If you’re squinting at the photo above and uncertain what it’s supposed to capture—then you’re precisely as I was.
The Child and I were walking around Oakland, enjoying one of her last days of summer, when she grabbed my hand and shouted:
WOW, Mama. Look!!! He’s super strong!
Here’s where I share the fact, while we were enjoying the day, it had been a long one.
I’d done that thing with August where I’d idealized how *amazing* it would be for her to be campFREE and hanging out.
31 days of unstructured play.
It would have been awesome if the neighborhood kids weren’t campFUL and totally busy.
It wasn’t a huge deal, but by the end of a month filled with #wycwyc’ing work and together-time we’d grown a bit tired of each others company.
And a lot toward tuning each other out (yep. there’s no FAKEblogging here only the ugly truth.).
Which was entirely why, when she remarked about the super-strong man, I was only half-listening and only half-heartedly glanced and murmured:
Oh. He IS really strong.
Never one to be fooled when I’m not ReAlLy PrEsEnT she grabbed my face and spun it toward where she was looking.
And I’m grateful she did.
There, in my fave fave Oakland gym, was a man strapped into his wheelchair and working out.
He did pullups wheelchair and all. Hoisting himself entirely off the ground.
He did tricep dips wheelchair and all. Controlled, smooth movements of his chair.
Like the child I was completely in awe of his strength.
Unlike the child (who quickly moved on after a casual: Yeah I think that’s probably harder than what you do, Mama.) I couldn’t stop thinking about the man.
I spent the afternoon (and a good number of days which followed) reflecting on this stranger’s strength.
- Dips are hard. Even the lightest wheelchair would add, for most of us, i
nsurmountableundip’able weight. He was impressively strong.
- Life is hard. I can’t imagine the strength of *mind* he possessed to decide that FIRST TIME to attempt pullups/dips while strapped into his chair.
I don’t currently have either kind of strength.
I’m impressed by the former and in utter awe of the latter.
As I pondered this man and his (mental and physical) brawn one word kept coming to mind:
His actions clearly showed he possessed an attitude or belief he could conquer anything.
His movements clearly showed he possessed determination as I don’t imagine the first time he strapped in and dipped downward it went as planned.
I thought about myself and my whining as of late and came to the embarrassing conclusion Ive been lacking in the GRIT.
A word which I hadn’t even thought about—or its accompanying traits—in years.
A fact which I’m now focused on rectifying so I can GRITpractice what I long to GRITpreach for my daughter.
And so I turn to you and see your wisdom and insights:
- Are you in awe, too, of this man and his external *and* internal strength?
- Is GRIT a quality you’d say you possess?