Started at a gas station, now we here
Posted on 24 May 2018
Almost three years ago, after my first day at my summer internship following my junior year of college, I pulled into the parking lot of a refurbished gas station. Upon arriving at the gas station turned CrossFit gym I confidently walked up to the fittest person I could find, assuming they were in charge. My assumption turned out to be correct, but to my dismay I was told that the middle of class was no time for walk-ups and to return the following morning. Now hold that thought for a minute.
Fast forward about two years later to trivia night at the local watering hole. My friends and I were in rare form, recalling our extensive knowledge of 80’s pop hits and U.S Presidents, going through the motions of a weekly ritual of good company and bad humor. Then in walks the outsider. The girl who had just moved to town from Philly, but couldn’t recognize sarcasm if it smacked her in the face. This was not going to be a fit, I knew it from the start. And yet somehow over the course of the next couple of months the new girl learned our sense of humor, and our tight knit group made group for one more.
Fast forward to this past weekend when our team at YXU hosted our Mental Health Awareness Community day benefitting the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation at Ohio Strength. On that day I took a step back a revisited everything I had experienced over the past three years that impressed upon me the importance and power of community. At some point while I hit the pavement doing burpees in a church parking lot turned stand-in CrossFit gym it hit me that you cannot discount the value of just showing up for the people that mean the most to you, even if that’s all you have to offer. At some point while I listened to others tragedy and how they preserved through it, I finally heard the importance of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, because we’ll always have blind spots if we only take in our point of view. And at some point around the time that nearly 60 friends and strangers alike filed into a stuffy gym for an event that in many ways was a shot in the dark, I saw that we must be willing to be vulnerable to the people we hope to serve in order to see the light.
Our team at YXU doesn’t have it all figured out, and I as a leader get it wrong more times than not. But we are unwavering in our quest to connect and empower the people in our lives to create a community of leaders that will change the world at home and around the world. This past weekend was another great step forward, and we look forward to walking the long road ahead with you. Thank you for your support.