Not only did his war injuries keep him from returning to the Olympic Games, he also couldn’t escape or recover from the mental torture he had faced. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to forgive: I’m struggling through that myself right now. I’m convicted by Louie’s ability to have the courage and humility to forgive his captors.
I’ve heard people talk of dead-men-walking politicos—men and women who came to Washington years ago with the fire in the belly and a cause on their lips, but somehow transfigured over time into cynical power brokers angling to exploit the next crisis. The anger and contempt I face every day on the Hill make me very afraid that, rather than turning our country around, we’re turning against each other.
Today we’re celebrating another milestone in the life of Liberatus! We launched our site on May 20th, 2015; today marks one year of publishing a weekly journal on how to bring Truth and Beauty to American politics, written by people on the inside. To mark the occasion, here are seven questions whose answers illustrate where we’re headed.
“This coach believes that through legit means (not doping) cyclists can match and even surpass the times and results of this past generation of dopers. It might take a while, but through doing some things better—maybe people weren’t doing certain things right with the crutch of doping—if we can create better environments for the athletes, he believes we can actually surpass those feats.” –Calah Schlabach
As our conversation continues, I ask Calah another question about her race plan, how she verbalizes it ahead of time, and how it can carry her through a race. A song on the coffee shop soundtrack interrupts our dialogue, blaring from a speaker just above our heads; we lean in a little closer over our high top table at Arlington’s Northside Social to be sure my recorder will catch every word.
We talked for almost three hours about the sport of triathlon, its parallels to politics, and what it looks like to bring restoration to the world around us. Calah Schlabach is a professional triathlete and competes as one of the first thirty-two athletes in Major League Triathlon. Zane Castro is her coach, and the coach of the first-in-the-country NCAA triathlon program at Marymount University.
“I am constantly inspired and challenged by people. Though creatives have always been a part of this city, it is an exciting time to be a creative in DC because they are rising up as incredible influencers in our city—above all by building community. Creatives realize that we all have different gifts and talents and the best way to grow stronger in them is by helping one another where we can learn.”
The truth is that life on Capitol Hill is draining. You put in your three to four years in your early twenties until you physically can no longer stand it, and then you leave to lobby. It’s a vicious cycle that is not only hurting the employees but is honestly hurting our nation. How do we reshape Capitol Hill work culture in a way that creates sustainable energy instead of continuous burnout?