Red Starry Night
You find yourself in cardiac ICU.
Bedridden with enough tubes to look like a stunt-double for Neo in the Matrix.
The nurse challenges you to stand up for the first time and walk down the hallway.
What do you do?
Do you panic, since you haven't left your bed since the surgery?
Do you fear, because you're not sure if you'll make it that far?
Do you give up halfway down the hall?
Odds are good that if you're a Guerrilla, you dig deep, you keep your head up, you face your flinch, and you push through.
Odds are even better that when you're done with one lap, you might ask when you can walk your second.
You've faced runs in the winter.
You've learned what "max effort" means.
You've pulled your chin up to that bar, banded or strict.
You've seen what the guy or girl next to you breathe fire.
Maybe Guerrilla Fitness CrossFit isn't just about barbells and burpees.
Maybe there's more...
I don't know what your darkest nights look like.
Each one of us has a different night sky when life pulls the black color out of the crayon box and scribbles it into reality.
It might be family related.
It might be financial.
It might be a photo album with every picture ripped in half.
It might be something unspoken deep down inside, or it could be a valve regurgitating blood back into the heart and a remix to the rhythm of your normal heartbeat that you weren't expecting one Saturday afternoon.
Out of the blue, and into the black..
Dear Guerrilla family, it's been an interesting month.
Heart surgery isn't something that's on most "to do" lists.
Open heart surgery wasn't on mine.
Thankfully it wasn't time for me to close my eyes for good and get a fist bump from God for Rx'ing this life-wod programmed for me.
When that challenge showed up unexpectedly, the sky started to roll in some of those clouds that didn't exactly scream "spring beauty is around the corner".
But enough about clouds for now, this note isn't about the challenges I faced, or face now that I'm home.
Challenges and adversity are not what unite us in Guerrilla.
We are united by what we do with them.
We face weights, heights, walls, and distances every time that 3..2..1..GO is called.
We also face our own thoughts, feelings, resistance, and more inside.
Sure, we scale accordingly, but we also PR with fire in our eyes.
I don't know all your names.
I don't know all the names of stars in the sky either, but I do know what they mean to me when I look up when it's dark out.
To each and every one of you that wished me well, encouraged me, checked in, prayed, visited, made turkey chili, spent time with me, signed a jumbo soup card or had my name pop up in your thoughts for a split second - you were there in that hospital ICU wing with me.
You are the real Team Paul.
You were a thousand red stars in my dark sky.
Whether you're Jim Brown or Jenny trying out a free Saturday class, Coach or couch-potato that is learning self-discipline for the first time, I'm thankful for each and every one of you. The worst is over. The scar is healing.
My story is not done, and I'm believing and working toward a 105% recovery with all my heart and soul. The doctors were thrilled that I was active in CrossFit, and they say I'll be able to run and lift and jump soon enough.
Walking comes first.
Squats are next.
Burpees will be allowed last, unfortunately.
Apparently a sternum sawed in half isn't "ideal" for my favorite movement early on in the rehab process. Lame..
"I'm home" seemed so far away one month ago.
Well, I'm home.
Those two words have now been replaced with the goal of saying "I'm back".
Every day brings more energy, more health, and more hope for tomorrow.
I learned one Sunday morning to dance in the storm, and to welcome the opportunity learn and trust and grow in it.
I pray you learn to do the same
I look forward to the next time I see you all.
I encourage each and every one of you to appreciate the moments spent under the banner of the red star we share in Guerrilla. There's a beauty in the strength required to push through - no matter if it's for you, or for the person next to you giving their all.
Dig deep if you're facing that dark sky.
Hit the start button. Push play. Go.
Don't stare at life's screen waiting to get better.
Find that hope in your heart.
(They couldn't cut it out of mine.)
Until next time... Keep going.