“Our third teammate unexpectedly dropped out at the last minute with a sick kid. Can anyone make it?”
A post to our gym community in the wee hours of a December Saturday morning. I thought about it, but plans were already in motion for a day of chasing my daughter and her friends as they volunteered to help with a younger girls’ lacrosse team. I sent my good wishes…hope someone can step in!
Then the text came in, just to me: “Can you do the comp today and then come get the girls?”
A pause. A stomach clench. My only job was transporting my kid and her friends and and now a friend was offering to take all that over so I could help on the team. So how could I say no? More stomach clench, I texted back.
“Ummmmm ok. If that’s the best solution.”
(Inner voice of doubt saying: “There must be a better solution!”)
From that moment, the whole day took a turn. What are the workouts? Do I need a shirt? I was already on the way to the gym…thank goodness I wore black shorts.
I turned the car around to head toward the competition site. The doubting voice crept in again…I haven’t eaten well! How many burpees?? One rep max complex?!? I haven’t showered and shaved! I can’t do those weights! I haven’t practiced!
WHAT. HAVE. I. DONE?!?!?!
Well, I was helping friends. I could do at least something and I would give my best. Just show up and jump in, I told myself. Just show up and jump in. Every time I wanted to turn the car around, I’d tell the doubting voice to pipe down. Just show up and jump in.
And so, I got there about 15 minutes before the first workout. Quick chat. Waited in the bathroom line, switched shirts, did a few stretches and bam, jumped in and competed. Looking back now, it is awesome to be fit enough to just get there and give it a go. Granted, I couldn’t lift as heavily as I would have liked to, but I jumped in and did what I could. My two Ginger Thruster teammates did the heavy lifting, and lift they did! It was awesome to watch and be a part of.
By the time our first workout was over, some people were just seeing the early morning SOS post. My friend Milagros asked if I needed anything – extra coffee and water, really. She showed up with all that, plus some snacks and some needed encouragement. Another part of the network coming together to solve a need.
We pushed ourselves. We laughed a lot. We fought for all the reps, strained for every pound. I’ve never done so many jumping pull-ups in my life. It was a great day.
One great thing about this competition is they have a box member who is an amazing photographer, Davison Wheeler. He generously shared nearly a thousand photos of the day, including the ones in this post. It’s equal parts amazing and humbling to look at the people competing – their stamina, their strength, their skill. When scroll through to find I the pictures of me, what I noticed is that I am often cheering for my teammates. I may not be able to lift a huge number of pounds, but I try to lift spirits when I can.
And a lot of that comes from just showing up and jumping in.