On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
Something that helped me. As most of you know, my sister passed away suddenly last month. In December, she ran her first marathon and took great pride in the accomplishment. When I went to say goodbye to her last month, (she was in the hospital with no chance to recover) my nephew told me how proud his mom was of her race. It made me happy to hear his words, but sad because I knew all the tough times he would experience after the loss of his mom. With nothing to really offer to ease his pain, I promised him then that I would run a marathon for his mom on her birthday. He told me she would like that.
Completing the marathon on Wednesday (her birthday) was extremely emotional but incredibly beneficial for me. Exerting myself physically allowed me to alleviate a lot of sadness and stress I feel over the loss of someone so close to me. This allowed me to recall so many wonderful memories with/of her, that likely would not have come to me if I’d just sat around feeling sad all day. The “race” certainly didn’t bring back my sister, but it helped me better cope and feel connected to her on a difficult day for myself and my family.
A great lesson from the marathon. To be blunt, I was not in “marathon shape” for this race. I have not had the time to train for distance, as I normally would prior to a big event, so my longest run since February was 7 miles. Anyone that has ever run a marathon will tell you how less than ideal this is.
The first half of the race went well, but then the wheels began to come off the bus. My muscles began to rebel with extreme tension and unfortunately the shoes I got weeks ago produced the most horrible blisters I have ever had. Thus, at mile 14 I took of my shoes made the decision to run the rest of the race in only my socks.
Those final 12 miles were extremely painful but reminded me how powerful the mind is. Having been in challenging situations many times before, I knew I could and would make it to the finish. I continuously set small goals within the race to reinforce to myself, that though it wasn’t pretty, I was making progress. I also kept reminding myself of my “why”, in this case honoring my sister’s memory. With that, suffering a little physically didn’t seem all that bad. As strong as you may think you are, the proper mindset will make you 100 times more powerful!
A good reminder. A patient of mine was telling me about her son playing a little league championship game. His team won but what interested me, was apparently the other coach was actively taunting the opposing pitchers as well as badgering his own. These boys were only 8 years old and several on each team ended up in tears.
I am one of the most competitive people you can imagine, but I do not believe in winning at all costs. Sacrificing your dignity or principles to achieve a victory, to me is a loss. If you win (or lose) and are ashamed to look at yourself in the mirror, then you’re doing something very wrong. In life we must all have a personal code of honor that must be always followed, even when victory is on the line. As Sophocles once said, “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”
Something that helps me. Have you ever been around someone that brings up a current event or a political/religious topic and begins the conversation by essentially throwing you a hand grenade? In other words, they get their opinion across in a manner that is incredibly insulting to anyone who feels differently but expects you to happily agree with them or suffer their wrath? Always fun.
I refuse to engage anyone who speaks to me in this fashion and never behave like that to others. My tact is always centered around first being respectful, and second determining if there might be common ground among us. I am willing to listen to anyone that can remain calm enough to hear my take on an issue and tell me theirs. Behaving in this way helps me to avoid pointless conversations with people that are so angry they can’t behave like a grown up while preserving time for people I can have an interesting discussion with.
Some quotes I love.
“The average man inspires no one.” – Bedros Keuilian
“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
“When people say ‘I don’t have time’ it really translates to ‘I don’t want to make the time.’ You make time for the things you care about.” – Joe DeSena
“Lazy people are bored people. Bored people would rather make a mess of what’s around them than clean up their own mess. Lazy is one of those root causes that really gets overlooked.” – Victoria Loomis
“Every word has consequences. Every silence too.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
“A tyrant doesn’t ask for power over you. A tyrant asks for power over your neighbors.” –
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