Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beauty in the LIKELIEST of Places

I feel like this week has been especially beautiful. Not for the reasons you may imagine though. Anyone from New England knows that it's been dreary here; cold, upsettingly wet (seriously can't we have snow over ice cold rain?), overcast & gnarly...so I haven't really been given the chance to wax poetically about fluffy piles of snow in bright sunshine here!

So maybe the weather hasn't been my cup of tea, but the human spirit has inspired me lately. So here are just a couple stories of what I saw this week...maybe it'll help you consider beauty in a different way and therefore make it more visible :)

<b>Last week </b>I noticed kindness at Starbucks. An elderly couple, the wife in a wheelchair, was unable to get a table because the one remaining seat in the house was along a bench tucked in behind crowded tables. Just as they got their drinks together and were hobbling out (I hate to say hobble, but really they really weren't terribly mobile) a young woman jumped up and quickly offered them her corner seat so that they could sit. She gathered her belongings and wedged herself into the bench seat without an ounce of irritation or concern. The couple was touched and so was I.

<b>Saturday I went</b> and judged for a small CrossFit competition. What made this fun was that it was designed primarily to give new CrossFitters a little experience competing. Anyone that's done one before is aware that there are jitters involved, concerns about fueling (when, what, how much?) and also TONS of excitement! Beauty was defined that day by the tired and sweaty athletes that refused to give up, accepting my cues when needed and pushing through! One WOD was that a team of four must complete 300 burpees for time (of course with a movement standard). For one team, a teammate fatigued a little quicker than the others and was repeatedly struggling to hit the standard. I could SEE in his face that he would not let his team down by either making them pick up the slack or by letting his reps get taken away for incompletion. He was FIGHTING and it was gorgeous. His teammates, instead of getting upset or impatient that his reps were slightly slower supported him and banded together to cheer him on. They finished together and that was truly beautiful teamwork.

<b>The next day </b>I coached an Olympic Lifting class at my CrossFit box. The Open is coming soon and I want all my athletes to get in a little extra work with the snatch before it starts. I had stayed out late the night before and had woken with a bit of a headache, but coaching always cheers me up and rejuvenates me (cheesy? Why yes!! But TRUE!). Afterwards someone came up to me and said, "it's amazing how much improvement you can see in them from just the beginning to the end of class." My response, "YES! It's the best! It's so satisfying to see the change people can make when they're REALLY interested in what they're doing!" Joy is a beautiful thing...and joy works better than ibuprofen anytime :)

So these are everyday expressions of beauty that I know you are also exposed to: generosity and kindness, determination, courage and joy.

<i><b>You can stand at the edge of a river, but with your eyes shut you will never see it. So it is with Life; it is a constant stream sparkling with generous expressions of beauty. It is up to you to open your eyes and see them!</b></i>


With fittest intentions,