Wrote this article a year ago about how Sept 11th impacted my life personally. Dunno why, but thought I'd share it here.
(For context, it was an article written to go out to my email newsletter list of guys interested in working out, being in better shape, etc.)
"Never EVER Forget"
That's a phrase that gets thrown around fairly readily these days. Especially in the fitness world.
"Oh, that workout was life changing!"
"Changing my diet has changed my life!"
"I wouldn't be who I am if it weren't for that bootcamp!"
And who knows...maybe some of it's true.
Maybe someone lost enough weight that they're no longer a risk for Type 2 diabetes. Maybe someone improved their fitness enough to max out a military or law enforcement PT test, thus altering their career path. Maybe someone changed their physique enough that they now had the confidence to go into social situations where they ended up meeting the man or woman of their dreams.
So you never know.
But if we're honest...more often than not, the use of the phrase "life changing" is merely an over-exaggeration.
To the point that the term is now cliche, and we often pay it no (or at least very little) mind when it's used.
Today, as I sit down to pound the keys on my keyboard and put virtual pen to digital paper to write this, it is Sept 11th.
I don't think I have to explain why today is important.
But I can quite honestly tell you that for me, the events today marks the anniversary of were indeed "life changing".
Had there been no events of Sept 11th, there would have been no second conflict in the Gulf. Had there been no second conflict in the Gulf, the United States wouldn't have needed civilian govt. contractors.
Had the US not needed civilian govt. contractors, I would have never spent the better part of 2.5 years in Iraq. Had I not spent the better part of 2.5 years in Iraq, my marriage may have never fallen apart.
Had my marriage never fallen apart, I likely would have never started down a path of mindset, goal attainment, spiritual, emotional, psychological development & more.
Had I not started down that path, I can unequivocally say I would not be who I am today.
I wouldn't be the businessman. I wouldn't be the trainer. I wouldn't be the potential boyfriend. I wouldn't be the friend. I wouldn't be the father.
I know it sounds grandiose, but had it not been for the events of Sept 11th, I would not be the MAN I am today.
And I know I'm only one of an unfathomable number of people that can make the same claim - both positively and negatively...
Which is why I'm often quiet & reserved every year when Sept 11th rolls around.
I guess it's my own little version of remembrance.
Of remembering the men & women we lost. Of remembering the families who have loved ones that will never get to feel their embrace again. Of remembering the millions of people around the world whose lives are now different because of that fateful day.
And maybe most importantly, of never letting the gravity of that day back in 2001 ever diminish.
I've told this story before, but one year back in college (this was the late '90s...before 2001), on Dec 7th, I went around asking various students I bumped into that day if they knew what was important about it.
Some said it was because it was Wednesday (or whatever day of the week it was - I don't remember now).
Others said it was because the semester was nearing and end & Finals were right around the corner.
Out of the 15-20 I asked throughout the day, only one or two remembered the fact that Dec 7th marked the anniversary of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor back in 1941.
That it was the biggest foreign attack on domestic soil. That thousands of lives were lost. And that it was the catalyst that drew the United States into World War II.
And I don't think I have to explain how many millions of lives that changed.
Now yes, when I was asking, the bombing of Pearl Harbor had happened over 50 years prior. But it still bothered me that so few people remembered such a significant event.
A fear that I now can honestly say I harbor is that the events of Sept 11th will soon go the way of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
That some random, curious college kid will go around asking his fellow students why the day is important, and only a scant few will know.
I started this off discussing the term "life changing" and how it's so often overused in today's lexicon.
Please don't let the life changing events of Sept 11th ever become forgotten.
Because like myself, I'd be willing to bet that directly or indirectly, your life has been drastically altered as well.
Even if you don't realize it.
Don't let Sept 11th become another Dec 7th.
And most of all, please never...EVER...forget.