It's a blustery cold day. We sit on her sofa, Andrea and I.
She’s recently arrived home from a week in the hospital.
We talk about how she’s lost over 15 pounds, hopefully not all her muscle, and how she is proud that she has just started to walk around the block. This is a woman who less than a month ago hiked 44km in a single day with our endurance team.
We catch up on friends we have in common.
We talk men, and life, and body image, now that her shape has changed.
We sip tea.
She shows me her giant L-shaped wound that will be forever a scar running from sternum almost to belly button and out to her side.
Neither of us mentions that she has just saved someone’s life, but we are both warmed by the knowledge.
Andrea is a member of our FXF CrossFit community. Where we frequently talk about muscles, strength and bodies. How to get stronger, fitter, faster.
But Andrea has inspired our community with a totally different kind of strength.
Andrea decided to donate a liver to save a life, of a child she didn’t know, who quite literally would die without it. They took part of her liver, which she tells me will rejuvenate in six weeks or more and transplanted it directly into this little body in need of a healthy organ.
Andrea is an everyday hero and we’re so proud to call her one of us.
I know you’re probably asking yourself, as I was, what on earth would possess someone to give up a liver, to someone they don’t know, for no apparent reason?
Although Andrea has never told me this directly, and I am sure she has many more reasons, as her friend I have put some pieces together. Last year Andrea lost a dear friend to cancer. Her friend was young and beautifully full of life. It reminded her that life is short and left Andrea grieving, and asking herself what she could do with her life - to help someone else.
This ability to turn heart ache and grief around, to ask yourself, what you can do to make the world better in the face of hardship, this is true strength. Inner strength.
I am so inspired by you Andrea.
Your courage and strength has left me asking
“What can I do for someone else?”
“How can I make a better community, workplace, city or world?”
“How I can help someone who can’t help them self?”
You have inspired our community.
You are a model of true strength, inside and out.
We can’ wait to have you back training with us again!
FXF isn’t the same without you there. Thank you for being amazing!
You may be feeling a little weak physically but I guarantee you are stronger than ever.
Love you girl!
XOXO -- Jess (and the FXF Crew)
FORGED BY FIRE