The Gauntlet

Today I spent some time talking with one of my very good friends. She just understands my soul and I understand hers. I am so grateful that I am one of her go-to people when times are rough and file0001508029111today was one of those days for her.

I listened to her day (she is a trooper that is for sure) and we chatted for sometimes about what she was currently dealing with. We ended up talking about how we are both ready for a little break from the roller coaster rides we are currently on. Some days the stomach is strong enough to take the ups and downs, however there are other days when nausea is the primary feeling.

I told her about one of the games the kids play at our karate studio. It just seemed appropriate, so stay with me on this one. I can’t remember what they officially called this game, so I am calling it the gauntlet. In this game the kids line up on one side of the mat. Along the two sides are the instructors and other lucky throwers waiting for these little warriors. They are armed with exercise stability balls (that are larger than most of the kids), dodge balls and nerf balls. The point of the game is for the kids lined up on the mat to run through this gauntlet safely to the other side. As the throwers begin their barrage of ball throwing, these little kids try to make their way to the other side. If they get hit, they are out.

The last time we watched this madness of a game, one of the littlest warriors got nailed in the head by one of the larger stability balls. Not only did it take him out, he rolled over the ball heels over head. It was a pretty epic wipeout. After the stars cleared, he didn’t quite know what to do (cry or laugh) until one of the leaders yelled out, “That was the BEST wipeout I have ever seen!!! That was Awesome!!!!” At that point the little guy jumped up and ran to the other side (head shots don’t count). It is a very amusing game to watch.

I told my friend that it feels like we are unsuspecting little warriors involved in a game like this, however on a life sized court. We are doing our best to run to the other side, however every now and then we are hit with a trial the size of a stability ball or as heavy as a weighted ball. The head shots have never been my favorite, because they seem to come out of nowhere and knock you straight to your knees (if you are lucky). Then there are the ones that take your feet out from under you and leave you breathless.

I have to wonder if there are thrower angels waiting on the sides for us to run by. As we come into view they identify their target and unleash. We, as unsuspecting warriors, run through and find ourselves in the middle of an out and out war. Every time we are knocked out, we have to get back up.

I know this scenario isn’t realistic, however visualizing something of this nature sure helps me to laugh when I don’t want to. It was magical for both of us today as we envisioned us playing this game in pure darkness, as we are waiting for the light to come.

So next time you are pretty down about being hit by life, envision this little gauntlet and see if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face. It helps if you have someone to share the silliness of it all.

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