A week ago the sports world was rocked by news of the sudden death of the sports legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash.
He was 41 years old. I am not a big follower of sports myself, but was familiar with his name, so he must have been somebody big. As reports started rolling in, I learned more about this long time Lakers player and started hearing the same type of things over and over again....
Kobe was known for his relentless commitment to excellence in his craft, he was the epitome of a sports legend, always pushing himself to be better, his "Mamba Mantality" of never being satisfied with where he was, always striving for more. Fox News described him as having a zest for live, a "drive that was infectious". He inspired others to chase their own vision as he chased his.
Some, if not many, would probably say that Kobe lived life to the full. Even after retiring from basketball, it is said that he threw himself into being a great dad to his four daughters. My heart goes out to his family, as well as to the families of the other victims of that fateful helicopter crash. Their lives, too, were ended abruptly that day....their dash came to an end, whether they were ready or not, whether they had lived their lives to the full or perhaps still had unmet goals and dreams.
The day before this tragic incident, one of my mentors had written a though-provoking post on Facebook about the importance of not waiting for the perfect conditions to start something new in our lives. If we keep waiting for those perfect conditions, we may never start. We need to be prepared to do things when the conditions aren't perfect...
We need those training days, those days when things are tough, just like Kobe practicing for all those games, pushing past the discomfort of what it takes to succeed....not giving up at the first hardship that comes your way, the first, second or third obstacle that you have to overcome to get to your goal, whatever that goal may be.
One of my favorite Bible teachers, Joyce Meyer, highlighted the fact that in order for grapes to become wine, they have to be pressed. She said that in the Bible wine is a symbol of power and strength. It is on the days when conditions are not perfect, where we feel pressed, but we persevere, that we are building character and strength, and power!
In my years as a South African physical therapist working in the USA, I have often met older people who ask where I am from. Then after my response , they say something like "I always wanted to go there..." or someplace else.
Always wanted to but never did?
And now they feel that they are too old, that its too late. Their dash is coming to an end. How many more things did they wish they had done when they had the chance? When they were younger and had more strength, better balance to negotiate unfamiliar surroundings if they were to go on a trip?
What about you?
What's holding you back from living a more meaningful life? From pursuing things you'd like to do? From living life to the full?
Have you given up on goals and aspirations because the conditions were less than perfect?
It may not be an exotic trip. Maybe it's just to move better, to get up and down from the floor easily so you can play with your grandkids, but you know you have to work hard at building strength and flexibility, and you're not sure its worth the effort. Maybe it's doing the hard work to overcome physical or emotional pain that keeps you immobile.
Don't let age, pain, stiffness, or other disabilities or circumstances hold you back from fulfilling your goals and dreams. Seek out someone who can help you. A Physical Therapist is a great choice to help you overcome physical obstacles that may be hindering you from living life to the full, even if that's something embarrassing like less than optimal bladder control in public...just look for a pelvic health Physical Therapist like myself for help with that.
Can I ask you a favor?
Will you determine, as you read this, that you will live your life without regrets?
Will you push on in the face of adversity, to pursue whatever it is that brings meaning to your life? Again and again?
Let's take a lesson from this great athlete and run the race of life with determination...giving it all we've got...
LIVE your dash!