Sep 13, 2011


How Does It Feel?

by Scott Zagarino

How does it feel? I’ve had someone’s life end in the middle of CPR with my lips on theirs. I know how that feels. I’ve put down two of my best friends in the world. I know how that feels. I’ve buried my father. I know how that feels. Then there are feelings I can’t imagine and don’t want to think about.

I’ve tried to watch the complete “Sterling’s Story” video on the CrossFit Journal and until I decided to edit it and re-post it here I couldn’t get through it. I didn’t want to “feel” that kind of pain, so I shut it off, changed the mental channel. I felt enough to want to use what we’ve built in Fight Gone Bad to support the CrossFit Kids/ Infant Swim Rescue and Coach Glassman’s promise that no more infants would drown, but still I didn’t want to feel it.

I sat down to edit the videos and I felt it. I’m not claiming to feel that crushing loss the way thousands of mothers and father have, but I felt enough to make myself sit down and try to make you feel it too.

There are three ways you find out your child is dead. You see it happen, you hear it on the phone, or someone looks you in the eye and tells you. I have two daughters and this morning I sat down, closed my eyes and imagined for a moment how that would feel. I imagined the phone call, I imagined the doctor telling me, I imagined waking up the next morning and having the reality slowly blossom in my brain like the breaking of day that they were gone. I felt my heart break into a million pieces and I couldn’t even come close to the reality of it, and still tears rolled down my cheeks until I was sobbing. I’m not proud of this, but all I wanted to do was get away from that feeling. I wanted to call my daughters and tell them how much I loved them, but I didn’t want to think about what it would’ve felt like to know they had drowned, that they were dead….forever. The only kind of dead there is.

With just a few days left before Fight Gone Bad 6, and more than a $1 million more that we have enough people out there to raise this year, I’m asking you to do the same thing I did. Stop for a minute, sit quietly and feel it. Feel what Marla felt when she saw Sterling laying there not breathing. Feel what she felt when she had to tell her husband that she didn’t know if it was ever going to be OK again. Feel what she felt when she had to disconnect her son from the last breath he would ever take. For one minute, FEEL IT.

Joan Holmes, founder of the Hunger Project explained why people go hungry in a world where there is enough food. She said it’s because we believe they should. What she meant was that we’d long ago given up hope and given into people starving to death as a reality, so we accept that reality.

After 25 years at this, I don’t have a lot of faith left in the average person’s ability to look squarely at a problem and feel it, rather than reach for the remote, but I do have hope in CrossFitters. I believe we can still feel, and if we feel, we’ll do something about it, and Fight Gone Bad provides you with the same confrontation as “can you feel it.” Fight Gone Bad confronts us with “Will you do something about it?”

Fight Gone Bad is going to provide CrossFit Kids/ISR with as much as we can from what we raise to train ISR instructors until (in the words of Coach Classman) not one more infant drowns. If you can make yourself “feel it,” you’ll go to your computer and ask people to support that idea with your donations.

If you can’t “feel it,” I understand, believe me, I understand.

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