If you are like most people who are either right-handed or left-handed, have you ever really considered how weird it is that you have one hand that easily knows exactly what to do, and then you have this other hand that is just hanging around like “uh, I don’t even know how to hold a pencil”? Think about when you talk using your phone. Do you have a preferred ear? Does it seem awkward to change and use the other ear? Do you have other activities you do each day that you perform the same way each time without even thinking about it, like putting on pants (which leg is first) or putting on shoes (which shoe is first)? Most folks would agree when I say it is simply habit.
Dictionary.com defines habit as “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.” We all have habits, and habits can be good, bad, or even neutral, such as writing, but one thing is for sure, they can be hard to change. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, some of my ‘habits’ around eating, thinking, and especially activity and exercise were not ready to hear that I had Parkinson’s and that an active lifestyle, different thinking, and changes in diet would help me at least slow the progression of the disease, and maybe lessen the severity of the symptoms. In all actuality, many of my ‘habits’ weren’t really healthy both physically and emotionally for day to day living as a ‘normal’ person.
Funny thing is that PD or any other life changing disease, sudden disability or loss of function, or even loss of loved ones that you depend on can suddenly make reevaluation of your ‘habits’ necessary to survive, and to grow in the process. For me, it was recognizing that “ok” is just another term for mediocre, and I needed to reframe both my lifestyle and mind against a backdrop of excellence, not mediocrity. Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” My new ‘habits’, my future, my whole life, had to be reframed against excellence. For me, it became bicycling and spending time in the gym and slowly changing the way I eat. It especially became about removing self-defeating and negative thoughts concerning Parkinson’s, and deciding that my life would be defined not by a disease, but by a design that moves me to strive for excellence.
I took small steps at first, wondering how much time I could gain by replying to text messages with “k” instead of “ok” (nah, just kidding). I honestly quit talking, and just started doing. I have been encouraged by those around me, and others who are huge competitors in Spartan Races (@bandabuilt) and Ninja Warrior competitions (@litwithin), all while fighting PD. I have been blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. I even named my dog five miles just so I wouldn’t be lying when I said I walked five miles every day (just kidding, I don’t have a dog). Through it all, I can honestly say that the greatest thing I did was take one step towards excellence, and begin to make excellence my new ‘habit’ for life. Period. Nothing less. Many people live, afraid of dying. When I die, I want to know that I truly lived. Let me encourage you to do the same. Be excellent from now on. Oh yeah, you come hang out with me at the corner of awesome and bombdiggity when you start those new ‘habits’. BTW, school is going great; I am a straight A ‘nerd’ lol.
#noquit #justbe #bike2live #fitforlife #gymlife #50fit #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons