It's a frustrating clash of benefit and discomfort. It's a difficult thing to honor, but if you don't, life will humble you until you concede your ego.
What has actually happened to me to start me on this life journey? Well, it's a story of being taken away from, and a consequent return to, my normal self, version two point oh. Emphasis on oh because this has been nothing short of monumentally surprising.
I have always been an intensely athletic person. Power through, tough it out, break it up, go bravely forward. You can keep this pace up until you can't, plain and simple.
My 'can't' started to appear on a day when I couldn't quite move my body right after an exercise. Power through, shake it off.
I got dizzy after tilting my head back to drink the last sip from a water bottle. Forget it, it's nothing.
Then it started affecting my heart. I started listening. I thought maybe not all is right in my world right now. It scared me.
A sensation of paralysis. Zero coordination. Abnormal heartbeat. Numb hands.
What, did I just turn 80? Well, I'm sorry, but there aren't enough candles. And I think if I'm 80 I deserve a MUCH bigger cake.
The doctors said it was anxiety. They laughed at me. Self awareness counts for a great deal, and in short I knew myself well enough to know that anxiety wasn't what I was experiencing. I also know I have hit my head on things far more than most people should. Hard. A truck accident helped with that, so did snowboarding and hockey. There was a machine gun in there too.
After a great many tests, we have two diagnoses; Post Concussion Syndrome and a neck injury. You don't fully realize the pull of its gravity until you're standing there at the bottom of it. It's confusing, disorienting.
I count myself lucky. Given my lifestyle, my injuries could have been far more debilitating.
This experience has been life altering, but more importantly it has brought a change in perspective. A new appreciation for all that life presents. At the risk of sounding cliche I'm going to say that there is literally a silver lining to every rain cloud. If you want it, look for it.
Being strong, being positive, are decisions I've made. It's been excruciatingly hard, but worth it. We all go through challenges, and I challenge you to make that decision too. If you don't allow space in your focus to think of anything but your desired outcome, that is exactly what you will get.
A challenge is a great cocktail of beautiful emotion, of pain and healing. Whatever challenge you may have right now, look it in the face and know you own it. And that which you own, you can transform into whatever you want, you just have to believe it.
Every challenge we have the capacity to not only endure but grow from. I invite you to grow bigger than any challenge life throws at you.
As for me, this is just the beginning. I have clarified what exactly I want out of this life, and know I'm not willing to let opportunities pass. I also know I love fitness far too much not to spend my life engulfed in it. So, with renewed determination, I'm off to make the best of a life I still have. This is going to be fun.
To make your life yours, just own it. All of it.