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Moment of Truth

When I’m in Israel visiting, my brother and I often go for runs. When I’m in Wisconsin, I don’t. Workouts don’t always translate easily. Sometimes I keep up and sometimes I just can’t make it. Or, that’s what I tell myself.

On my last day of my last vacation, we ran together. The truth was that early in the run I decided it wasn’t going well, and was trying to find reasons, excuses for myself. I hoped we were done when we crossed in front of his apartment building. We weren’t. He moved past the front steps and slipped down a decline to the left. I stopped. I walked. When he ran by me on the return, I asked where the end was. When I reached it, and probably before, I could have started running again. As if to prove, I wasn’t lying about my fatigue, I kept walking. I told myself it made no difference, because I had already failed to run the whole route, much less keep up with him.

When you’re alone, you ask yourself,

what are you searching for?

Deep in the night, a dream is born,

one that you can’t ignore

If you think you can find the passion

and you’re ready to take a chance

If you believe you can make it,

then the power is in your own hands

My brother only shrugged and said, “The question is why did you give up on yourself?”

In the stories the Western World tells, the moments of truth are always at the end. It feels good. It feels right to let the music rise. To hover in this romantic ‘pinnacle’ to the story that was all that it could and should be. There is no after, in the story we're told, at least. My brother’s words remained. And my new question, "When did the actual moment of truth occur?"

I recently switched to a cross fit gym. Every workout, you count something. Reps. Rounds. Weight. Time. The goal was so tangible. So too, I assumed, was the moment of truth, because time always ran out and the score went on the board. One day, I strained against my dream of completing three rounds in the set time. It was slipping away. My partner had to stop. Row. Bike. Burpies. It was easier to not give up when you're partner was depending on you. I promised myself I would make it, and I didn’t believe it. Such is the ubiquitous tension of want.

It’s the moment of truth, you’re giving it all

Standing alone, willing to fall

If you can do it, get up and prove it,

get up and show them who you are

It’s the moment of truth, it’s all on the line

This is the place, this is the time

You’ve waited forever, it’s now or it’s never,

nothing can stop you now

As time wound down on the last round of rowing, I watched the seconds slip away. Still, I hoped. I steeled myself and sped through the burpies on the last round. The time ended and I was three burpies short, but I had I surprised myself that I had completed them as quickly as I did. If I had that strength in me at the end, I had to ask myself why I couldn’t/wouldn’t make that effort earlier. The rising lyrics at the end of the movie were wrong. My moment of truth wasn’t at the end. It was in the middle. I missed it.

Physical exertion was my metaphorical line. It was always where I could identify myself digging for what I wanted. Gasping for air was so much better than sighing and almost crying staring at the rejection emails in my inbox. The visceral pumping left no doubt that I was pushing forward.

Once in your life you make a choice

Ready to risk it all

Deep in your soul you hear a voice

Answering to the call

My dad asked, “How’s the job search coming?”

“I just keep trying. Nothing else I can do, but I’m over 40 and I think I deserve to choose what I want.” It's a numbers game.

Except I want my success to be more than a number.

My friend asked, "How is Hebrew coming?"

"My brain lacks elasticity," or so I was told.

Though you know that it won't be easy

It's a promise you make for love

For the people that keep believing

And the one that you're thinking of

On Saturday the WOD included rope climbs. I considered avoiding it all together. What was one class? I told myself the same thing about the Hebrew class I had to cancel for work.

My calendar reminded me throughout July, “You are stronger than you think.”

In August, it claimed, "All things are possible if you believe."

It's the moment of truth, you're giving it all Standing alone, willing to fall If you can do it, get up and prove it Get up and show them who you are

I went to the gym. I accepted the challenge of the rope climb. Today, my chest ached. I needed to do more than trust my arm strength. YouTube videos illustrated a hidden grip. Clamped feet would not only support but allow me to stand and reach.

It's the moment of truth, it's all on the line This is the place, this is the time Waited forever, it's now or it's never Nothing can stop you now

To touch the top, I would need my whole body, all of me.

*Moment of Truth from Karate Kid soundtrack, artist Survivor


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