but I feel that attempting to embrace the concept has helped me as a person, a working professional, and even as a writer.”
“We have to make the most of our space, but it works. [Costco] definitely has everything you need- state of the art equipment, our own receptionist. We get patients from towns that are thirty to sixty miles away... I feel like we have a responsibility to take exceptional care of them.”
“This is Melissa Giesler, OD ’18. One month after Melissa joined us, our Middleton clinic location was destroyed by a flood. It took two weeks for our clinic to reopen… and probably between five and six weeks for us to bounce back to our regular patient volume. We appreciate the work everyone did, particularly on Costco’s side, along with the flexibility of Melissa and the rest of our clinical staff.”
“We’ve had ourselves a real winter this year in Wisconsin, with snow, wind, freezing rain, and a polar vortex thrown in for good measure. Jen and I try our best to get the kids outside year-round; it’s good for your body, your eyes, for your mind. We’ve learned so much from [our kids,] and they challenge us in every conceivable way. Most importantly, they reward us with the gift of unconditional love.”
“Religion classes, soccer, ballet, baseball, basketball, swimming lessons… we’re right in the thick of it. I help out on the days that I can, but Jen deserves a lot of the credit. She is an amazing wife and mother. Penelope deserves credit, too; she’s the tagalong for a number of her brother’s commitments. Here we’re playing a game of Memory while we wait for him to finish wrestling practice. She beat me 11-7!”
“Basketball is a game you can play for your whole life. Some of my most enduring friendships, and even my relationship with my wife, started on basketball courts. The life lessons of success and failure that I’ve learned on the court have been some of the most important ones of my life. The writing process I’ve adapted as an author isn’t all that different from how I trained myself as a basketball player.”
“Jen and I have been reading to our kids since they were babies- Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, Dr. Seuss, Elephant & Piggie, Batman, and more. We hope to continue fostering their love for reading throughout each respective stage of their young lives. Our kids read and our kids run. It’s a simple formula, but it seems to work.”
“I’ve been burning a lot of midnight oil. There are days (and nights) when writing these books feels like both the reason for, and bane of, my existence. I’ll continue to see this through until it’s completed. For years, I’ve been putting the characters of my story into situations outside their comfort zones, where they need to show courage and fight for what they believe in. As I find myself faced with the ironic challenge of having to heed my own advice, I realize who my writing voice has been talking to all these years.”