Today's Surfin' Sunday is going to be a little different - all about courage. All week the news shows have been remembering the events of ten years ago, and telling us amazing stories of courage.
|Susan Retick (far left) speaks with women in Afghanistan|
One that really stuck with me was the story of Susan Retick, who was widowed on 9/11. Family and friends immediately surrounded her with love and support, as was happening all around the country with people affected by the tragedy. But Susan Retick saw beyond her own personal tragedy - she realized that if she was only able to make it through her trials with the love of family and friends, how did other widows - and particularly those in Afghanistan, where life is horribly difficult for women in the best of times - make it through such a tragedy? Out of this was born Beyond the 11th. In just eight years, Beyond the 11th has raised more than $1 million. The funds have been passed on as grants to organizations in Afghanistan helping women learn a skill or trade, such as DOSTI, a soccer ball manufacturing business started by two Afghan women which now employs over 400 people, many of them widows.
This ability to see beyond her own little world speaks volumes to me - courage beyond belief. When asked about what she thought her husband would think of what she is doing, she said, "I know he wouldn't have wanted me to respond with more hate. I don't want Dave's memory to be about hate and anger and terrorism. I want it to be about this phenomenal human being that he was. And I can't think of a better way to carry that on than with the work that we do." If you want to see more about her work, you can check out this website. Watch the promo video for the documentary - it's worth the time!
On another front, I have a friend who is taking a very courageous step in her life - she has decided to take her love of fitness and start a business encouraging and motivating people to make their lives better through fitness training. She's also one of the funniest people I know - and we all know that humor makes exercise so much better, don't we! I'd like to talk her into starting a fitness class for quilters, but I'm not sure we'd be willing to stop sewing long enough to work out, and sweat on the quilts might make them a little less desirable!! But who knows, maybe we can work something out!
Anyway, she has taken another step out into the great unknown and started a blog called Sister Chicks Guide to At-Home Fitness :o). It is billed as a ...Calorie-Free, Fat-Free, Carb-Free Zone. Click all you want on this page... it's good exercise! The title of the first blogpost I saw? "If I Throw Up On Your Floor...." Just one little story from an exercise class, but very indicative of Tonya's humor! Go check out her blog - if you are at all interested in a home exercise program, or just feeling better in general, I think you'll enjoy it. She's trying to get fifty followers by Monday, and she's only six away from that right now. Follow her for a while and see if you don't enjoy her wicked sense of humor!
And it's hard to think about courage without thinking of the upcoming movie Courageous. I'm also reminded, as we honor the first responders to 9/11 on this 10th anniversary, that Courageous focuses on police officers and their service. The movie opens on September 30th, and I would really encourage you to go - take your family, especially your husband - it will speak to you in ways you can't imagine. I've seen it twice already and it was better the second time. Here's a trailer for the movie...
But what discussion of courage would be complete without the first place most of us probably heard of it? Please enjoy this little video which should bring back many memories.....
(sorry about the quality of the video - it was the only one I could find with an embed code!)
Have a courageous week!