Carry the Weight, Lift the Weight — It’s What We Do

TAGS: Sandy Hook, Oklahoma tornadoes, Boston Marathon, brotherhood, Marshall Johnson, live learn pass on, dave tate

This morning as I drove to work it was a typical morning. Training went well, the kid’s lunches were packed for school, breakfast was cooked, and I was on my way. I turned on the radio and the news was live with reports about Oklahoma, the destructive tornadoes of May, and the lives lost because of it all.  At that moment my happy little morning changed. Physically I felt heavy like a weight was on me. I thought of my own children and how those parents must feel. Then my mind drifted back to the last year, Boston, Sandy Hook, and Aurora. In all of it there is a deep sadness. To me there is something much worse, helplessness; the feeling there is nothing I can do to stop any of these tragedies and nothing I can do to make them better.

We in the lifting community live in the knowledge that we are in control of our own destiny. We set goals, work towards them, and make them happen. There is a huge sense of power in the fact that we have a path, and as long as we work towards that path, nothing will stop us from getting there. This mindset carries over to every other part of our life. Even in the personal tragedies in life that “stay the course,” this mentality is a comfort for us. I don’t like feeling helpless. Just like the weight that we push, pull, and carry every day in the gym, if you dig deep you can carry emotional weight the same way. Not only for yourself, but for those around you, and for those you have never met. Why? Because that’s what we do, it’s who we are.

There is no greater satisfaction then making a difference for someone else. You get to know that another life got a little better because of what you did.  For the selfish reason, you don’t have to feel helpless.  Most of us can’t stop tragedy; it’s out of our control.  What we are in control of is what we do after the fact.  This is the moment we quit being spectators and become players in life.  Two prime examples would be what Dave Tate does with Make-A-Wish® and what Marshall “Freakshow” Johnson does with HopeKids®. This includes everyone that helps support these two within their circles, all the way down to the smallest donation. Each and every one of them, from the top to the bottom, helps carry other people’s weight. They also beat back that helpless feeling inside themselves, and inside the people they help.

I personally don’t know that I could do what Dave and Marshall do on such a large scale. I do know we can all do something. For example, make a donation. If you don’t have money, give your time. If you don’t have time or money, give a kind word to someone. Giving encouragement is free. Share your knowledge with someone struggling in the gym. You never know what someone is going through, but a small act of kindness or even respect can help share the load. All of us can help carry the weight or even lift it off someone else. Like I said before, it’s what we do, it’s who we are. Most of the time, by doing this, it gives that person the strength to do the same for someone else. Each one of us in that moment can be the person that stands for “Live, Learn, Pass On.”

Each and every one of us has had that moment when someone has been there for us. A coach, family member, or friend has made the difference for us. Pay that forward, give back what you have been given, and if you get the chance, thank them for what they did for you.

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