I recall the January night, 2009, when writing the idea of Full Reps. After putting the kids to bed I sat down and let the tragic news hit. Kyle Ford, a perfectly healthy 15-year old who I worked with, had died suddenly. I was grieving. Honestly, it does not feel like I created that essay. It just dropped in, something like a Luna moth approaching through the dark, landing softly on your shoulder. I simply described what came, having no idea what this would turn into…
…~9 years later…
I sit quietly in the parking lot of Turkey Hill, finishing a podcast before getting out to pump gas. Two young men in hoodies arrive on bikes. They laugh and shove at each other, enter and meander their way through the store. I notice that one of them is “J” a 15-year old athlete who I work with. He is unaware that I’m watching him from twenty yards out. “J” and his friend pay for their Icees before rough housing back out the door. An elderly women approaches. “J” notices her, stops goofing off. He turns back, and holds open the door for her.
At the high school hockey game I notice “R” in the center of a swarm of students two sections down from where I stand. They are clapping and shouting for their team. A few choice words and gestures come from the athletes on the ice, directed their way. Many of the students in the stands flip their lids, escalate it ten-fold. But “R” quietly moves back a row.
I come across “Cs” social media account. His followers are tens of thousands. I see some of the comments. They are inappropriate, untrue, and completely uncalled for, when “C” posts even the most benign content. My blood pressure rises a bit. I see nothing on behalf of C, his only response a strong, beautiful silence.
These young men make me proud.
Do you see that Full Reps has never been about distance or degrees of an exercise?
Without developing character, any success, however we choose to define it, will be short-lived and shallow. We represent our tribe, our family, and ourselves in every circumstance and at all times. All athletes (and especially coaches and parents) would do well to remember that we are literally Always Reppin’
We will all stumble. Let he who hasn’t messed up a time or dozen cast the first stone. Lean on the tribe. Grow from it. I don’t believe in simple and straight forward formulas for life, spiritual or otherwise. But I’ve witnessed, time and again, that where right priorities are maintained, even grief and failure brings about the good, the true, and remarkable.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts. -Romans 5