As we begin the month of March, we are entering a new month full of goals, aspirations and dreams. March is the last month of the first quarter and one where many start to push themselves to begin working on those goals. In the case of our BU brother, Bernard, he has already been working and conquering his goals well before crunch time. Bernard is a #stayready kinda guy who has set an example across Breathe University by staying constantly ahead and giving 120 each and everyday. His story is one to admire and it's my pleasure to share a piece of him in this article. Bernard says;
I joined BU in October of 2016. I was looking to learn how to do community well, and there is no place like Breathe University. I’m originally from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands then I spent some time in Virginia where I met my wife of 14 years, Latashia. BU has impacted my life by highlighting for me every single day that average will not be tolerated and that you don’t have to walk alone on your journey to greatness. Fitness is a key pillar of Life. I attend a weekly prayer breakfast on Thursday Mornings, and the oldest member who attends is 94 years old. When you have mentors who have lived for nine decades, they highlight what really matters, and health truly is a part of wealth. I live in Downton Seattle and the building I live in has 40 floors. I lunge from the 6th floor where the gym is located to the 40th floor taking three stairs at a time. I think that is my secret sauce to my training routine. I also love kettlebell swings.
Posthumous is a fancy word that means awarded after they died. I say that word to myself when I need to remember the sacrifices that others have made so that I can be here and have the opportunities that I have. What I know to be true is that we build on the sacrifices of others and we betray not just our destinies but their legacies when we play small in our own lives. I know that if you served honorably that you have it in you to CHANGE the world.
YOU already HAVE changed the WORLD by YOUR DECISION to SERVE why not continue?
I exited the ARMY in January of 2014 it was a moment of deep reflection and internal celebration. I had survived six years. I was determined to make the best of what was next. I took a lot of disciplines from the military with me, but many of the physical disciplines I choose not to engage in. Ruck Marches became Hikes. Daily Five Mile Runs became 5-mile walks.
I was trying to forget all I had seen and all I had lived. I remember talking with one Veteran who shared that she didn’t like fireworks because it reminded of time spent in Iraq.
I think in some instances WE ALL WANT TO FORGET.
The problem with forgetting is that at times when we forget the BAD. By default, we forget the Good.
In 2017 I started running again.
I ran a lot in the Military, and I don’t know if I liked it or tolerated it. NOW HOWEVER I CELEBRATE it!
MILITARY service MEMBERS are some of the most intense Athletes on the PLANET. Individuals who are training and preparing to GIVE ALL THEY ARE to DEFEND our countries FREEDOMS.
As I ran in JANUARY 2017, I remembered those I served with:
I have a T-Shirt COMMISSIONED by my BATTALION COMMANDER that says run to remember on the front and on the back of this T-Shirt.
ON THE BACK OF THE T-SHIRT are the NAMES of 23 Service Members who GAVE ALL so we could have this moment.
THERE IS ALSO A REMINDER
IN THE SHAPE of a SHOE PRINT
Run to REMEMBER
I get goosebumps every time I think of that. THE FALLEN THE FIGHTING THE FAMILIES
I trained with many of these MEN
I stood AGAINST our Nations ENEMIES with many of these MEN
WHEN I RUN I REMEMBER that their FAMILIES had to DO LIFE without them
I REMEMBER that ANY DEMONS that I HAVE TO FACE means, I AM ALIVE and PRESENT to FACE THEM, so I KEEP FIGHTING
I Honor the FALLEN by REMEMBERING BY RUNNING.
Six years of Military Service TAUGHT me that there is NOTHING SPECIAL about POSTHUMOUS AWARDS.
THINK of the SONS DAUGHTERS WIVES HUSBANDS MOTHERS FATHERS.
THINK WHICH AWARD THEY WOULD RATHER HAVE the ONE GIVEN after the DEATH of their loved ONE or the AWARD of ANOTHER DAY with them.
RUN not to FORGET your Problems
RUN not to FORGET that LIFE has CHALLENGES
RUN not to FORGET that we all fall short STUMBLE and at times BLOW IT
RUN TO REMEMBER THE FALLEN
RUN TO REMEMBER THE FIGHTING
RUN TO REMEMBER THE FAMILIES
AND TRULY REMEMBER that
LIVING Every day to the FULLEST is AWARD ENOUGH.
Bernard is an inspiration to so many in the Breathe University Community and his ability to go above and beyond average makes him one om of our BU fitness heroes.