With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Cheri and I have been talking about the things we’re thankful for. Among the many blessings we named, two came out on top: our family and our health. Of course, we love our kids and grandkids, and our lives wouldn’t be the same without them. That’s actually part of what makes being in good health so important — it means we’ll be around to spend time with them for years to come. Cheri and I take our health seriously, particularly after her bout with breast cancer. Cheri loves to work out, and she’s always improving our diet so we can have more energy and lower body fat. As for me, I’ve hired a coach to help me slim down a bit — I’ve got a few outfits I’d love to squeeze into again. Our family interest in fitness has even helped me face my fears. This summer, Cheri and I spent time whitewater rafting, kayaking, playing paintball (a first for me), and power climbing. That last activity was a challenge, as I really don’t like heights. I’m good to go hiking in places like Zion National Park, but I can’t get close to the edge of a cliff. I freeze up. Knowing that, I suggested we try power climbing so I could overcome my fear. And I did it! I climbed to the highest part of the wall. (It probably helped that there was a guy below belaying me who wouldn’t let me fall.) After that, I did a couple of smaller climbs while Cheri scaled the advanced options. I’ve found that when it comes to meeting goals and facing fears, sometimes you need a little nudge. My tactic is to sign up for something I wouldn’t usually do. That’s because every time I make plans, I completely hate myself and don’t want to go. Even if it’s something fun, like a concert or a dinner with my kids, I drag my feet
FEELINGTHANKFUL I’LL NEVER TAKE MY FAMILY OR MY HEALTH FOR GRANTED
and make excuses about how far the drive is and how late we’ll get home. Signing up takes all those woes away because the decision is already made: I’ve committed, and there’s no going back. That’s why Cheri and I plan our vacations 18 months in advance, and why I signed the two of us up for two years of Tony Robbins workshops the second I realized Cheri liked them. Now that we’ve put the money down, I know we won’t quit! This summer, we made a big commitment: At 51 and 52 years old, Cheri and I signed up for our first Spartan Race. I don’t like running, but I thought it was time I overcame that discomfort. We immediately went out and bought some equipment for our evening training sessions, like a pancake sandbag. Even if I place dead last, I’m still excited about the training. As they say, I’ll be lapping everyone who’s still sitting on the couch. I look at fitness just like business: It’s best to just
put your head down and go for it because, even if you don’t reach the end you hoped for, you might get to an end that’s even better. Getting started puts you on the path. I honestly believe if you’re not out doing things, life will start passing you by, and I’m thankful to be healthy enough to tackle challenges head-on. I know a lot of people who are younger than me or make more money than I do but whose health is starting to fail. While they look stressed and older than they really are, Cheri tells me I get better-looking every year (it could be a lie, but I’ll take it). Tomorrow, I tell myself, Cheri and I are going to get off of work and do what we want to do. We’re going to face our challenges, enjoy our family and our health, and above all, live life while it lasts. I hope you consider doing the same this Thanksgiving!
“I honestly believe if you’re not out doing things, life will start passing you by, and I’m thankful to be healthy enough to tackle challenges head-on.”
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