The Power of One

He arrived on my doorstep and was greeted by an overweight handicapped teen… and a out of shape slightly depressed single lady. We exchanged pleasantries, and I could tell he was a tad nervous. He would come to the neighborhood fitness center to “train” us twice a week. Grant has been known to challenge authority by stomping his feet in anger and defiance, and my emotions were so raw that any criticism might result in an emotional breakdown. However, I rolled up my uneasiness with our yoga mats and began a transformative journey.

The hours that we spend with Daniel every week are filled with laughter, sweat, and friendship. When you have a child with special needs, it is often challenging to find activities that can be shared. Grant is my workout partner if every single sense of the word. He refuses to let me skip a session, cheers me on when I am tired, and celebrates when we reach a new goal. If Daniel tells him to do 10 reps, he wants to do 20. After our first set, he will secretly bump up the weight without telling me. Often he will correct my form, or admonish me when I am complaining. His signature countdown…5…4…3…2…1…Bahbam, has become an anthem in our lives. Individuals witnessing the spectacle we create in the small fitness room, have been known to shake Daniel’s hand, or simply give Grant a high five. They too realize they are witnessing something special.

Last week, Daniel introduced a crazy new form of torture that involved us getting in a push up position with our feet resting on a bench behind. As I watched Grant, I immediately started to worry about the weakness in the left side of his body. I turned to Daniel and said, “I don’t think he can do that.” Daniel believed he could, and so Grant knocked out 3 sets. During the same workout, I tried to lift a stack of weight only to ask Daniel to come over and help because it was too heavy. He believed I was strong enough, and so I lifted it 15 times. I informed him I was a little pissed he did not come and rescue me. His response, “You did it, didn’t you?” Hmmm….I did not have a comeback.

A year filled with workouts has certainly increased our strength and stamina, but there have been changes that I could have never anticipated. My oldest left for college, and I was not destroyed. I left teaching to pursue a hidden dream. Grant can do more than I thought he ever could, and this knowledge has allowed me to expand our horizons. For the first time in years, I believe that I am worthy of love. The man that gets to have Grant, Jake, and me in his life is going to be extremely lucky. Renewed creativity flows though me, as I spend hours writing a story that must be told. What does all of this have to do with a few leg squats and burpees? THE POWER OF ONE PERSON THAT BELIEVES IN YOU CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING! Daniel has removed the words can’t, never, impossible, weak, tired, and depressed from our vocabulary. I shudder to think about where we would be without him.

Someone needs exactly what you have to offer. Your faith might be the very thing that keeps them from giving up. If you are lucky enough to have a Daniel in your life…thank them profusely. When you tell them how they have impacted your world…you strengthen them as well. Don’t ever underestimate the power of ONE…it begins with you.