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About 2 weeks ago, we put on our first annual Liberty Games. To say it was a success is an understatement. By what criterion do I make this claim? Several.

Most obvious were the smiles on the faces of both competitors and supporters alike; they were everywhere. You couldn’t swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting someone grinning from ear to ear. Among competitors high fives were non-stop as were hearty congratulations and hugs. In fact, it was nearly impossible to discern where one team ended and another team started. One would have thought it was simply a gym full of their own athletes. There were no hard and fast dividing lines and there were no boundaries. It was just a sweating, swarming mass of grinning, back slapping, hand shaking, and high-fiving athletes motivating and encouraging each other. That alone made the event a success, yet there is so much more.

On a personal level for our gym, of the 18 podium spots, 6 were filled by the UNLEASHED. Of those 6 podium spots we took 3 first places, one in each division, as well as one 2nd place and two 3rd place finishes. That is a successful day!

There countless email and Facebook messages with which we were inundated providing us feedback from both competitors and spectators. The positive comments confirmed that we are on the right track with our WODs and providing competitors what they wanted. The critical feedback was equally valuable and greatly appreciated. It will be used to further improve the Liberty Games in order to better serve a larger sized population in 2018.

The largest success to come out of the Liberty Games is a confirmation that this country of ours is truly on the right track. In 1776, when Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty tossed the king’s tea into the Boston Harbor, they did it for a purpose greater than taxation. At the heart of the matter was the deep seeded belief that the colonists were not only physically free, but that they were equally free to worship as they desired, and to hold ideas and beliefs that were uniquely their own. Endowed upon them by their Creator, they knew these rights were inalienable. Because our founding fathers were so committed to upholding these rights, they were able to vehemently hold opposing views on politics, religion, and taxes while still working towards establishing the greatest country in the history of mankind.

One need look no further than the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson for an example of individuals holding different points of view while still being able to hold each other in high regard. Adams, a federalist, advocated for a very strong federal government, he believed that the Constitution was open for interpretation, and he wanted a national banking system. Jefferson, a libertarian by today’s standards, was a strict constructionist regarding the Constitution, wanted a small federal government with very limited power, and felt the states needed to develop their own baking system. You couldn’t have two more diametrically opposed people working together towards the same goal: freedom from British rule. After we gained our independence their relationship became strained and at times they went long periods of time without communicating. However, being normal, well-adjusted adults and capable of dealing with conflict and opposing points of view, not only did they work well together, but their friendship flourished right up to their death beds.

That is one of the most impressive things about our founding fathers; their ability to set aside differences in order to work together to accomplish a larger goal. They understood that opposing points of view mustn’t be suppressed but, rather, vigorously discussed. Don’t get me wrong, dive deep enough into history and one will find accounts of slanderous speech, libelous publications, and reprobate behavior on both sides of the political isles. What they didn’t do was crawl into a safe space, nor did they attempt to shut the other side down and prevent them from being heard. They didn’t make attempts to destroy the oppositions’ life.

Today, for a small but increasingly vocal and growing segment of the population there is an expectation that one shouldn’t have to listen viewpoints other than their own. In a desperate attempt to avoid the realities of adulthood, they turn to one of two options. Some choose to crawl into a “safe space” in order to isolate themselves within the dumbing confines and false security of intellectual conformity. Others attempt to silence opposing viewpoints by casting aspersions upon those of a different opinion. Highly selective of their ammo, they make sure to pick the only most effective rounds to chamber and send down range. Misogynist, racist, homophobe, xenophobe, and islamaphobe are some of their favorites. These benighted souls are so frail and so chilled by opposing points of view they find it impossible to do business with or participate in a social environment with anyone other than those who blindly agree with them. The menagerie of social media platforms upon which they spend countless hours falling in love with themselves provides them with a false sense of righteousness while they wither further and further from the reality held by the rest of society.

The Liberty Games was a shinning example of the fact that America is on track and still the greatest nation on earth, despite what CNN and Facebook would have you believe. Athletes from all walks of life and demographics came together for a great day of competing. Democrats, Libertarians, feminists, conservatives, straight, gay, confused, Republicans, and liberals all showed up in mass and got after it, together. In the grand tradition of our founding fathers and the spirit of ’76, we chose to stand together and embrace our similarities while accepting our differences. The Liberty Games represented everything that is best and brightest about our country. Thanks for taking the time to “dump some tea” with us.

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