The Courage to Let Go

Posted: May 19, 2012 by Admin in Uncategorized

As we again consider this construct of courage, let’s begin with another quote:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

D. Joe Olmi, Ph.D., is not only the Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Southern Mississippi, but also one of the most accomplished school psychologists in the country. Joe, as he prefers to be called, has had an impact on thousands of young lives both directly and through his mentoring of Ph.D. students. Joe has published in the most prestigious journals in the world and has been awarded millions of dollars in grant-funded research. Countless schools rely on Joe’s expertise to help them improve their service to children.

Infragilis trainer Jim Moore was one of Joe’s students and had this to say about Joe’s influence on his life:

“Nearly everything I currently possess that enables me to help so many people I attribute to Joe’s mentoring and influence on my life. He taught me so much more than simply the basic tenants of human behavior: he taught me to see the person right in front of me rather than a statistic or a profile. He taught me compassion for people.”

Joe before CrossFit

In December 2010, after receiving a gift coupon for personal training at Anatomies, Joe was at the worst point of his life physcially. Fast approaching 300 pounds, the simply things, such as getting off his couch, and even dressing in the morning, had become difficult. Joe described his frustration that common everyday tasks caused him to break out in a sweat.

Much to his surprise, Joe once again encountered Jim, but this time as his trainer. They agreed to focus on the journey rather than the destination.
Joe was never afraid to work hard, but at first, his body simply would not allow him to engage in much physical activity. He did not have much core strength and very poor cardio-vascular endurance. His initial training strategies focused on these key areas and only lasted 15-20 minutes in actual work. With small progressive steps, Joe kept losing weight and, more importantly, started getting stronger and better.
After a few months, Jim told Joe he was ready to transition into a class named “Transform.” Without hesitation, Joe started attending this class 3-4 days per week. In

Another “before” shot

a short period of time, Jim informed Joe that he was now ready to take on a full CrossFit program. Not once did Joe question Jim. It would have been easy for him to assert the “old mentor” influence over his former student. Instead, Joe submitted to Jim’s care. He let go control and showed a type of courage most people rarely exhibit in their lives. Through this surrender, Joe has recaptured his life as he continues to travel the road of Unbreakableness.

Today, Joe is around 210 pounds. More importantly, Joe has a new life. He now takes the stairs at work instead of the elevator. When someone needs him, he hops from his desk chair without hesitation. He can front squat nearly his body weight below parallel. Joe has become quite the stickler for proper mechanics.

Joe finishing the 2012 MS Warrior Dash

He has become a fixture in the 5:30 AM CrossFit class. Originally Joe wanted to train for a 5K. Through his transformation into the realm of Unbreakable, he upped the ante by running in the April 2012 Warrior Dash. He completed every, single obstacle. Joe had every reason to quit. He has every reason to assert his knowledge and the authority life avails to him. Instead, he let go and now has victory. At 57, Joe is a shining example of the spirit of Infragilis as he continues to focus on the journey rather than the destination.

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