Thursday, March 25, 2010


one of our power camp intructors' favorite new songs is called ali in the jungle. apparently this song has jumped into the mainstream via a nike commercial that aired during these past winter olympics.
it's basically a song about not giving up, not giving in to what may appear to be insurmountable odds, about the fact that all of us get knocked from our comfort zones at some point.
or even completely knocked out.
and what matters is not how you started, where you came from, how great you once had it . . . but how you get up. how you finish. how you keep going.

I have a lot of love for the people I've met through power camp. they all have stories. they've all failed at one time or another. the best award given at our "awards ceremony" last week, in my opinion, was the award given for Best Fitness Improvement: I don't know the recipient's story, but she was introduced as having increased her fitness to the point that she was able to be taken off her medications.
what I see in this group of people is a collective belief in trying again, putting one foot in front of the other over and over, overcoming whatever confronts you.

when I was little we had a collection of toys in our basement playroom. one of my favorites was Bozo the Clown: the inflatable plastic smiling, pine-tree shaped clown with a weight in his bottom. you'd punch him and his top half would fly backward, his base lifting slightly from the ground, then he'd roar right back at you, and keep rocking back and forth a few more times as the giggles settled.

these people are the same way. cancers, heart attacks, broken bones and surgically repaired joints, divorces and family deaths, burglaries and job losses and bike crashes. great race finishes and times where the finish line was barely hobbled across.
these people keep going.
they overcome, they find the desire to slog on through, and they attack life through fitness instead of by whitewashing everything with a layer of artificial substances or finding some other way to hide from the world.

the lyrics of this song mention helen keller, joe simpson, nelson mandela. people who refused to give in, who were challenged and found lacking and then kept at it anyway. a line from this song keeps running through my head today,
. . . like Ludwig Van, how I loved that man, well the guy went deaf and didn't give a ---- . . .
I want to be this way. I want to get back up every time I get knocked down. I want to be tougher than my circumstances.
and yes, I'm talking to all of you who know me:
I love the fact that I'm surrounded by similar company.

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