Friday afternoon I met a girlfriend and her husband for lunch to discuss the treatment she is receiving for breast cancer. She is in her second round of chemotherapy. She has lost her hair but not her spirit. She is fighting an exhausting battle and continues to try and work between doctor's appointments and hospital stays. Some days are great and some days she can't get out of bed due to fatigue and exhaustion.
Sunday morning I dropped my father-in-law who has Alzheimer's off at his assisted living facility after church. I walked him into the dining hall and sat him down with the other patients who live at the center. They were all eating quietly with bibs around their necks, slowly, methodically spooning their meals into their mouths. It was so somber and heartbreaking to me.
Then Sunday afternoon I took a meal into another friend's home who has just had a double mastectomy. She is a carrier of the same breast cancer gene that took her mother's life. She can't lift anything for the next six weeks, including her three children, ages 4, 2 and six months. She is a single mother relying on the kindness of family to get her through this difficult time. Bedridden, she just wanted to talk and so that's exactly what we did.
As I left her house I had the overwhelming desire to yell from the rooftops, or the write from the blogtops: Get outside! Go and do! Try something new and LIVE!
If you have a dream to run a marathon, start today. If you thought cycling might be fun, go buy the best bike you can afford. Schedule a time at a driving range. Attend your first yoga class. Join a tai chi group. Because whether life is short, or life is long, today you can do it. Tomorrow, who knows?
Exercise induced endorphins are real. There's a high from letting your skin feel the rush of wind as you crest a climb on a bike and start a downward descent. Runner's high is real. And if you've never seen a sunrise through your goggles while swimming backstroke with your face toward the sky, you're really missing something. The thwack of hitting a golf ball accurately and watching it soar is fun. Same with smacking a tennis ball right in the center of a racket. And the view from the top of a mountain after a grueling hike is better than anything you can imagine.
Choose your sport and go for it. Get outside and see the sunset or the sunrise. Smell the scents of fresh cut grass or orange blossoms that only linger during certain times of the day. Run through a sprinkler when you're hot to cool your body. Dive off a cliff and let that exhiliration make your heart beat faster.
The days are long but years are short. Make your dream a reality. Time is a funny and precious thing. We take it for granted while it is ahead of us. And treasure it when it's behind us.
It's time to _______________________. (YOU fill in the blank) Let your heart decide what your next move is. But don't wait too long. You've really only got today.