Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lesson 208: Pick Your Team

It's a snowy and cold January weekend here at the Lamp Post.
I am glad you stopped by!

This lamp post was a gift from my parents for Christmas.  The bulb is orange and it welcomes me when I come inside from the cold.  I placed it in my entry way.

Former classmates--look at the picture below.  Do you recognize the Clark School hill?  The kids got to go outside and play on it on Friday afternoon.  I wish all my readers could have heard the giggles, shouts, and laughter resonating from that playground.  The kindergartners here were full of joy and played hard.  

I was out in our 29 degree weather a couple of times today.  I started this morning at 7:30 am with a Team Adrenaline hilly workout.  Kenyan and Tracy Northern joined Jean and I.  They loved it.  Eloise is happy.  Misery loves company, I told them.

For what Eloise lacks for in athletic prowess, I make up for with infectious enthusiasm.  I had so much fun with my Resolution Challenge that I wanted others to share in my joy---just like the Clark School kindergartners.  Leanne, Jen, Cindy, and Renee also signed on the dotted line along with Kenyan and Tracy Northern.  Ladies, Eloise picked you for her team.  How does that feel?  If you dove into my high school history, you probably wouldn't feel so special, though.

Ever the cheerleader was Eloise, never the player.  I love sports and athletics but never participated on a team before Team Adrenaline.  In gym class I used to beg to be line judge.  I also got my way with this one:  "Mr. Humphreys, can I be team captain?  Can I pleeeeeease?"  Mr. Humphreys usually let me because he was onto my game.  I'm sorry to say this two and a half decades late, but Eloise speaks the truth:  If I picked you for my gym class team, you sucked.  

Hey, we all can't be Kenyan.  Maybe you were smart, or really nice, or where just too shy to dive for a ball. I noticed and I felt for you, because I was just like you.  Can you think back to gym class readers?  Remember those jerks who treated every gym class wiffle ball game like it was the world series?  You'd mess up a serve in volleyball and you'd hear it for the rest of the day?  I hated that, and I hated THEM for it.  

Any time I got my way with Mr. Humphreys, I picked the kids who were always picked last for the team, FIRST.  I can remember the day clearly when I first thought to do it.  I remember the exact student I called first to be on my team.  I remember his expression, what he was wearing, and how he slowly moved to my side of the gym.  And he remembered it, too.

Several years after high school I ran into that classmate--really only a familiar face to me, not someone I would call a friend.  He didn't run in my social circle, nor had any classes with me.  I didn't know much about him other than he went to Clark Elementary School with me and got in trouble a lot.  This boy was now a man and he was sitting at the end of the bar where I was ordering myself a Rolling Rock.

"Hey......." he slurred.  "I remember you."  His glazed eyes tried to focus on my face and he looked me up and down like most drinking men do in bars.  

That made Eloise a bit pissy and I took a defensive stance.  I knew he had been drinking and from the way his pupils looked, had dabbled in some other things, too.  I smiled quickly and turned my attention back to the bartender who was getting me my beer.  

"Hey!  Don't ignore me!  I know who you are!  You're is your name!  You had Mr. Miller!  You sat right next to me in fourth grade!"  

By this time, Eloise was even more irritated.  He couldn't even remember my name!  What a jerk!  No wonder he got in trouble all the time.  Loser, I thought to myself, trying to lose him and the conversation I didn't want to be in.

"Ahhhhh, I got it now!" my former classmate said, reaching over to slap my shoulder.  "You're the chick who picked me first in gym class!"

Eloise was stunned.  In his drunken and probably higher than a kite state, he couldn't recall my name, but he did remember that I picked him first for gym class.  A memory of being chosen first, above Mike, Chris, Pete, Jason, Bruce, and Phil.  I picked him first and he remembered that.

I think about that young man often.  He will always remain that young man in my heart.  That boy, hardened by drugs and alcohol, will never grow old because he never got a chance to.  He died a few years later in his early twenties.  I never knew the circumstances of his death and he was living out of state at the time. I don't know what happened to him, but I do know that I had an impact on his life--I picked him first.

For my newly initiated teammates, who worked out Thursday in 30 mile per hour wind gusts, and this morning in 29 degree weather, you don't suck, but I did pick you first.  And in Eloise's Play Book, that is a lot to own up to.  Don't come to the workouts for your own self gain.  Bring someone else along to try it, too.  Look at Sam's class in that sled riding picture.  None of them care about who lives in what house or if you have new or used snow pants.  They just want you to come play and have fun.  That is what Eloise wants from you, too.  

Like myself, millions of you probably have resolved to get healthy this year.  It's a good goal to have, but as the calendar pages flip, we can experience a mountain challenges; illness, deaths in the family, financial problems, job stress, trouble with your kids.  Any of these things can make a person trip, and abandon your health goal altogether.  

We all fall, but we need to learn how to get back up.  Watch this video of an inspirational runner. When you feel like you've lost the race, don't give up.  Watch this gal's get up and go.  It will surely keep you inspired all year long.  Awesomeness at its maximum.

Stay inspired, Readers.  

1 comment:

Wanda Rearick said...

Your mother must be so proud to have raised such a thoughtful young lady..I didn't see you as a teen but always knew that you and your sister were special. This article proves it. Have a very Happy New Year..;-)