perspective this 4th of july

the 4th of july has always been my (2nd) favorite holiday (a close second to christmas)!  i absolutely love fireworks –  you might even call me a bit of a pryo – and of course the hot days and warm summer nights, complete with barbeques, relaxing on the patio, and sipping wine.  i’m one of those saps that gets a little ultra-patriotic on the 4th.  i still get tears in my eyes at a baseball game when they sing the national anthem, for heaven’s sake!  nothing wrong with being patriotic i suppose.  but on an everyday basis, i get all wrapped up in my little world and i guess i love that the 4th of july reminds me of how blessed we really are. 

this past weekend i had the honor of serving the marines of the 3-5 battalion from camp pendleton at a summer bbq.  however that morning before, i ran into all kinds of little things that added to my ever-growing crankiness: i tweaked my hamstring during my morning workout, then came home to my air conditioner breaking for the 2nd time in 2 months (on an 80 degree day), and frankly i must have just woke up on the wrong side of the bed anyway so it didn’t take much to make me an unhappy critter.  horrible day? no, not really.  but i was just in a funk.  so i pull myself together, all the while fretting over a new lovely little zit, my white capri pants that i swear just don’t flatter my butt like they should, and wondering why my curly hair decided to frizz out on me for the day.  i know – tough life right?

and then i get to my church (mariners), where they’re having a bbq for 900+ marines from camp pendleton.  my girlfriends and i that volunteered to serve were there basically to talk with the marines, be hospitable, and make sure we helped make their time there fun.  there was an amazing bbq spread, flag football, tug of war – all kinds of fun guy things.  my mood lifted a little…it was nice and sunny out and i love people so i knew immediately that it was a good thing that i got out of the house instead of staying home feeling sorry for myself.  but what i didn’t know is that when i went to serve them, i would be the one that walked away feeling so blessed.

me + my girls

i started tossing the football around with a group of guys and then had a brutal game of tug-of-war [where i must brag my team dominated] just to break the ice…what else do you do with hungry marines when food hasn’t been served yet?  hundreds of them kept arriving and when they finally served the food i just meandered around offering water, napkins, and to take their plate if they were finished.  i was amazed at how grateful they were.  they are the ones serving our country every day and they were so polite and grateful to be treated with such love and respect from people that they didn’t even know.  the thing that struck me the most was how young they were, many of them with young wives and even quite a few babies too.  this particular battalion from camp pendleton is being deployed to afghanistan in september, and amazing enough they are eager to go.  many of them clarified that, while still a bit afraid, they have trained every single day for this and compared it to spending your days training for a marathon and finally getting the opportunity to see what you’re made of.  their courage and perspective amazed me.  i spoke with one young man in particular who was 19.  he was sitting all alone and a bit shy so i wandered up and sat by him.  he made it really clear that he wasn’t “religious”, which made me chuckle inside.  i mean i know we were at a church park, but i was just going to say hi not preach!  (it was cute.)  i just started talking to him, asked him where he’s from, and it took only moments for him to warm up to me.  he’s proudly from a marine family – 3 generations serving our country.  tears welled up in his eyes though as he told me that he’d found out only a week before that he’d lost his buddy – the guy he’d enlisted and gone through basic training with – to enemy fire in afghanistan.  and even then, he knew that his job is to go there to serve our country.

what does this have to do with fitness? not a thing. but it has everything to do with keeping our lives in perspective.  i walked away that day feeling like i was the one that was honored to have been in the presence of heros that didn’t even know it yet.  to be given the opportunity to hear their stories first-hand and be given a glimpse into the courageous souls that fight so bravely for our country.  i went home that night feeling grateful and blessed, and not the least bit focused on my wind-blown hair, my smudged make-up, my grass-stained pants, or my slightly warm, non-air-conditioned home. 

wishing you all a happy, healthy 4th of july – full of memories with those you love!

p.s.  miss my e-newsletter? check out our 4th of july issue  with a few notes on why we at fitlosophy are proud to be americans, plus a bbq survival guide + bonus bootcamp workout for your holiday weekend!


3 Responses to “perspective this 4th of july”

  1. 1 Karen Shopmyer
    07.03.10 at 11:17 pm

    Great post Angela! You hit the nail on the head with this one…

  2. 2 Lynne Behunin
    07.04.10 at 2:33 am

    Awesome job Angela! I am a sucker for the 4th of July too. In church tonight, the vocal team sang such a great version of the Star Spangled Banner, tears….

    Thanks Marines!

  3. 07.04.10 at 7:16 pm

    Happy 4’th of July!

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