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How To Make A Grip Strength Fanatic Cry

This is a guest post by Shane Swing. I’ve sent him many thoughts and prayers over the course of the last few weeks, and in return he sent me this very thoughtful and inspiring guest post. Thanks Shane and I am keeping your daughter in my prayers. -Jedd-


My daughter took her first breath on August 4 of this year.

Such an angel she was.

However, she immediately had trouble nursing with mommy, she threw up constantly with the bottles we tried, and within a week, she lost 10% of her body weight.

This prompted weekly visits to the pediatrician, and sleepless nights for mommy and daddy.

Nursing did eventually work itself out, yet the whole time, we were curious about a little dimple-like indentation at the bottom of her spine where it meets her butt. I thought nothing of it though, because this runs in my side of the family.

I got a phone call at work with my wife telling me the doctor thinks it’s just a dimple but he wants us to get an ultrasound done to check for the possibility of spina bifida, a dehabilitating condition that cripples people for life.

Here I am at work, Mr. Tough Guy, sitting at my desk, with bent IM steel rods draped over a coffee mug like a trophy, next to hand grippers that office buddies laugh at but can’t close, and I begin crying like a little baby. Just the thought of my little girl facing such an obstacle that may rob her of her dreams was too much for me to take.

It took some time to regain my composure, but I did, and luckily for us, the doctor informed us yesterday that our daughter does NOT have spina bifida.

So, life returns to normal. I work, I go home, I spend time with my family, and I get my grip on.

And, as I looked at my grippers and bent steel rods today I realized that there is a lesson in life that parallels that of bending and grip strength.

When I first learned of the grip world, I thought how easy bending and closing grippers would be. When I ordered my own and tried them that first time and failed miserably, I was dejected and depressed. I thought I’d never be able to do what I’ve seen people do on the Internet. It was quite a shock really.

But, I kept at it and I resolved myself not to worry whether or not I’d be able to close the toughest grippers or bend the thickest rods, but to just enjoy the good and bad of the journey itself. I learned this lesson from a surprising source.

Our daughter’s situation ended on a happy note, but our cousins that have special needs twins weren’t so lucky. Their desired destination for their kids will never happen, yet they muster up the strength to love and appreciate at a level few people could ever understand. Their kids will never be “normal,” but they have decided that their journey together as a loving family is all that matters now. Having spent time with them, I was able to come to grips with our own daughter’s situation prior to learning the outcome.

So, I guess my overall message as it relates to grip is, don’t get too caught up in the goals with bending and gripping. Learn how to love the journey. We now own a passion that enriches our lives on a daily basis, regardless of outcome.

Love it for just that, and our goals won’t seem like such burdens anymore.

Diesel on!

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4 Responses to “How To Make A Grip Strength Fanatic Cry”

  1. Niel Says:

    Awesome post, and good to know your daughter is well too.

    Really goes to show how we can get too caught up in results while completely missing the finer things along the way.

  2. Shane Says:

    Thanks Niel. So true. I once went on a cross country trip to Cali. We were so concerned about “getting there” we passed up many sites including the grand canyon. We were just too concerned with getting there. I regret it now.


  3. Doug Says:

    Shane, glad she’s ok. My littlest is 4 months and still throws up constantly with the reflux. The meds help a little and as she feels better the personality is coming out. My oldest girl is 2 and she bent her first coat hanger recently. Enjoy every minute cause there is nothing like a daddys girl.

    Best wishes

  4. Shane Says:

    Thanks Doug,

    It DOES go by so fast man. I get get over that fact.


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