A race like a triathlon is a celebration. It’s not so much about the achievement as it is about recognizing just how blessed you are to have the opportunity to even try. It’s a demonstration of will and commitment that prepares you for the real challenges in life. For me it’s hard to get down about Parkinson’s when my daily thoughts are focused on what I can do (Swim, Bike, Run and almost anything else I decide to do). I think it’s very natural to see my hand shaking or feel my leg begin to tighten up and start worrying about the future. Just a year ago none of this was happening and suddenly today all of this is happening. What will it be like in a year from now? Legitimate questions. So I’m not denying what’s happening or saying those thoughts and feelings aren’t valid. I am intentionally trying to put those questions in the proper perspective. I can concede that I have very little control over how this disease progresses as long as I also recognize that I have complete control over how I choose to respond. So let’s think about my choices which are mine and only mine to make.
1. I could let those legitimate questions and feelings get me down, depressed and scared. Who would blame me? Probably nobody. After all, who’s going to call someone out for playing the role of the victim when you actually are a victim? Problem is, I just don’t see how this choice improves my life or circumstance in any way. In fact being depressed and scared is NOT how I want to spend my day. Therefore, I’ll take a pass on this choice
2. I could go the sunshine and butterflies route and only think and talk about the positives…simply refuse to acknowledge anything negative. Again, not sure anybody would push back too much on this choice. I think people naturally have empathy for me regarding what is happening. Therefore, it’s difficult to call bullshit on a reality denying positive psychological mindset. Except, denying the realities and daily challenges of Parkinson’s presents a false persona. I’m not interested in nor do I see any benefit from putting a Facebook or Instagram filter on the daily realities of having Parkinson’s. Nope, I’ll let this choice pass me by as well. BTW it does suck, and I am scared.
3. Finally, I could choose to recognize that I have a degenerative disease and at the same time realize it doesn’t have to have me. I can acknowledge the struggles, challenges and uncomfortable feelings and simply decide to live my life anyway. I fully understand that this will mean making adjustments. However, adjustments still means moving forward in life. That’s what the @MyGreat8 is all about. I already know I can’t run like I used to. So I’ll adjust…..but I am still running. Hell , I’m really not sure I can complete the Great8. I AM sure that I’m going to try. That’s my choice. To TRY. That’s the one that’s best for me. I can already see and feel benefits from this option.
I’ll end this the way that I started. @MyGreat8 is a celebration of choice number 3. It’s being thankful that I can still try. It’s a demonstration of my will and commitment to taking on the responsibility of making the best choice for me and my family. There are no victims here and It’s not all blue skies either. So let’s just choose to be real and make the most of today. That’s the Gift. Yes, Parkinson’s is a gift……More on that next time
“The more voluntary suffering you build into your life, the less involuntary suffering will affect your life.” Tim Ferris