Today, as my body is enjoying a rest day, I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for the Americano with heavy cream that currently sits in front of me at Continental coffee—heavy cream I don’t even need to ask for because when the baristas see my car park, they pull out the giant 4L keg of heavy whipping cream and plunk it on the counter. But more importantly, I’m feeling grateful to be part of such an amazing community at MadLab. I’m coming up on my 8-year anniversary this September, and even though the community has evolved tremendously since the debaucherous co(ck)llage days of 2009, the quality of people and experiences it brings to my life hasn’t changed one bit.
Yesterday reminded me of how grateful I am. Some of the highlights include:
5. I’m grateful for our politically incorrect community
Chesty on the mic: “In lane three, we have the first team of all Asians. In lane four, we have the second team of all Asians. And in lane one, we have all the people they stole property from.”
4. I’m grateful for the raw, real human beings
The tear I saw Clyde shed when she received the Dude Award (As far as I can remember, Sheppy and the Pup are the only other two who have cried, and if you know either of them at all, you know tears go without saying). This is what I love most about Clyde: Her genuineness, marked by the range of emotions she’s able to convey.
3. I'm grateful for the humbling tests of fitness
Puke and Rally Event #1: That sled push-pull event destroyed the field (including myself, who went upstairs and laid on the couch for 30 minutes afterward—nauseous with burning lungs—as my vision tried to restore itself. No less than 7 athletes admitted to puking, including Ingrid’s entire team, who “puked together,” she said, and Brandon, as always, puked with a smile on his face. Shout out to Fransblow for keeping it all inside yesterday! A first!
2. I'm grateful for the reminders to live life like Andy Nutts
Dashie’s “prayer:” Short and sweet, our little Corrections Officer reminded us of why we’re all there. It was perfect. I felt Andy Nutts’ presence around us at that moment.
1. I'm grateful for clients who light me up
I’m grateful I competed with 13-year-old Thea and 53-year-old Laila. Though they’re 40 years apart in age, these two share a love for fitness that’s contagious. Laila shows up almost every single day of the week and can do things like strict pull-ups that most people half her age can’t. So many people I've met at 40, let alone 53, think they’re too old for this or too old for that—whatever bullshit tape is playing in their head. Those thoughts don’t even cross Laila’s mind. She inspires me every day and has since her first personal training session almost three years ago.
Thea simply lights up my world. I first started coaching her in 2011 when she was an innocent child who wanted to play on the bars and the ropes. In two years, she has become a dedicated, serious athlete committed to her goals like few 13-year-olds I have ever met. You can convince someone to join a gym and show up to train, but you can’t teach someone work ethic like Thea has. Older generations always like to rag on the younger generation of teens—"kids today!"—but there’s no way anyone, anywhere is ragging on this gem!
Thank you to everyone who came out to compete, volunteer, judge, spectate, or just share a drink and a laugh with an amazing crew.