Lessons in Jury Duty

I was called to jury duty this week though I had tried my energetic best to get out of it. With all my might, I WILLED THEM NOT TO CALL ME IN. That worked Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was instructed to come in for possible selection. What an inconvenience!

I had to get a class covered last minute (thanks Shirley) and I was stressed about having to possibly get a whole week of classes covered. I had to cancel private clients, which is my livelihood. UGG!

What struck me first is how much I didn’t want to miss work. I was bummed to not coach class. I didn’t want to let down my private clients mainly because I genuinely like them. A LOT. I did not want an unplanned day off. This is the only job I’ve ever said that about.

Wednesday morning, I pouted and put on civilian, non-gym clothes and contemplated the many things I could say to get me dismissed from serving. I had been given advice:

  • “Don’t comb your hair.”
  • “Wear a t-shirt that reads: The Juice is Loose.”
  • “Say that I’m dating a female cop.”
  • “Emphasize the financial strain.”
  • “Make sure all tattoos are showing.”

I went into the courthouse determined to get dismissed. The case was a civil one between a bagel shop and a woman who had tripped and broken her arm in front of the shop. Forty of us were up for selection. As the process started, I realized that the judge was amazing and I was a bit mesmerized with his empathy, wit, knowledge, and his to-the-pointness. As each perspective juror was questioned about biases and relatively to the case, I listened to the majority of people trying their best to get out of serving. They complained and hemmed and hawed. They played up prejudices. The longer I was in the courtroom, however, the more fascinating the whole process became to me. Some jurors were sharp and interesting, and a handful I judged as tedious whiners. Just from listening to them, every idea I had earlier of using a made-up excuse to avoid jury duty was abandoned. I decided then to experience this process for what it is: a duty and a privileged.

Years ago I had served as a juror on a criminal case, a murder trial. The vibe in that courtroom was so heavy and dark, much different than this civil case. I was chosen as the last alternate. The experience was nerve wracking and frankly, I was nervous. A 19 year old suspect’s life hung in the balance; another kid already dead. The case ended in a mistrial, but I remember I had completely surrendered to the magnitude and responsibility of the process.

By 11am on Wednesday, I had given in, again, to the prospect of serving on the civil jury. How could I not! I was trying to figure out who would cover my week’s classes. I was thinking what I would say to my private clients. I was ready to give the bagel shop and the hurt woman my fair consideration.

I had lunch with another prospective juror who I actually knew; a tennis acquaintance, an older gentleman who’s young daughter played tennis with Mina. He told me great stories. He had taken a gender studies class to support his older daughter, which he called eye-opening. He told me about how he started surfing in 1958 just blocks from the Santa Monica courthouse. Back then he rode a long, Balsa board made of lightweight wood. He expressed what the ocean meant to him in a touching moment, how he often ceded to the enormity of nature and all other things fell away. He was always rejuvenated after. He is nearly 80 and still surfs today.

I realized that as soon as I had given in to the adventure of it all and stopped trying to manipulate what would happen, the day was fulfilling and interesting, even rewarding.

At 4:30pm, I was dismissed as a juror. My regular Thursday would not be disrupted. I could go to work (yay!), but I came away with the bright idea that sometimes I should just go for the fascinating ride that life wants to take me on, like a rolling wave on a 9-foot Balsa board. Or so I’m told.


Friday’s Workout
Weighted Tool Week

6 Circuits of “Barbell Continuum”
3 Deadlifts (95/65)
3 Power cleans
3 Front squats
3 Squat cleans
3 Push presses
3 Power jerks
3 Power snatches
3 Overhead squats
3 Back squats
–6 Burpees every time the bar is put down

Saturday’s Workout

KB swings (32/24)
Push presses (115/83)
*6 Box jumps (32/24)

Sunday’s Workout

400 Meter Run
10 Pull-ups
10 Ring Dips

Monday’s Workout
“Puzzle Week”

“Boggle Your Bod”
3 RFR w partner, 1 person working at a time
AMRAP 2: Box jumps (24/20)
AMRAP 2: Toes to bar
AMWAP 2: Boggle



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