Showing Up Changed My Life

John Nagib

A Navy veteran reflects on serving with Team Rubicon in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

Sometimes in life things just show up. And, truth be told, the incredible and amazing thing about when things just show up is they often come around precisely when you need them most… and definitely in unexpected ways.

Team Rubicon showed up as a magazine cover story in the seat-back pocket on a cross-country Delta flight last December.

I hesitated. I questioned whether there was a place for me in this TRibe they talked about. I wondered how I would do on a deployment. I made excuse after excuse after excuse.

With Harvey barreling down on the Texas coast, I decided it was time to show up. I signed up on a whim. It was an emotional response without much deliberate thought. It was scary.

I may have showed up for this experience, but in truth, Team Rubicon showed up for me.

I showed up for the homeowners to clean out homes devastated by flood waters. And, yeah, I showed up because it didn’t feel right to just sit on my couch and watch it all unfold on television or in my newsfeed.

Greyshirts work on a home in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

When I showed up, I expected nothing in return—I just wanted to serve others. Team Rubicon, though, in a magical and indescribable way, showed up for me in return. Team Rubicon showed up in the members of my strike team who exhausted themselves, sweated and cried right beside me.

Team Rubicon showed up in the form of talking one on one with a Greyshirt I’d just met about where my life was going and what changes I wanted to make. It was in the Team Rubicon leaders who inspired me to be a better version of myself and continue to shape my values and character. It was in the feel-good moment when we finished helping a homeowner clean out the home they thought was unrecoverable.

Greyshirts on Operation Hard Hustle in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

As I get older and grow a bit wiser I’ve learned when I show up, just simply show up, amazing, life-changing, challenging and rewarding experiences, show up for me! If you saw that magazine cover in the seat-back pocket or heard about Team Rubicon through another source– show up. I did, and a single week changed my life.

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