My father died over 30 years ago at the age of 50 from lung cancer, most likely brought on by years of smoking and stress. My mother is an active 80 year old. Her mother and brothers both had heart disease and her dad had horrific asthma. I have asthma but haven't had an attack in many years, I was a smoker, but haven't had a cigarette in over 20 years and will note that I still miss it. (So, my advise to anyone considering lighting up a cigarette DON'T - you will never regret not smoking but you will regret smoking) And if you've read my bio you know that I have heart disease. With all of that said, this Sunday I will be running in the First Watch Sarasota 1/2 marathon. 13.1 miles in beautiful Florida. This will not be my first 1/2 marathon I've run in Arizona, Florida and Georgia but it will most likely be the last one I do. You see it is a right of passage. My brothers each ran a 1/2 marathon to acknowledge their 50th birthday and now it's my turn. We are acknowledging our lives - lives that have lived passed my Dad whose life was cut short just when he was planning on living it. He was excited to be planning a trip to Europe. He even bought a beret. And if you saw this 6'3" large framed thin strong willed man you would never, absolutely NEVER imagine him in a beret. But sadly before he was able to see Paris and experience the excitement of travel he was struck down with cancer and only 3 months later his battle with cancer was over.
Recently while I was training for the 1/2 marathon the song "Space Odyssey" by David Bowie came on. This song was also featured in the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" The movie shows us that adventure is right there, ready for us to grab. Life is just there, ready for us. But often times, we just don't live it. We stay in our cocoon, day dreaming about what we will do "someday".
I am fearful about running on Sunday. Fearful, I won't finish. Fearful, of another heart attack. But when I think about it - a year and a half ago I was fearful to even step on a treadmill. And here I am. So, will I let fear run my life. Or will I live, knowing that I am happy and that life is beyond the four walls of my home. I want to know the joy of crossing the finish line. Yes, I will feel tired and sore. My legs will ache and my knee may throb. But, the one thing I know for sure is that I will be living and it only takes putting one foot in front of the other. Now I talk a big talk about overcoming fear and living life, but one thing I will tell you is that you will never see me on a rollercoaster. There are some things not worth overcoming your fear.
With all that said, join me on Sunday. What do you want to do to start living? Open your mind, your soul, your heart, stand up and take on your next challenge. It's time to start living.....
Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,