"Display all your weakness, so that in your weakness you are made strong, and your bitterness is replaced with grace." Live Free (@LiveFree100)
5 days till race day, and this pops up in my feed. As much as I've espoused the evils of social media, I gots to admit: I find a good use for it at times.
This is one of them.
I don't know if you've ever heard of Rajesh Durbal, but he is such an inspiration to me. He swims at my Y, and when I was a regular I used to see him at the pool. He is a beautiful person. His smile lights up a room. He's a super-fit athlete.
He is a triple amputee.
Like my hero Kristin McQueen, who has survived multiple brain surgeries and cancer and all kinds of crazy complications, he knows his share of physical, mental, and emotional grief. Whenever I feel a little sadness coming on, I try to think of the two of them.
These individuals have struggled with true losses in life, have overcome true adversity and despair. Not just the normal "hard things" we all go through - like divorces, stress fractures, headaches, repossessions and bankruptcies and custody battles - which are all hard, of course - but these two deal with all of that normal "hard stuff" PLUS being physically limited, and mentally restrained because of it.
Yet they're out there. Every day. Training. Being fit. Loving life. Raj is very vocal about his life, and his struggles. This is his way of fighting/giving back.
I have made no bones about the fact that I have many weaknesses. There are many things I'd like to do better, about many things in life I'd like to handle better. (See my 40 Good Things post: I'm socially awkward sometimes and I'd like to be a little less self-deprecating with my humor.) And it is no secret that I've gone through some of the worst things I ever imagined, and spent a lot of time being rather bitter about them.
Raj's post tonight resonated with me because I've had those moments of bitterness. I read his post tonight and it affirmed, more than ever, that I have so far to go. But it also reminded me of how much good is left in the human spirit, and truthfully, that's something I need a reminder of from time to time.
This blog is as much spiritual as it is physical. Sure, there's ego. There's I wants me a PR, dammit! and there's I don't wants no injuries! But there's also life lessons learned through training and racing.
I was talking to my dad tonight about race day weather, and how one of those life lessons is that things aren't always going to go your way. The rain may come. The money may run out. Someone you trusted may deceive you.
What stays the same? Out of all those horrible, difficult things - what remains intact?
Just like on race day? The way you react to them.
That's what Raj meant. He is not out there belittling himself, or talking about how bad life is. Instead, he is sharing with people how beautiful things can be, no matter how difficult they are.
I have a long way to go - that's true. And, if I've displayed my weaknesses, I can only hope that they will make me stronger, and my bitterness will be replaced with grace.
And now, in case I got too serious fo' yo' ass, here's some Grumpy Cat holiday greetings. This is his real face. Check him out on Tumblr, etc (Tard the Grumpy Cat).
Ho, ho, ho.