The Relentless Well

The Relentless Well

Jul 14, 2016

imageThere is a well.  It was created in 2012 without anyone truly knowing it was happening.  There was an empty space, a place where there was much need but until then, no one was there to fill it.  Then Relentless happened.  If you read Howard’s article, it will very clearly give you the history of Relentless so I am not going to review that.  We are just going to say when Relentless started, so did this well.

It is not water that fills this well.  No, there is nothing truly tangible in this well.  But it is real.  As each person who becomes a part of Relentless starts to truly grasp what it means to Live Relentless 24/7/365, it becomes second nature to contribute to the filling of the well.  What is in the well you ask? It is from the well we take care of each other, we take care of our Relentless Family.

It’s no secret that those of us who embrace the Strength Sport lifestyle have found how to use the iron and strength implements as our Therapy.  It’s the safe place we know we can always turn to to work through life’s issues.  It may never seem to provide a direct solution, but it helps.  Somehow, through the building of our physical strength, we find mental and emotional strength increasing.  Confidence is boosted, some of us even decide to start competing and get quite good at it.  While others compete and forever find themselves in the middle of the pack.  Then there is me, every Strongwoman Competition I have ever done I am dead last.  However, I’m pretty darn good at Highland Games!!!

Training is our therapy.  Alone or with a trainer. Training teams or large group training days.  Time with my “Tribe.” No matter what, I always walk out feeling better than when I went in. However, training and competing can sometimes feel quite selfish.  Hours a week in the gym when our lives have increasing demands.  The iron can start to lose it’s draw or not give us the same satisfaction.

Enter Relentless.  Sure, it’s a sanctioned powerlifting meet, and I assure you the judging is tight.  So many of you reading this have heard about it and wondered what it’s about and maybe even consider getting involved.  When you answer the call that comes deep from within and do put yourself out there for Relentless, I can promise you one thing… you life will NEVER be the same.  image image imageThe events themselves are amazing.  Relentless Detroit sponsors 6 local families fighting life threatening illnesses and Relentless Minnesota supports HopeKids, helping many families with children fighting life-threatening illnesses.  There is no questioning the magnitude of the cause.  But that’s barely scratching the surface.

Have you seen the picture of David Douglas and Lindsay? It went viral this year even though in our Relentless Family, it happened two years ago.  imageThat is just ONE of the relationships formed outside of the ‘event’ that is an example of how The Well is filled.  What about Connor Bint? So many started following Relentless more closely as we shared our love for this young man that changed all our lives. Who could ever forget this Stage 4, 15 year old Cancer patient deadlifting at Relentless Minnesota in 2015?

Person after person, family after family, training groups and teams traveled from all four corners of the United States to visit with Connor before he passed.  The Well was filled.

The guy who owns his own auto repair company offering very fair discounted pricing to Relentless Family, the well is filled.  Skull Island donating camp time! The family that needs a new puppy, I’m here to tell you, Deb Johnson fills the well! Prayers… oh my goodness the prayers. You need ’em, we got ’em.  Need a ride, we got you.  Having a bad day, a solid Facebook posting between some of our Relentless Family will keep you laughing for hours.  Need 300 tiaras bought for the kids at a Relentless meet… it’s done! The awesome young Man, Alec battling cancer who is inspired by me in my kilt decides to has to get one. Then he shows up at Motor City Strongman because I’m there working and he can surprise me in his new kilt! imageIt’s relationships.  The real kind.  The kind they talk about in the good old days that seem to be missing from our daily lives.  Back when we were excited to answer the phone and company coming to the house was such a huge wonderful deal.  This is our Relentless Family… this is how we fill the well.  Even I pay into the well when I can.  Free appointments for Relentless lifters coming into meet time, taking care of Relentless parents who hurt from stress and strains. We are all called to the well.

There’s more… Hannah’s Care Packages is a non-profit started by the Mom’s of Relentless kids who know what it is like to sit by the bedside of the child, unprepared for the long hospital stay, overwhelmed with fear, and all too often feeling so very alone.  This group of women themselves or reaching out to the lifters of Relentless have care packages delivered TO THE BEDSIDE of this child directly to the parent.  Sit with them, talk, listen, pray if wanted. Are you starting to see how big this well is yet?image imageimage

A Fundraising idea came from a single Facebook post about putting your tiara on with the glass of wine after a bad day.  Eight women in Relentless created the idea and brought “Traps & Tiaras” to life.  $1600 was raised in tanks and t-shirt sales and 300 tiaras made absolutely EVERYONE’s experience at Relentless Minnesota so much more amazing.  So successful, we are continuing it to Relentless Detroit with a whole new design and can’t wait to bring Samantha Coleman into the group promoting Beauty in Strength.imageimageimage

Like many wells, they are in the center of it all.  Twice a year, we come from all over the globe as a Relentless Family and we have a Reunion.  These reunions happen in the form of a 2-day powerlifting meet.  In these meets, the kids sit on the stage, the lifters dress in costumes and spend their time loving on children, wheelchair races happen in the halls,image little boys place tiara’s on princesses heads and tell them they are so beautiful in their strength. We eat, drink, swim, laugh, joke, play, sing karaoke, cigars are smoked, weights are lifted, records are broken and we eat a lot more! We gather around the well, we fill the well with our love for one another, our love for the kids, our love for what we all get to help create in Relentless.  Often times you will find parents of our Relentless Kids becoming lifters themselves.  Candie Yon is the single Mom of 3 kids and 2 of them BEAT cancer. She has lifted 3 times now.  imageimageShannon Zokoe lifted in honor of her daughter, Amber’s memory.image  The well should be overflowing…

Up until now, we’ve discussed filling the well.  Sometimes we need to draw from the well.  Sometimes we lose one of our Relentless Family members.  We are ALL there.  Sometimes a wish needs to be filled to help a little girl learn to walk… $15,000 raised in 2 months from gyms all over the country to help Kaylee learn to walk.  imageThere are so many instances where so many members of our Relentless imageFamily have needed to draw from the well, both big and small, and the well never runs out.

This past weekend, I personally lifted for the very first time ever on the powerlifting platform at Relentless Minnesota.  I didn’t die.  In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself.  For the three years before that, I have been the Recovery Therapist taking care of the lifters at Relentless Detroit.  These folks are family.  These are the people I raise my son around.  They have poured into our lives so much more than I ever could have dreamed.  They show up.  Always. In November, my son, who is 8 years old, has committed to lifting at Relentless Detroit.  On September 17th he will do his own personal fundraiser – a “truck pull” where he can be sponsored by the number of feet he pulls the truck, hopefully to 100 feet.  The Relentless well has helped me pour into my son how to live a life for others.  How to use strength for amazing good.  My first lifting experience gave my son so much more than I ever could have imagined. image

The Relentless Well is Real. So as you see all the pictures inflitrating all areas of social media, think about The Well.  Ask yourself, do you feel the pull to be a part of this.  It’s not just a powerlifting meet. It’s not just a two-day event.  It’s a way of life, 24/7/365. It’s my Relentless Family.  Oh – and you should know there is this thing we call the “Relentless Hangover,” and oh my goodness is it real. Days of love, hugs, laughs, family comes to and end and you just feel lost.  If you happen to know one of us, do me a favor, just give us a hug.  It’s kinda our thing!

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