Someone asked me this week, “how do you do it all?”
The simple answer is that I don’t. I can’t. There aren’t enough hours in a day or enough energy in my tank to do all of the things. But somehow without much margin this month I was able to do #22 push ups for 22 days and find friends to do them with in between the somewhat organized chaos that is my life.
I heard that the challenge was intended for to become advocates for vets suffering with post traumatic stress disorder and to raise funds for their care because too many take their own lives after fighting so bravely for the freedom of others. But even with this incredible reason, I can’t say I chose it on my own.
It chose me. I was asked to participate. I could have said no and probably would have but I was asked to try, more than once.
I had been challenged by my brother in law Paul to do it a few days earlier and I happened to be at the airport at the same time with him when I said, “I don’t know when I’m going to do those push ups.” And he said, “why not right now?”
I think the thing that stands between what we want to do and what we actually do is a decision to take the next step. And I think we all owe it to each other to gently nudge each other into brave things.
Right there, on the curb in Tampa, I took the next step in advocacy. You’d think I’d be good at it since it’s what I teach and talk about all the time with The Justice Movement. But sometimes you need a lesson in life to make you better at what you do. This was my lesson.
That first 22 were hard and embarrassing. But the delta airlines employees, my sister, and brother cheered me on and I felt something like resolve land in my spirit.
I decided right then that I would do this for vets because I can. Because my life isn’t limited unless I believe it is limited. The heaviness or pace of life shouldn’t have to limit the good we can do in the moments in front you, the little bit of extra time between all of the things.
That first 22 started the journey of me looking for people to do push ups with for 22 days. I wanted to learn more about PTSD and I also wanted to share a bit of my story.
I am not a US serviceperson. But I have suffered with anxiety and depression in a way that debilitated me at one point and scared me in ways that surprised me. I don’t ever want to feel alone in those moments and I don’t want anyone else to feel alone either.
Every person I met along the way has taught me something. There was a lot of laughter, adrenaline, tears, nervousness, and pure joy that came out of this experience because it got me out of my routine and into a place where I could do good for others even when it felt so awkward at first to ask people to do push ups in public with me.
Now that I’ve done it, I don’t really want to live any other way.
John Wesley, an evangelist and philanthropist committed to well being of others called people to do all the good they can.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all that ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. – John Wesley
If there were a marriage ceremony each of us could have with LIFE, these would be the vows I’d choose. And my answer will always be, I WILL.
I challenge you to do good today. There’s a whole lot of love to be uncovered in the world and you have what it takes to do it.
Thank you Paul for the challenge. I hope others will take it too.
And to those who did push ups with me. Thank you for your life. You brought a smile to my face when I saw that you wanted to do good too.
Paul, Heather, Rachel, Dell (US Marines), Sarah, Jeremy (Army), Greg (Army), Kirra, Kathleen, Marley (the Dog), Mickey, Reece, Nora, Asher, Emily, Pastor Art, Dick (Navy), Scout (Army), Jen, Andy, Brett (And CrossFit Friends), Kirstin, Lucas, Gaby, Central Canada NYI, David (Army) Byron (Army) Davon (Navy) Yon (Navy), and Coy for being willing to do something simple to make an impact. You all made me brave this month.
Tampa, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Kansas City, Camilus, Syracuse, Toronto, Pefferlaw, Detroit, and Lakeland you were good to me too. Thanks for being places where people can do good together.
And to the people reading this post, I dedicate all 22 days in 12 cities and 2 countries to the Disabled Vets of America.Will you consider giving to help those in recovery? Even if it’s just a dollar or two. The world needs all the good we’ve got.
The world needs you to say yes to the challenge in front of you.
Here is the 22 pushups tour video, just for fun. The picture at the end is Paul, the ultimate instigator. Thanks for the challenge brother.