Who is on your A team?


Erin Iler- circa 1986.

I was the last one to be picked at PE growing up. There were always the two top athletes that were the “Team Captains” and then they picked the best athletes, the medium athletes, and then the kids who were not any good at a sport, but had to be included.


And, guess what? That was me. I was not the fastest runner, I didn’t have great eye-hand coordination, I was afraid to be competitive, and quite honestly I didn’t enjoy the traditional sports we played. So growing up, I had a pretty fixed mindset about athletics. I just thought I wasn’t good at sports. I was never on the A team.


So fast forward, twenty years later, after I had my children, I decided to take up jogging. Scott was a long distance runner when we started dating. He would encourage me to run or try a race and I adamantly would say, “Oh, I am terrible at running. I am not an athlete.”


So, when I started running with a couple of friends to honestly just keep my sanity with motherhood, I ran a mile. I couldn’t do one tenth more of a mile. My lungs burned and I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest. Slowly, but surely, I increased my mileage. I wasn’t the fastest, I wasn’t the winner, but I felt good. And what I found out is that long distance runners are the ones who can endure many challenges, face adversity, and then come out on top.


So, how does this relate to life? I have a village on my personal team these days. When I think about who I could handpick to be on my A team for life, it is an eclectic group. I don’t want the fastest, the most agile, or even the MVP of a traditional sport. I want the ones who have faced defeat, had many losses, and didn’t get drafted for their dream team.


Because, guess what? Life isn’t perfect. And, when I have my moments of challenge, I look to my A team for strength. They are the ones who can cheer me on when I don’t necessarily believe in myself. These men and women know what it takes to be brave, to conquer fears, and how to truly not give up when life seems almost impossible.


On the flip side, As a parent, It is challenging to teach children to not worry about being picked first on a team, or being the all star of an activity. I wish I could tell them, just wait and see, life is so much bigger than the petty cliques or groups that often children want to be a part of.


I have always wondered if I were to go back in time, if PE would have been about endurance, encouragement, and positivity, who would have been the team captains. I can proudly say now, that I have completed 3 half marathons, ran many races, and it wasn’t about my athletic ability, it was about my support team.


Thank your A Team today. . . from the Iler Woods founders.

So, take a moment. Who is on your A team? Everyone of us, have run our own personal half marathons, from losing a job, to raising children, to embarking on a new business venture, to embracing individuality. . .You are a champion. Your team has supported you.


Give them a simple thank you today.


And We want to thank you for being part of our Iler Woods team. Your support, your positivity, your encouragement, has made this business truly come to life.


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