Warning: I will be using guilt, persuasion and thought to get those of you who do not regularly exercise to start.
I never saw a serious relay race until last week. As I watched the race at various checkpoints, I noticed something incredible. Despite exhaustion brought on by the combination of lots of running, little recovery, extreme heat and no sleep, the runners continued to reach their goal times. I found myself wondering how they were able to do it. It seemed that no one wanted to let down his teammates. It is one thing to slack off when it will cost only you, it is entirely something else when it their others counting on you.
As the year of mourning for my mom has progressed, I have tried to lead prayers as much as possible, something that is considered to help my mom. I have attempted to get to shul early enough to make sure that I would be there first. Sadly, I found myself viewing other mourners as competitors. Yesterday, I walked into shul and saw a good friend, who is also in the year of mourning for his mom. We each encouraged the other one to lead. In the end, I convinced him. For the first time, I genuinely felt comfortable giving over the prayers to someone else. I found that I was not looking at him as a competitor, but as a member of the team.
While the army urges us to view ourselves as a “team of one”, there really is no such thing. Everything we do, both for the good and the bad, affects those to whom we are close. Which brings me back to my warning about exercise. It is easy to reach for another doughnut or to make excuses about exercising when you think it is affecting only you. The truth is, it is affecting many other people as well. You have a team around you made up of friends, family and others, who to one degree or another need you and are counting on you.
PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer: