Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
How did your run go? As most of you are aware, last Thursday on what would have been my brother in law’s 33rd birthday, I ran his ashes 33 miles to the football field where we coached together and then spread them there. It was an emotional but great run that culminated with my family, my in-laws and I having a mini ceremony for Sam at the fields. I heard a lot of wonderful things from people before, during and after the run which made it even more special. I had not been training for long distance running so it probably wasn’t my prettiest run ever, but it was one of the most special regardless. I felt like I honored my friend in a way that mattered to me and in a fashion that would have made him happy (but probably embarrassed!).
Something that inspired me during my run. Obviously, there were many personal things I reflected on during the run but there was a movie scene that kept popping into my head that I felt related nicely. The last scenes in the movie Gladiator show Maximus’ death. As his body lies there, a Senator asks, “who will help me carry him?” and those he battled beside immediately lift him and carry him off. Then, in the final scene, a fellow slave that fought beside him and won freedom, buries two small figurines that Maximus carried to represent his wife and son and says “I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet.”
This was powerful to me. The last picture I ever saw of my brother-in-law was of him on his “honor walk” – being wheeled in to have all his organs donated. In that picture, he had a Captain America shield on his chest. I was not able to be there for that so when I received his ashes, I wanted to do something special with them. In the end, I wrapped his ashes in a note from the hospital detailing all the lives saved from those organs and put a small Captain America shield in the bag with them as well. Just like the movie, I wanted to “carry” my friend to a place where we shared many great times together. There I spread his ashes, buried that small Captain America shield, and told my friend I would see him again soon.
Something I really identified with. As I was prepping food for the super bowl Sunday morning, my wife had on our church’s service on a live feed. The pastor was talking about being in his 50’s and taking more and more onto his plate. He recounted a story of someone asking him if he should slow down and he said, “I want to arrive in Heaven coasting on no gas with the engine smoking and shot.” I loved this because it’s how I choose to live as well. I believe in treating my health and body with respect yet pushing its limits to the max. Never would I want to look back and wish I’d pushed harder or attempted something I’d really wanted to. I take great pride in pushing my limits and believe having a body with scars from the process of seeking its true potential is a beautiful thing!
A lesson I was reminded of. Over the course of several interactions with a group of people over the last week, I was reminded of a good lesson. What I saw firsthand was that most people can be divided into one of two groups: those that make excuses and those that don’t.
In the first group there tends to be a lack of accountability. There is always bad luck, someone else at fault, the circumstances aren’t great, there is no responsibility, and this is repeated time and again. In the second group what I find responsibility and accountability for all actions. They believe they are the cause of what is happening or not happening in their lives. I see hard work, dedication, resilience, and perseverance. The lesson I took from these interactions is that ultimately, we have the power to decide which of these groups we fall into. One path can lead to amazing things, the other is likely to lead to frustration. Choose wisely.
Some quotes I love.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
“Little hinges swing big doors.” – W. Clement Stone
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites.” – Thomas Sowell
“Believe in yourself right now even though it may be hard.” – Les Brown
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