For years, I prayed to the Gods for strength, persistence and the ability to do things that I’ve always wanted to do.
Things like achieve my best body, finally complete my first fiction novel, have my work featured in national news publications, get regular voice over gigs, become financially secure…you know, the same things most people dream of doing that reflect a successful life.
What I’ve recently discovered is that the old adage is true — If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
I learned so much about myself during the 22-days I carried out my commitment to do 22 pushups to raise awareness for the estimated 22 veterans who commit suicide everyday due to the effects of post traumatic stress disorder. I feel like I’m about to do Sofia’s soliloquy from, The Color Purple, but there’s more than a grain of truth to it.
For my entire life, I’ve dreamed of being healthy, strong and able to do 5 pushups in a row without falling on my face.
The day I decided I was going to ‘Just Do It!” in addition to commemorating the moment on camera AND publishing it, I didn’t prepare, I didn’t plan, I didn’t dream…I just went for it.
I had seen the video of my old friend from college, Aldrich Cherry, a military man himself, and he was in his fourth day of doing the pushups. Somehow, his videos had shown up in my news feed everyday. Everyday, I watched him do those pushups and I read his statement about raising awareness and it hit me. After all of the other challenges that pass through social media, here was one I was prepared to take part in. Even though I hadn’t been in the military, I know suffering from any kind of trauma and having no resources to heal is traumatic in itself. This challenge felt like a worthy one and even though I had never done even one pushup, I decided, the day before Memorial Day, it was time. It was finally time for me to — not dip my toe in the water — it was time for me to dive head first in the deep end without a life jacket and swim for pity’s sake. So I did. And guess what? I survived. I thrived and I’m gearing up to do it again. Only this time, it will be even better. I will be better.
After going through the challenge, I may have contributed to raising awareness for PTSD and the veterans who suffer from the effects of PTSD, but I also learned something about myself. I learned I can actually reach a goal when I focus on just doing the work.
And I really believe that goes for anyone.