Rising from hard times

By Trey Tompkins - Contributing Columnist

A recent article called “Fighting Fentanyl” in the Washington Post came out highlighting the glum opioid crisis in this country. Fayette County was a featured area in this article with Washington Court House as central piece to this special report.

According to this article “Fayette County has the seventh-highest number of fentanyl overdose deaths per capita in the nation.” Also, last year it was reported by Patrick Cooley at Cleveland.com that Fayette County was the number one (1) county in the state with fast-food restaurants per 1,000 people.

The living standards in this community are as low as could be. We do not represent ourselves very well. I have heard from some people who lived here before my generation that “it never used to be this way.” I find this to be an irrelevant statement. We are where we are and it is not good. Washington Court House and Fayette County could be considered one of the worst places to live in the entire country.

These statistics have floored me. I knew that as a nation there was a large problem going on, but this actually hits home. I am a hopeful person who wants to thrive with happiness through encouragement, but recently my own morale has felt down. It seems way too hard to get people up with excitement and nobody around naturally loosens up their spirit.

As negative as all of this seems, God works in mysterious ways and gives Light. I saw a post on Facebook that said “Who we are is greater than where we are, no matter our situation we can always become better through it. Don’t let what you’re going through dismantle the Glory of who you are.”

This came just after reading the Washington Post feature article. The quote is true to heart and what it means for me is to be even more myself than I ever have been. To be as inspired as ever by the little moments of triumph and champion anyone (myself included) who overcomes a barrier, regardless of method. That’s the thing I love seeing the most from working in a gym. People who, no matter where they are, determined to be who they truly are.

This is the focus. Be who you are. Speak your truth. Issues aren’t just happening all around the world, they are at our front step. Seek not “why is this happening to us?”; but rather answer “Why is this happening for us?” and “Who am I?” We grow character. We become neighbors again. We champion ourselves and each other. From this we rise.


By Trey Tompkins

Contributing Columnist