America the Great

In 10+ years of Sweat Shop blog posts I’ve never done a post on politics.  If you’d rather not hear my opinion on a non-fitness related topic, that’s cool, my feelings won’t be hurt.  The inspiration from this post came from the gratitude I felt today when I contemplated what it meant to be an American, and how I got here.  I’m the first one in my family that was born here in the United States, my parents migrated here when they were in their 30’s, they completed their college degrees here and soon became teachers.  My dad taught math, then the gifted program or GATE as they call it here in California, and my mom taught learning and behavior disabled (special ed), then became a counselor.  They both taught for 20+ years until they retired, after which, my mom continued her own business for several more years as a licensed family counselor.  Between the two of them they have had a positive impact, or have directly helped, countless kids and families.  While I don’t consider myself to have the same profound impact, I do feel like the work I do has a positive effect on most people. 

However, given the current state of immigration, it would have been more difficult for my dad to migrate here, and it would have been impossible for my mom to legally enter the U.S.  Which makes me wonder how many more people there are like my parents that are either not allowed into our country, or worse yet, being held in migrant detention centers.

My wife Helen’s story is very similar.  Her parents migrated to the U.S. from Korea around the same time.  Her dad got a job for Bank of America where he worked until he retired.  Helen’s mom STILL works in the salon she owned for many years.  Helen is also the first in her family to be born in the United States.  Since graduating college, she too has worked in the fitness industry, helping people to get or stay healthy, and thus positively effecting those people and their families.

At 4:50am this morning the alarm on my phone went off.  I usually coach the 6am class on Thursday’s, but with today being a holiday and no 6am class, I was already awake and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I went for a mountain bike ride and as pedaled far slower than a fitness inducing pace, I was able to enjoy the nature while listening to Fire on the Mountain, which got me imagining our country in the earlier days, and then even further back in history and how there have been many events, and the people that have come here from all over the world, that have collectively made our country the amazing place that it is… and how all of these people, aside from the Native Americans, migrated here.

8 replies
  1. Randy Hill
    Randy Hill says:

    I love this article that Nabil wrote. I have known The Langklide family for over 20 years and they are like family to me. I was born in the US and so were my parents and grandparents so it was a great learning experience for me to get to know this family that was different than my own. Nabil’s parents always welcomed me in their home and taught me a lot about a different culture that I will always treasure. His family has contributed so much to this country. They are like family to me and it saddens me to think that because of the political climate today that his beautiful family would not be able to migrate to the US .
    Randy Hill

  2. Nina
    Nina says:

    And yes – you DO have a positive impact on people just for the mere fact of having a good, friendly environment where we can get our fitness on.


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