Happy Fourth of July Patriots:
This week’s installment is one of reflection.
This past weekend, my wife Anna and I were blessed with the opportunity to attend a 60th Birthday Party for one of my clients who has become a friend.
His birthday is actually today. So, Fabulous, Happy Birthday…officially!
Anyway, one of the guests at the party was “Jerry from St. Louis”. And to make a very long story as short as possible, Jerry was paralyzed in a diving accident while on vacation with his family. Fortunately, he was immediately aware that he was hurt badly and told his first responders not to move him and let him float until the paramedics arrived. That was 12 years ago.
Last week I had the privilege to train him at IFC. Yes, after months in the hospital and years of physical therapy, Jerry is able to get around fairly well. He can drive; using a car that’s modified of course. He’s also pretty nimble with his cane and Segway. In fact, due to his dedication to exercise, his disability is not as physically apparent as one would think.
And in talking to him, there’s not a sour note in his vocabulary. While we were training, I was humbled by his determination and envious of his patience. I truly believe he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to train more than the workout itself. At one point he said, “You never realize what you’ve got until what you’ve got is gone.” While we’ve all heard that at some point in our life at one time or another, it usually resonates with people or things that we may take for granted while they’re hear and then “poof” they’re gone. But this time was different. This time I knew Jerry was talking about how he took himself and his future for granted. Oh how he wishes he was in better shape before the accident.
But he still considers himself lucky. And he is. Not many people come back from such a devastating injury as Jerry has. And not many people are given a second opportunity to take care of themselves once a catastrophe hits. That said, on this Independence Day, cherish your independence! Not only for the independence this country has given you, but also the independence you can give yourself as a result of taking care of yourself with a good diet, a clean lifestyle and lots and lots of exercise.