I’m not sure I could have been a stay-at-home mom in the days before social media.
My Facebook network provides a vital dose of adult interaction when adventures in potty training and spelling homework have me climbing the walls.
I love to share in my network’s joys, and I appreciate the ability to reach out and offer support in times of struggle.
I may not know all 400+ friends on Facebook well enough to get a call when someone in their life passes away, but I read about it on social media. People post the most beautifully touching things in times of loss.
The news of friends of friends lost too soon was an integral part of my tipping point when I decided to get healthy. It’s one thing to hear abstract statistics about the dangers of sedintary lives, it’s quite another to console a friend whose cousin died of a heart attack at 38 years old.
Fear of mortality fuels my journey.
This week, another social media brush with tragedy caused me to look at the fragility of life from another angle. I was reminded that health & strength are not only important for prevention, they can also make all the difference when the things that we are trying to avoid go ahead and happen anyway.
No matter how hard I work at being the strongest and healthiest me I can be, I do not pretend that my efforts mean the things I fear will never happen.
Whether it’s a thrown clot or a major car accident, horrifying health issues have a terribly consistent habit of arriving whether we’re expecting them or not.
Have you ever met anyone who has had a major coronary and says they woke up that morning thinking ‘today is the day’?
I’ve devoted mountains of energy and rivers of sweat to the pursuit of prevention. What just dawned on me is how much better equipped my strengthened body is to handle the worst when and if it happens anyway.
I can’t re-write my family history of stroke, but I can use every healthy day I’ve got to work on strengthening my mind-body connection. That way, if I ever have to re-learn how to walk, I’ll be standing on legs that are used to being pushed beyond their comfort zone.
I may not be able to prevent a heart attack from ever occurring, but I can be sure that if it happens, my heart will be in fighting form. Before I flipped the script and got myself fit, I never asked anything from my heart beyond basic function. I don’t even want to think about what a heart attack would have done to my heart then.
Today, I know that my heart is strong. My cardiologist tells me so.
Not inspired yet? Listen to this:
One of my husband’s long-standing clients was recently diagnosed with cancer. Today, he works out with him while a chemotherapy pump actively drips into his veins. Can you imagine how difficult that must be? To go through so much struggle and still choose to push and sweat towards improved physical strength? That man is a walking lesson in the vital importance of Healthy & Strong. He’s not just hoping the doctors will cure him, he’s actively fighting for survival.
You never know when you’ll find yourself thrown in the ring, so teach your body to fight. I’m sure you won’t regret it.