I work in a warehouse. Well, for the next nine days I do. This Distribution Center – and our jobs – are being relocated halfway across the country. Kind of a bummer, but that’s not the story I want to tell today.
As we process the shutdown, we are packing up and shipping out all of our inventory, kit-building supplies, and equipment. For the past two months, there’s been a steady stream of tractor-trailers being loaded on our docks and heading off to the Midwest.
In addition to the normal difficulties of this process, it’s been Winter. A nasty winter, too. Snow followed by rain followed by hard freezes. The landing area outside of our shipping/receiving docks has flooded and frozen, turning it into a giant skating rink.
Yesterday, we had a little snow – maybe two or three inches of accumulation. The plowing contractor that our property manager hired failed to make his rounds again, leaving the yard super-slick. This was not good news for the driver of the tractor-trailer that rolled in to pick up today’s load. As soon as he got lined up on the door, he got stuck. His tires just spun on the ice, stranding him seventy feet from the dock. No matter how much he tried, there was no moving that rig forward or backward.
After some time, the driver got out, found the bin of road salt, and continued his attempts at bettering his position…it did not work.
Those of us inside the building could see this happening, but none of us wanted to venture outside to deal with a stuck truck. It was cold (like single-digit cold), there was a language barrier with the driver, and – most importantly – all of our gear and supplies had been packed up and shipped away. It appeared that we had nothing with which to offer assistance.
A bag of ice-melt and some old ratty floor mats. That’s all we could find. I had a faint idea that maybe the mats would get those spinning tires off the ice enough for us to let the ice-melt do its thing. It didn’t seem like it would work. After all, the truck weighs some 30,000 pounds and was sitting on slippery ice.
To our complete and utter surprise, placing the mats just behind the drive wheels provided enough traction for the entire rig to reverse right up to the dock as if the ground was dry and clear.
What does this have to do with fitness, LHRL, or anything in general? Well, most days, we’re surrounded by people who need a little help. Often, their need isn’t obvious and we’re oblivious. There’s not much we can do for them other than living our lives as excellent human beings and treating everyone in the manner in which we would want to be treated. Other days? There are days we’ll come across people who clearly need help. Their struggle is clear. They’re stuck. Trying their best to get going again, but still stuck.
They need traction.
We can find all sorts of excuses to stand by and watch their struggle: helping will be uncomfortable…I don’t understand them…I don’t have the proper tools to offer assistance.
All I know is that we need to take what we do have and give it our best try. Grab your proverbial floor mats and that tiny bin of ice-melt and step out to offer help. They might need just a little bit of you to get unstuck and back on their way.
Be the traction someone needs today.