No matter how old we get, the world is still divided into the mean people and the kids that get their asses kicked. My biggest human failing is that I am naive enough to think people, at their core, are decent and kind. I like having hope. I like to think the world can be a better place. Therefore I will always be a kid that gets their ass kicked.
It wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that I have never toughened up. I am sensitive and my heart is easily broken. And when the person who plays 3 of the most important roles in my life chooses to play the wrong two roles, who should be beating up the bullies that have pushed me down and kicked me, it makes the beating a little harder. I don’t understand why, when he had the power to stop it, he chose not to. I still adore him, he kept me together the best he could while still trying to cover his ass, and I love him for not abandoning me all together. But for the first time since he entered my life, the pure and innocent love is tainted. A corner, dark part of my heart hopes for his world to burn down around him for this betrayal. I hate myself for those thoughts.
But still I rise. I stand on my own. Lessons are learned and on dark days the Universe sends us our most precious gifts. I suppose I could try harder to toughen up. I suppose I could give up hope for the human condition. But it’s not who I am. I learned very young, when these beatings were literal, my heart and hope will carry me through.
My business blog was a little personal this time. It follows:
My favorite athlete and role model, Elisabeth Akinwale, is in the midst of prepping for The CrossFit Games in July. It will be her fourth appearance.
The first time I saw her compete in person I was amazed at her composure. When she finished an event miles ahead of the competitors, she remained calm and composed. When she finished middle of the pack, she remained calm and composed. My hero portrayed herself as impenetrable regardless of outcome. I later read her blogs about the weekend and was amazed that underneath what I witnessed, she was not as calm as I thought. I have so much to learn from her as an athlete and woman.
This year she was a shoe-in to win Regionals. I witnessed her start her weekend with a PR snatch. I couldn’t wait to see her in the rest of the events. I knew I was in for a spectacular weekend watching, in my opinion, the greatest athlete I have ever seen achieve something remarkable. Event after event she struggled. Interspersed among first place finishes were placements of 3, 11, 12. The shoe-in to win finished in 2nd place overall. In her post-Regional blog :
…I’m really grateful for how things turned out. Second place feels like a gift from the Universe. Something I need, but certainly didn’t ask for or want
It has been a long, hard week for me. Life handed me a few first place finishes but more 11 and 12’s than I imagined possible. And, good or bad, I don’t have the superhero composure of Akinwale. I doubt most of us do. I knew there was a lesson to be learned if I could only see it, that the Universe was sending me a gift if I could just be still enough to let things unfold and reveal itself.
Last night I was ordering an Akinwale T-shirt for one of my athletes that reads “Still I Rise”, the title of a Maya Angelou poem. It reminded me that even heroes have challenges. Truly what makes them heroes are their ability to overcome those challenges. I looked up that poem and it did indeed put the entire week into perspective for me. Reading it brought me the calm and peace I needed to remember who I am, why I do what I do, the importance of remaining true to my values and loyal to the people I love.
If you find yourself facing a particularly difficult time, perhaps it will help you as well. If you are not struggling, I highly suggest keeping a copy of this with you for your time of need. And remember, the world falls apart sometimes. When it does, rise.