It’s not our fault. We are raised and told what we believe, and as we age, we are hit with so many conflicting bits of information that we don’t remember what our values even are anymore.
Recently, I had to struggle with the decision of what to do when the mask mandate comes to an end. I had advisors telling me that the safest kid is a masked kid, and others telling me that children need to breathe and be free from the fear of a virus that statistically doesn’t have them high on the risk-o-meter. I struggled with staying masked, for how long, which kids? I also thought about how I have kids I have been coaching for 2 years and I cannot remember what their faces look like. Then again, I worried that if we take masks off, that we will see kids by the dozens calling off due to the virus. I needed to stop. I needed to find my compass.
I grew up with a single mom who had very defined values. As I grew, I realized that some of what I, as a kid, accepted as true, just wasn’t. We argued all the time in my house. Not out of anger but because if you said something, you better be able to defend it. I was raised to ask questions…about everything. In this current time there is so much conflicting information. Everyone has a compelling case. How do we know who to believe? How do we know what we believe?
Everyone has a compass. Everyone has a system of values, truths we hold sacred. Often when the news barrages us with stories of fear and politicians slam us with self-serving rhetoric, they may be trying to hand us their compass. They try to tell us that this is what our values are. Being busy people, stressed to our limits, it is often easy to fall prey to this slight-of-hand. Before we know it, we are arguing with a neighbor and in our own heads asking ourselves, “is what I just said even right?”
Because of this, I stopped and I had to find my compass. I had to ask my self what are some of the values that I hold dear? What decision can I make that falls within my compass of values? I came up with 4 points that I believe are absolutely true. I came up with many more (you should see my post-it covered desk) but I will spare you the boredom of hearing me drone on about the minutiae.
- Kids need more opportunity to learn, grow, and gain experience to win this game called life
- If you work hard good things will come to you
- If everyone sweeps in front of their own door, we will have a clean street
- Always do the best you can for the most amount of people, though someone will always criticize you’re leaving them out
So, this is how I came to my decision.
Kids need to experience moving, shouting, laughing, playing, working hard, sweating, smiling, crying, winning, and frustration, and they need to be taught how to feel the emotions tied to all of those. They need to be able to share those emotions, and they need to know how to spot a friend or teammate who may not be able to share their feelings. This is hard to do behind a mask.
Gymfinity has maintained a spotless record of cleaning, sanitizing, and supporting families that have experienced Covid. We have kept our staff safe, our families virtually free from catching it here, and spared no expense to make sure that we were a safe place for all. We did the work.
We followed the rules when others didn’t. When other gyms flouted the rules and stayed open during mandatory closures, we didn’t. When people asked if they could just take their masks off, we explained that here, at Gymfinity, we will follow the law and obey what the county asks of us. Even though we were frustrated, too. When the county shut us down…again, I questioned them as to why our gym had to close and not the bar down the road. One set of rules is fair, multiple sets is not. However, we didn’t look for ways to circumvent the orders, even when in doubt, we did our share.
And lastly; our decision to keep our youngest kids masked until they have the option for a vaccine, is an attempt at being fair to those who have had the opportunity to choose vaccination or not. Without the option, and knowing that masks work, I felt it imperative to maintain the standard until the option is put in the hands of the parents.
I know that I have upset several people. We have had people withdraw because we are too lenient, and they felt their children were not safe. On the other hand, I have also had many emails that ask us to remove all restrictions. However, knowing that a little child has a risk of being affected by my staff or my gym AND it is something I can prevent; well, I’ll just have to take the heat from that side too. I think we have made the best decision we could make, knowing what we know, and being able to do what we do. I know I am not making everyone happy, but this is MY compass and I have to follow it the best I can.