Courage. Humility. Integrity. These are 3 words I carry with me today. For most of my life, I have lived with the title the “underdog,” and it has always been a catalyst for me to challenge myself beyond my thresholds of both performance and potential. In “short” (pun is intended, since this particular post has to do with my stature) – “What is worth achieving, is done so through earned effort, integrity and persistence.”
After months of training, living, breathing, eating and sleeping; at 9am I sat down at the JIBC (Justice Institute of BC) wrote the written test and then prepared to run the POPAT physical for the New Westminster Police Department with the hopes of having one of the top competitive times.
Did I feel ready – hell yes I did. I can pull 160lbs on the cable, I can bench 75lbs, I can dead lift 135lbs, hell, I run ultra marathons for charities, and piggyback men across the Saprtan Race finish lines – I must be ready. I should have enough good karma for the “Law of Attraction” to own this POPAT.
Then reality sets in, and like most things in my life; my heart and unwavering will has always been my strongest attribute. Unfortunately, my size has not. If this were the Shire and I had applied to HobbitVille PD, there would be no doubt I would be a top ranked candidate, but in the real world sometimes size does matter.
I will adapt.
Here is the thing – brawn does not win wars, heart win wars. It is not “survival of the fittest, but survival of those who ADAPT.” Life is a beautiful struggle and true greatness is earned, not given. “Failure” is nothing but a word and how WE each choose to place meaning on that “word” will determine how we relate to it and how we determine our next steps towards that successful goal.
MY “meaning”, is not that I “failed,” but that the universe has offered me a chance to tweak my skill sets and be better prepared. To work harder, and offer more of what “Sarah Jamieson” can offer the NWPD.
Come Face to Face With Your Inner SuperHero:
As with any race or event; my ritual has always been to watch a superhero movie (or several), to get myself pumped up, mentally prepared and focused for the task at hand.
Why? Because simply; Superheroes reveal the common thread within all of us, our human potential, and our search through the ages for truth, for the meaning and significance of life. Superheroes are the embodiment of these myths, they allow us to understand and identify with those same qualities. If you strip away all the cool gimmicks, toys, cape etc – what you are left with is just a man or woman, who has made the choice to do more than the average person and to source out their higher purpose – to re-build their community, not just reside within it. That is what a Superhero truly is.
Two Superheroes who I find I relate to the most; are Batman and Captain America.
Both represent a process and evolution of their Superhero self. Born into very different lives; their experiences are one the same – triumph over tragedy. Both lose their parents to insurmountable tragedy; both are classified as the “underdogs” in very different ways, both live a life of purpose placing emphasis on the betterment of their community before their own and both must undergo test after test to earn their place amongst the best. In short – all this is merely realizing your own human potential. That’s all it is – and each of us has within us the power to do just that.
The tragedy of losing someone close to you – is a wound that never closes. It is something indescribable and redefines your moral compass, your character and tests the strength of your soul from inside out. That process can either strengthen or destroy you. When you choose to dig deep you learn to use that pain and that memory to honor the experience and you in turn, learn to respect the past for what it is. Something that cannot be changed, but will not deter you from a brighter future. You can then learn to mold that experience to create a tool to build a better future. For me, I choose to use my loss, my experiences to influence others to make better life decisions and to source out their personal potential.
In Captain America, Steve Rogers’s claim to fame; doesn’t happen overnight. He wasn’t born into a family of affluence; or given any special treatment. On the contrary, Steve Rogers was a scrawny 90lbs, asthmatic kid with a heart larger than his country. After trying out 5 times to be recruited into the army, he was finally given a shot to prove his caliber of worth – and like most superhero movies, he goes through a process of being bullied, told to just give up.
Even after the “serum” and his physique changes, he is still seen as the poster boy and not a real man. Captain America earns the respect of his superiors and brothers in the Army, not by his new found brawn, but through his ability to care more for the men and women he is serving with – than the war. He risks his life for them and in the end sacrifices his own to save the lives of many. His heart and his ability to maintain the character and represent honor and integrity never falter.
(Steve and James banter as Steve walks into his 5th recruitment attempt)
James Barnes: Why are you so keen to fight? There are so many important jobs.
Steve Rogers: There are men laying down their lives. I got no right to do any less than them. That’s what you don’t understand. This isn’t about me.
(Col. Phillips and Dr. Erskine talk, then throw a grenade at the troops, where Steve sacrifices himself for his team… of course it’s not a real grenade – it’s a test of character)
Col.Chester Phillips: At the end of this week we will choose that man. He will be the first in a new breed of super-soldiers. And they, will personally escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell.
Col.Chester Phillips: You’re not really thinking about picking Rogers, are you?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: I am more than just thinking about it. He is the clear choice. I am looking for qualities beyond the physical.
(Steve and Dr. Erskine meet)
Steve Rogers: Can I ask you a question?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Just one?
Steve Rogers: Why me?
Dr. Abraham Erskine: I suppose that is the only question that matters.
Dr. Abraham Erskine: So many people forget that the first country that the Nazi’s invaded was their own. You know, after the last war the…my people struggled. They felt weak. They felt small. You see, The serum amplifies everything that is inside. So, good becomes great. Bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion.
Steve Rogers: Thanks. I think.
Dr. Abraham Erskine: Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.
[Steve holds up his glass to toast]
Steve Rogers: To the little guys.
Affirmation: I CAN and I WILL pass the POPAT and execute the power training machine with ease (or at least with refined control). As GI Jane once said “You like pissed off… watch this!” Of course, in my case I would be talking to an inanimate object such as the Power Training Machine; which could be classified as slightly crazy – but it gets across my point! Take that feeling and dig deep, and let it push you past your threshold.
For all of you out there who have worked hard and come face to face with your road block, all I can say is this – be prepared to fight for it. Process the minor setback, embrace it, honor it and then discard it and gear up to tackle your next training program and set those new goals.
Today is the first day of my new “GI Jane’ domination tactical training program. Even though I have not yet heard the results of the testing and if I will be invited back to re run the POPAT, I will train like I have, because that is what preparation, persistence and perseverance is all about. Let no obstacle stand in your path – those obstacles are your best teachers and your best ally’s.
What about Batman?
Stay tuned for next week, where we will look at how to “dig deep” and focus those (shhhh we don’t talk about them) fears, anger and ego. All Superheroes understand that any narrative, including their own require the balance of this duality and it is in these lessons where we learn to navigate these shadowy regions for more constructive means. I will offer you exercise’s to remain focused and guided so that you can create your own understanding of this great paradox. Relating real life experience and the comparison’s of the Batman’s The Dark Knight Rises .