I was talking with someone through social media who said that they found my blog to be “inspiring”. I thought that was an incredible compliment because I don’t really think about inspiring someone; I am just John. I just try to be positive when everything inside of me may be trying to make me negative. I actually took a few minutes and looked up inspiring, and it was defined as “having the effect of inspiring someone.” Ok, Dictionary.com, thanks. I then looked up inspire and I was like “Wow; someone thinks that about my words?” I saw words like “to fill with exalting influence” and “to fill or affect with specified thought or action.” I also saw “to inhale”, and honestly, sighing may use inspiration, so maybe I am that kind of inspiration; I make people sigh. Seriously though, I was humbled by that, and by many other people who have shared that they have found some encouragement in my words.
I am hanging tough a little over a year since my Parkinson’s diagnosis and I have been exercising hard, reading and studying hard, focusing hard, maintaining my meds hard, struggling through each day hard, and the one thing I have figured out is that Parkinson’s is hard work. It can be mentally and physically draining, and the single highest non-motor symptom of PD is depression, and that is a big battle daily. My symptoms fluctuate, and some of my days make me sit on the bedside and say “Really? Today it has to be like this, really?” I know LIFE is a job every day, and I would imagine that any struggle creates tiring work for anyone who is struggling with whatever it is that they face, so I am not saying that PD has that market cornered; my perspective is PD, but I bet it applies anywhere if you think it through. But just like there is no angry way to say the word bubbles, I simply cannot accept the fact that my struggle of PD is going to negatively define me.
I define my PD as an opportunity; an opportunity to improve myself, an opportunity to encourage others, and an opportunity to rise above a struggle. My PD gives me the ability to be truly grateful for each day that I get up and walk and dress myself and feed myself. That way, I am focused on where I am headed rather than the disease I have. I read somewhere that if you change the way you look at the things, the things you look at will change. I also read that if at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving probably isn’t for you. I am not some super hero (although I have been known to wear a Batman costume in public) or have some special gift for facing struggles; I get tired, I get depressed, I get angry, I get sad. I am not special at all, but I do tell myself I am a limited edition. If someone calls me crazy, I get down of my unicorn and slap them silly. I realize I may be a potato now, but one day, when I turn into fries, I will be amazing. I realize that it is ok for me to eat cake because it is somebody’s birthday, somewhere. If I fall down the stairs, I think positively and tell myself to look at how quickly I got to the bottom. Just like celery is 95% water and 100% not pepperoni pizza, Parkinson’s is 95% a life changing struggle, but 100% not controlling me.
I honestly don’t know the struggle of many of the readers of my blog, and truthfully, probably not for most of the people that I encounter each day, but I can honestly say that each of you are my inspiration. You inspire me to be better, to act more kindly, to laugh out loud, to offer smiles and hugs, and to live my life as fully as I can, all in the hopes of maybe encouraging you in some small way. We are all family, related by the commonality of being human beings. Living our lives fully and for other people; that should define us. Maybe the world would be a better place. Maybe we would have a world where the chicken could cross the road and no one would question motive. And maybe when people ask me what I do, and I answer “whatever it takes”, they become driven as well to make their own little part of the world better. By the way, don’t take life too seriously. If you can’t laugh at yourself, call me. I promise I will laugh at you.
#noquit #justbe #bike2live #fitforlife #50fit #gymlife #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons #cyclepaths #campsam #nevergiveup #keeppushing #teamultimatefitness
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