Ron Rivera is roughly halfway through his cancer treatment for squamous cell carcinoma, and so far, he's drawn motivation from everyone, including fellow adults battling the disease and the healthcare workers who are giving him such tremendous care.
There's one group that really touches Washington's coach above all the rest, though.
"The ones that impress me the most, and I've only seen a few of them, are the children," Rivera said on a Monday Zoom. "It's amazing."
Amazing is also an appropriate word to describe a story that Rivera then shared.
During one of his recent stops at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, he found out that a boy was about to finish up his final day of chemo. To help celebrate that monumental event, the staff at the institute wanted to perform "Baby Shark," the famous song and dance that was made extra famous during the Nationals' 2019 World Series run.
"All the doctors and nurses and all the helpers were rehearsing 'Baby Shark,' because when that young person was going to come out of their treatment, they were going to do the song for him," Rivera said.
And even though he wasn't able to witness the performance, he was still very impacted by it all.
"You draw from things like that, you do," he said.
A reporter followed up to confirm whether Rivera now identifies himself as a "Baby Shark" fan. Washington's leader answered by doing his own mini-rendition of the worldwide hit:
"Baby shark, momma shark, daddy shark," Rivera cooed with a smile. "I got it."
Sunday's game against the Ravens marked Rivera's most difficult day on the sidelines yet, and he told reporters on Monday that the "last week kind of snuck up" on him in terms of how much it tested his body.
He's determined to continue coaching, however, so he can serve as an inspiration to others. But as his above anecdote shows, he's receiving just as much inspiration as he's dealing out.