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Just show up

Joint Base Andrews, Md. -- We have all gone through struggles where we've had to search for ways to get through. As a sophomore at the Air Force Academy, I found myself in this position. One brisk fall night I got an email from one of my academic advisors saying my grades were not good and unless I turned around fast, I could be saying goodbye to all of my closest friends before the year's end. Wow. I curled up on my bed looking out the window at the October snow and called my mom. "I worked so hard to reach my goal to get into this school...what would happen if I got this far and then had to leave?" I asked her. It was an emotional night for both of us. I just couldn't fathom having to leave the academy. I couldn't see myself any place else.

A couple days later I sat in mass thinking about the warning I had just received. I glanced down at the church bulletin and there I saw it in big bold letters: "Just show up and I'll supply the rest!" Whether you are religious or not, this message can be very motivational. To me, it was a sign not to give up hope and to keep trying. What else can you do in a situation like that but give it all you've got? So I applied this philosophy to my life, and discovered a new me. I was able to improve my grades, and I was honored to graduate with the rest of my class. To this day, I still reflect on those words and truly believe they helped me get through my struggles at the time.

I was reminded of those words after recently hearing a friend's story. My friend John and his wife go on road trips every couple months to visit his 93-year-old mother. On the way home from each trip, John's wife always stops at a specific quilt shop to get supplies. One particular trip, John was travelling alone. He thought it might be nice to stop and get his wife some supplies, but he didn't know the first thing about quilting. He wrestled with the decision of whether or not he should make the stop off the highway, but finally decided to just go in. The women working there recognized him immediately. "Hi John!" they exclaimed. With no exchange of words, the women working in the quilt shop knew what he was thinking and said, "Don't worry. We know exactly what she'll like."
John showed up and the rest was provided. His wife loved the material.

These words have helped me improve many aspects of my life, especially in getting to the gym. I've realized that for me, half the battle is just showing up!

Whether you are applying to your dream school, going on a job interview, running the extra mile or doing something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning, these words can be a motivation to us all.

I am proud to say I "just showed up" after seeing those words and I'm so thankful I did because I've continued to be challenged by the Air Force and learned how to continually grow since then. I guess sometimes when you "just show up" you find even more than what you came for.