A couple of weeks ago I rode my bike to work 4 days in a week. I ran 2 days that week too. Final tally: 125 miles self-powered in 5 days. I felt great, and happy to be getting back into shape, but then it all turned around.
I don’t know whether my exertion that week had anything to do with my getting sick, or whether it was inevitable with a co-worker spreading it wherever he went. Regardless, having avoided getting sick all winter suddenly it was my turn. My energy from the previous week turned full circle and suddenly just getting out of bed was a challenge. Feverish and weak I spent my days sleeping, my body needing every ounce of energy to fight off the invaders. Even after I recovered enough to make it back to work I was still faced with a problem: there was no way I had recovered enough to make the bike commute.
So for two weeks now, while this vile disease has run its course and relapsed and run its course again, I have been relegated to sitting on the bus. That has given me a lot of time to think about what I have lost, even if just for two weeks, and how much I take my health for granted. What do I lose if I get sick or injured? I lose my ability to get myself to work. I lose my mid-day escapes. I lose my time with my friends. I lose the ability to play with my kids. I can’t even be a loving husband to my wife. In that sense a sickness that strips me of my energy hits me at the very core of my being. I can’t even be me when I’m stuck lying on a couch.
While this time has been tough, it has made me thankful of what I do have when I am healthy. There are many people who live with crippling diseases that rob them of strength every single day. Their strength of spirit carries them through challenges that I can’t even fathom. And yet some days I don’t run because I don’t feel like it. Some days I don’t ride to work because it’s windy. These seem like cheap excuses when you take into account that I am lucky to be able to run or ride my bike at all.
The cliche is that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but it’s true. We don’t see the value of being able to lace up our shoes and run 5 miles until we can’t even walk around the block. I hope that you take a moment to realize what you would lose if sickness or injury took away your ability to move. Then get up get out there and get moving, because there are no excuses, only regrets!