There are many times in life when we ride the crest and the fall of waves and tides. From utter bliss to complete devastation. As I grow older, I see more and more that there are deep troughs of challenge, peaks of ecstasy and the sigh of reprieve before it all begins again.
I can say I’ve had a few shit years of health. No, it was not cancer, war, world atrocity, injustice or slavery. So who the hell am I to talk. Yet we all have our challenges depending on where we live, culture, age, and country. Highs and lows, ebb and flow.
But you know what? I just had my summer of YES.
What can I say? I was a hooligan. This last summer, I turned 43 and maybe had the best summer of my life. I don’t recall saying no, sleeping in much and definitely pushed the responsibility envelope.
After almost 3 years of a disabling back injury, topped off with a .01% case of Zika that turned into a mad case of encephalitis and migraine brain change, I was finally pain free and illness free. Able to work again in all my industries and play like a kid.
I realized early on in the summer that I had the inherent potential to overdo it physically. It was the hottest summer in the Canadian Rockies in years, I was healthy, working, no kids, had a super active dog and a stoked husband.
Finally, I embraced a bunch of life lessons and chose to not climb, bike and over hike, as I would normally do. I learned to fly fish, to ride paved or gravel trails in town, to wander with my pup. And it felt amazing to be pain free and have my brain back.
I took a lesson in a soccer field how to cast and put my rod together, and marched into the woods searching for quiet mountain pools dappled in sunlight. Oh I caught fish! The joke is – none of them were more that 5 inches long! “Kiss and release,” a fellow female angler calls it. Did it ever bring me Joy.
I remember one day biking trails around town, fishing rod in the backpack, tunes on my mobile speaker blasting and a beer in my water bottle holder, thinking “This is living!”
I tell you I was worn out by October, exclaiming, “Thank god I can have a break!” when the rain and snow rolled in.
These are the lessons of the highs and lows of life.
I am very thankful I can celebrate life. Make decisions consciously. I had all intentions to work on my business, work more in all modalities, write, and be focused with the new return to health.
Then the sun rose again. It swept the stars twinkling over mountaintops and the morning alpine air called me to a new day. Get outside. Be a kid, explore, and that was that. It was worth every moment.
Boat dancing was my other sport. Thankfully we have great friends with fast boats and massive speakers. Being a personal trainer, all the crew wanted me to put them through workouts or join them in stair runs before the day’s shenanigans on the lake got started. My standard reply this year was, “ I will tell you what to do from the hot tub with a mimosa in hand.”
I swam hard, danced, surfed, and hugged myself with glee under a blazing star filled sky, feet in the lake and not a sole around. I hiked a few peaks, mountain biked a bit, floated in the lake on my floaty chair by myself many a day, sun on my face and heart full.
Now I reflect on health, after having it for almost a year. I am baffled at the incredible amount of brain space and energy that pain and illness consumes. I am in wonder at all the things I can achieve with a clear mind and healthy body. But then again, how does it get any better than just taking time to really live and enjoy our life in all moments? Perhaps those are the greatest lessons and gifts.