Actually, two. I saw two miracles this week. My granddaughter Violet is 11 months old. Yesterday, she walked up to my 5 lb. barrel of protein powder. She grabbed the handle and deadlifted it. The barrel was empty but heavy is relative. On her second rep, she broke out in the biggest smile I have ever witnessed in my life. And she kept smiling during her 3rd rep and 4threp and 5th rep.
For her second set, she pushed it like a blocking sled, driving it across the floor for 10 yards, cheering herself on. Her third set was the toughest – upright rows. Four reps. Strict form, no cheating. Under control, she put it back on floor. She didn’t slam it, drop it, or smash it to the ground. No, she put it down under control. Even an infant knows the positives of the negative rep – lower the weight under control, don’t slam it to the ground endangering yourself and everyone around you.

Then, the adrenaline rush. Clapping her hands, waving her arms…the baby pump, that magical feeling when the switch goes on and all is well in the world.

Thirty minutes later, we went to the park. I witnessed another miracle. Violet sprinted the equivalent of two football fields. Smiling, cheering, waving wildly…poor arm form, questionable stride length but here’s the miracle part – she never quit. Never made excuses. Never whined, never complained. Never mouthed off, no intolerable attitude. No sense of entitlement, not a hint of laziness. She finished her wind sprints happier than when she started them.

I have been blessed to have coached thousands of student-athletes, blessed to have taught thousands of wannabe cops, blessed to have seen some amazing performances but I have never seen anything like Violet’s workout. Less than one year on planet Earth and already passionate above lifting and running. I thank God Almighty for the miracle of cell phone cameras so I can replay it over and over and over. Reps of pure joy.

I have devoted my entire adult life urging other peoples’ children to lift and run and play hard. I have pleaded with them to not waste their gifts…to unleash everything they have, to not bury their talents. And I have pleaded with them to love it…pleaded with them to embrace their blessings of great health and to love lifting and love running and love playing hard together. Some listened, some didn’t.

I’m still dedicating my life to those things but now I’m adding one more – I’m devoting every ounce of energy I’ve got to make sure that Violet never loses her passion for lifting hard and running hard, never stops smiling, laughing, and waving her arms wildly, never buries her gifts and talents, never falls under the influence of gloom, doom, and negativity, and most of all…never loses her soul of a lifter.

Keep lifting Violet…lift as many souls as you can, every minute, every day. Never stop lifting, Violet.