I recently attended a GoRuck Light event by myself in Nashville, TN. If you don’t know what GoRuck is, it’s worth a Google. In short, it’s a team event based on military training and involves wearing a backpack with weights for several hours.
I found out about this activity through a women’s workout group I joined this past summer. I eagerly signed up for the event and began training. Finally, the day arrived for me to drive myself nearly three hours away, in a different time zone, to hang out with 40 folks I’d never met. It hadn’t bothered me to be by myself until I got to the starting point for the event, when it dawned on me that I didn’t know anyone. Several people had come with friends, or were chatting with those they recognized from attending other events. I found a group of friendly-looking folks and inserted myself into their conversation, hoping to make some friends quickly. As the event started, we were broken up into groups of 10, and luckily a couple of the people from the parking lot were in my group, so I became less nervous.
Having never done one of these events before, I only had a minimal idea of what to expect. I regularly exercise three to four days a week, so I figured I could handle just about anything I’d be asked to do. I was definitely wrong, but that’s a subject matter for another post. Everyone on my team was pretty nice; some people had done events before and others hadn’t.
About two hours into the event, we were asked to do our first team exercise. I was immediately nervous and kept trying to think of a way to get out of it. As my teammates started discussing strategy, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to stall any longer or bail out of the demand. I made my first attempt and failed, causing the whole team to fall. I made my second attempt and failed again. I was embarrassed and felt really discouraged. On my third attempt, a person I didn’t know from another team, came over and helped me by providing encouragement. We ended up completing the exercise and I was grateful for the assistance, yet I started beating myself up inside, feeling like I had let the team down. I thought I was stronger and in better shape. “If I had trained harder, I would have been able to do that exercise without help,” I told myself. The event only got mentally and physically harder from that point and little did I know at the time, but I would have 2.5 more hours to endure before it was all said and done.
After the event ended and I started heading for my hotel, I began remembering how helpful those other folks — who weren’t even on my team — had been. They saw I was struggling and immediately came to my rescue. I didn’t even have to ask and they didn’t seem to mind. In fact they seemed to appreciate helping me, and in turn my team, grow stronger.
I realized that it was okay for me to accept their help.
I didn’t have to do the event all on my own; it was a team event. If someone was deficient in something, another person would be there to help and that was alright. As someone who enjoys helping others and even takes pride in their ability to motivate and inspire people, this was definitely a light bulb moment for me.
I think this is a lesson we can all take to heart. With as many responsibilities as we put on ourselves and as life puts on us as moms, it’s okay to lean on someone. It’s okay to let someone help you. It doesn’t mean you’re less than, weak, or not able to do the task. In our “highlight reel” world of likes, comments, and shares, it’s easy to get caught up in the feeling that you need to do it all on your own. Be proud of yourself for what you can accomplish, but don’t be embarrassed if you need help along the way.