I was coming to the end of a long run. A quick loss of concentration and I hit the deck like a sack of potatoes. I was in the woods off West Yarmouth Road in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. I may have been only a mile from my borrowed car, a half mile from the main road but I was a million miles away from my life.
A quick assessment told me I wasn’t hurt. I rolled over onto my back and started laughing. I was a little annoyed at first that I had fallen but then I was happy to be there and now truly living in the moment.
I’m in my home town visiting my ailing father. He’s dying from cancer.
In an instant I had gone from simply running to run to lying on the ground staring up at the trees LIVING IN THE MOMENT.
I took my time getting up. I noticed the deep blue sky. I noticed the upper branches of the trees swaying in the breeze. I could feel the biting 25 degree cold but I didn’t mind it. I noticed it and it made me feel good.
After a minute or two I popped up and finished my run with 5 minutes on hard running on the blacktop after running in the woods for an hour.
Seeing my strong and proud father stricken and dying from a dreaded disease is absolutely horrible. It’s so very sad. Having just amazing runs in the mornings made me feel a little weird. I felt a bit selfish. I’m 1200 miles from my wife and son and here I am out running instead of being with my father. It made me think a little.
I actually thought about it as I lay on the ground.
My dad wants me to be out running. He wants me to live. We have visited plenty and will more in the next few days. Today I spend my afternoon replacing windows and now I’m watching him sleep peacefully. Sadly his body is ravaged by the cancer but he is still my dad and that’s how I see him.
I try to learn from everything. I like to use little moments in my life to enrich me and those around me. From this experience I am going to take the positive because that is how I roll.
My dad is a great man and an amazing role model as a father and as a person. He has always worked hard and been committed to his 4 children. I am going to continue to try to be like my dad. It’s the least I can do.
At the end of this beautiful winter’s day on Cape Cod I am going to reaffirm to myself something very important. I am going to reaffirm that I will live life to the fullest and find joy and enrichment is every day and every experience. These experiences include hitting the cold hard ground like a sack of potatoes. Life is short. When we are living out our last days like my dad is what are we going to say about our lives? I want to spend the rest of my years on this wonderful earth living in the moment, appreciating my surroundings and living the best possible life that I can.
I’ll do this for my dad. I owe him that much.