Last week, something pretty cool happened at the new gym I joined. I was sweating away on the StairMaster. I had my headphones in and watched the time slowly decrease on the machine’s clock. I looked up and saw the instructor that had been teaching the spin class start walking around the cardio machine area. She started handing something to anyone that was exercising. I’m new to this gym so thought nothing of it, assuming she just knew everyone. But then she started walking toward me. I took one ear bud out and smiled, grateful for a distraction form the fire burning in my quads.
“I see you over here,” she said. “Take a green seal.”
Sure enough, she handed me a small green seal. It was the same size and color of G. I. Joe. Then she walked away.
(Photographing your own hand is weird and cumbersome. FYI.)
I gave the seal a quick once-over and started laughing thinking What the heck?
But as I thought more and more about it (I had time since I was trapped on the StairMaster) the more I loved it. The seal could have been anything: a penny, a high-five, it doesn’t matter. The message it sent was the important part.
In not so many words, the seal said that another person sees me. It says that not only do they see me but that what they see is good and worth encouraging. It says use this as a reminder that a person saw you, acknowledged you and that you should keep doing whatever you are doing. A lot for just one seal, I know. Maybe a stretch? Quite possibly, yes.
In an attempt to say “Hey, we see you. Keep it up. Here’s a green seal.” to those of our company that may need a little boost this coming week especially as many of us remember my mom on Thursday, marking one year since she left us, we’re going to try something.
It’s kind of fitting that the mystery woman gave me the green seal while I was on the StairMaster. The StairMaster is my least favorite thing to do. For me, the only trick I’ve found to getting through the StairMaster is get on and start stepping my little heart out. There is no magic. No podcast, no song that would make me love the StairMaster. I just have to get through it (especially since the treadmill and I have a troubled past).
This next week, there will be no song, gift or sure-fire way to not miss my mom a little more or to be reminded of her disease and all the emotions we felt just a year ago. The only thing I’ve found that has helped me is people (ahem, you all) that remind me that the world is simultaneously as hard as it can be beautiful. On Thursday, we are going to start stepping our little hearts out. We are going to go out of our way to make sure encouragement — “green seals” — rain down in abundance.
To do this, we need your help. Take this PDF (or feel free to make your own) and complete the sentence “I whistle…” For instance:
I whistle in honor of my mom.
I whistle because I believe Light will always demolish Dark.
(Some days it’s just “I whistle because I added an extra scoop of ice cream on my sundae.”)
Then we sing it out for the world to hear. And by sing, I mean take a picture of your Whistle poster and share it on your preferred social media (or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post for you!).
Are you getting our Whistling & Co. newsletter with updates, stories and more? If you’d like a little email joy (I promise, no spam. Ew.) every once in a while, sign up here.
Thanks so much for following along!