A Secret to Enjoying Life
My father is currently in the hospital fighting a mighty battle and teaching me two life lessons at the same time, “Never give up, and work to make the most out of every day, week, month and year.”
As he lies in the ICU and is on a ventilator he is still conscious and fighting. He is a role model for how I approach my life challenges. Yes, I have Parkinson’s disease, am a cancer survivor, have aches and pains and have less stamina than ever, but I refuse to pout about the challenges in my life. I may be slowing down, but I will not quit.
I have learned that my body has limits and I have to respect that, but I will push those limits as much as I can. I truly believe that a major reason my Parkinson’s disease hasn’t progressed much since my diagnosis in 2005 is that I stay as active as possible. I earned my jujutsu black belt this year, went SCUBA diving, white water rafting, and rock climbing. I work out 2 – 3 times a week, go dancing regularly with my wife and play airsoft (like paintball) when I can. My neurologist told me when I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s that I should stay as active as possible. “If you don’t use it you’ll lose it,” he said.
I have told people that when I reviewed the first draft of my book, A Handbook for Life, I was surprised to find that I didn’t mention cancer or Parkinson’s once. When I thought about it I understood that I didn’t mention my health challenges because I don’t let them define me.
Decide what you want out of life and what will make you happy. Don’t dwell on your problems, no matter how large they may seem. Life is precious and too short. My advice is to do something that you enjoy every day. If you do that you’ll be surprised how much you’ll enjoy the weeks , months, and years.