Crush Cancer – The Heat & What Mattered
Arriving at the Crush Cancer site in Culver City on Saturday morning was not inspiring. At 9am I could see a distorted wave coming off the asphalt. My bag’s strap slipped off my shoulder; my phone read 87 degrees already. Not many people were there yet and as I looked at the marked-off lanes, I realized there were no mats on which to do burpess. The asphalt became its own creature then, one out to get us and make us miserable. I nodded to the asphalt out of guarded acknowledgement. I sighed and turned to look for the CFLA tent.
Kevin was sitting in the shade reserving our area, and I spotted Butler and Bonds in the check-in line. I felt comforted by the presence of our people. CFLAers slowly filled our tent to find shelter from the sun’s beat down, and my spirits lifted. Though I found solace in my own community, I looked out at the groups of people forming across the parking lot. They wore big labels on their tank tops with names written in Sharpie. So many of them said, “Mom” or “I miss you mom” or “My favorite aunt …” “Never forgotten …” . Some athletes wrote directly onto their skin, “In honor of …”, “I love you …” I remembered why I was there. My own laminated card was pinned to my shirt. The heat, now 97 degrees, was definitely a thing. But it wasn’t a thing bigger than the reason we were there.
Right before I was to workout, the safety pin that held my grandmother’s image broke. The picture is of her holding me when I was four. I had been riding my beloved Big Wheel and she was holding me as if I was her favorite. I was her favorite. And she mine. I put the card down next to the burpee station where I was to start, face up so I could see her smiling face so thrilled with me then. Between rounds 2 and 3, the heat came down on every athlete like a searing, metal blanket. Our energy waned drastically. Under any other circumstances, this would seem silly. With the rest period almost over, I knelt down and put my full palm on the photo. It had energy to it. The heat didn’t matter. Honoring her mattered. She mattered most to me. 3,2,1 … I got up and did burpees with rhythm and purpose.
On the back of this photo, I had written other names; names for those who had donated to my profile. I wrote names of those who had lost a brave fight and those who had won with guts. I thought a lot about them, too. I thought about those left behind after losing someone. My friends who had lost mothers at too young of an age. I thought of the deaths of people far too young to go. And know that I honored them all just as passionately as I did my own blood.
Thank you so much to everyone who donated to Stand Up 2 Cancer for all your reasons known and not known. We raised over $9,600. That’s more than last year. And that’s the second highest of all the gyms that participated. You guys are truly the best.
3 Power Clean (135/95)
6 Push ups
–1 Min Rest–
A) FQ at ≤ 7 RPE
20 Single leg lunge jumps from box (10 ea.)
10 Strict dips
20 Box jumps
10 Strict dips
Work up to heavy 3