Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Because We Can

Last week, I was talking to a cyster in the community and she was sharing with me some of the struggles she had been encountering over the past few months. It just seemed that at every moment she started to turn the corner, she would get hit with another cold, or another flu, or another exacerbation. She was of course frustrated, but also optimistic. In the previous week she was battling some sort of head cold and even though it was tough, she chose to run every day. 

It wasn't because she felt like the king of the world, but it was because she could. 

She realized that she doesn't run after she becomes healthy, but she's going to run to become healthy. The last thing she wanted was for whatever was going on in her head, to make it down to her lungs. She knew that she couldn't completely control what happens with whatever sickness was going on, but she could control whether or not she was active. 

She told me that she has spent so much time on her vest that it's almost awkward. She hadn't missed a treatment, and in fact, done extra ones. She'd been focusing on getting rest when she could get rest. She was determined to do everything by the book.

Was it easy? Nope. Was it what she wanted to do? Nope. Does she have a burning desire to put her health first? Nope.

But that's the thing, there aren't many of us that could answer "yes" to any of those questions. I know I certainly couldn't. There are times when we must do something for one simple reason - Because we can.

After our phone call, I was inspired. I'm feeling pretty good at the moment, yet I find myself just going through the "exercise motions" at times. Yeah, just exercising is a good thing for me, but is it the best thing? Nope, not unless I'm challenging myself each and everyday. Going through the motions isn't going to produce the results that I am looking for. Going through the motions isn't going to increase my lung function. Going through the motions isn't going to increase my life function.

Now, for the past several weeks, I've been running the 2.1 mile loop 4 to 5 days a week. It's challenging, but it's also becoming easier and easier. Each time I completed the loop, I knew I could go further, but why, 2.1 is far enough. It's not like I enjoy running!

After talking with my friend, I got the answer to my question - Because I can.

So I decided to go for it. I went to the gym, got on the treadmill and just started to run. I didn't worry about time, I didn't worry about distance and I didn't worry about how I felt. I just ran because I could. I just ran further, because right now, she can't, but she does. 3.85 miles later I had run further than I had in about year. Not because I wanted to, but because I was capable. I ran because she ran.

She has every reason to stay at home, sit on the couch and do nothing. She has that ever so accepted excuse of "I don't feel good", yet she still pushes. 

If she can push, I can push. If I can push, you can push.

So what aren't YOU doing? What can you do today that someone else can't? What are you stopping short because it's uncomfortable? What can you do today for your health without needing a reason?

Some of us wait around until we get an answer, or until everything feels "just right", when in actuality we should be pushing forward for one reason - Because we can.