aside A Red Hoodie And A Hard Part

Do you want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes?

It’s strange to look back at what is now considered normal.

Earlier this week, someone told me that I had the patience of a saint (which, if you know me, is probably an exaggeration).

Occasionally I am asked, “Hey, do you have a second?” At which time I may get something huge dropped in my lap. Sometimes I am given a story of achievement, success or self-discovery. Other times, it’s a bomb. It is the collapsing of his or her world.

In the past week I have been told of job loss, a new birth, the hospitalization of a parent, the need to leave an abusive relationship, feelings of helplessness, the pains of detox, amongst many other lesser things.

This isn’t a plea for pity or empathy. It’s a self-realization. There are times when I think I have bit off more than I can chew. Bear with me. I don’t mean that in the sense that I am incapable of being helpful or lending a listening ear. I mean it because I hope I can do for these people what my dad has done for me. I hope I am good enough. I hope I can provide for my family, friends and clients – many of which overlap.

img_8205Last week, I learned we copy people from the inside out. The people we idolize, we mimic. We wear their clothing, copy their mannerisms and regurgitate their lexicon. When we do this, we do it superficially. Seldom do we get past this surface layer.

To this day, my clothing style is mimicked from what I remember of how my father would dress when I was in my pre-teen years. It was composed of layered sweatshirts, hoodies and shorts no matter the season.

I remember his tattered BUM equipment sweatshirt. His Canisius College sweatshirt was ruined by some bleach, so he bleached the entire thing. It became a one-of-a-kind thing that I will never forget. I would mimic him – his mannerisms, walk, talk and quick witted sarcastic retorts.

Deeper than those layered sweatshirts was something more. He was always there. He would find a way. He cared for those that could do nothing for him. He taught me about doing the right thing when no one was looking.

I am and will always be forever indebted to him for his self-sacrifice. He deserves a great amount of credit for the good things I sometimes do. He will never take it. He will deflect any thanks and gratitude, but he deserves it and then some.

I am far from perfect. I am not the best at anything. When inundated with those bombs and trying to navigate my own bombs, I think simply of a phrase from Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit: “Do the right things, for the right people, for the right reasons.”

I’ve simply tried to do this for all of the people that come to me. Always. I always try to under promise and over deliver.

Yes, I run a business. More importantly, I am creating a tribe – a group of people who, like me, want to pursue self-betterment and, in turn, lift up those around them. There are hundreds of other tribes, all of which have amazing components, but these people have decided that they like how I do things.

I am grateful for these opportunities to help and be a part of their lives. I am grateful to every person that has trusted in my knowledge, compassion and ability to communicate.

img_7738I never thought when I opened a gym I would be recruiting for something so much deeper and more fulfilling and emotionally enthralling than simply a place where people sweat. I am happy to have this whirlwind of emotions (theirs and mine) because I know that people look to me as some type of a stable post to lean on, a lighthouse in a stormy sea.

I’m intrigued to how far this rabbit hole goes. It has been quite the journey so far and I do not have any intentions of stopping soon.

As my son lies next to me dreaming of who knows what, I hope I can give him something worthwhile to mimic on a deeper level than a red hoodie and a hard part.

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