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Celebrate every moment and day

Celebrate every moment and day

“The brave don’t live forever but the cautious don’t live at all.” — Bill See

I have always been on fast-forward. It’s my default setting. Even as a kid I never stopped moving. Back in the day I would have been diagnosed with ADHD, but they didn’t have a term for it then. 

I find life exciting. I seek out the highs of life…without drugs. A long time ago I discovered my passion is overcoming challenges. The more difficult or scary something was, the more it captured my attention. Rationally it does not make sense. Having gone through boarding school and the army, pain becomes your friend. No pain no gain, right? Dr. G, my nutritionist told my wife, “Ralph’s personality is to embrace pain, it’s 100% or nothing.” That is probably why I enjoy marathons, triathlons, mountain climbing and working for myself. I believe one must endure pain for long periods. It challenges the mind. 

Last summer my family had plans to travel to Las Vegas and then to Europe. Two days before we left for Las Vegas for the weekend, out of the blue I started to feel dizzy. My body was aching all over and I had no energy. For me that was not normal. If this happened today, we’d all think it was COVID-19, right?

A little discomfort wasn’t going to stop me. We flew off to Vegas to meet our friends. I felt terrible the whole time. In fact, each day I got worse. By Sunday I had a tingling sensation up and down my arms, and chest pain. For relief I put ice packs over my whole body. As soon as we got back to Orange County, I planned to get checked out at Hoag Hospital. 

In the taxi on the way to the airport, I suddenly felt violent sharp pains up and down my left side. I clutched my chest. I told the driver to take me to the closest hospital. For the first time in my life I seriously thought I was going to die. 

The thought going through my mind at that time was, “Why did I worry about such stupid stuff?” We hear this all the time, but this time it sunk in. Life is short, life is short, life is short. I did not want it to be over.

“One life, one chance, no regrets.”– Anonymous

I was rushed straight to the EKG machine, and then had a CAT scan and enzyme blood work. Five hours later the medical staff said my heart looked good, but that wasn’t any guarantee. Perfect. Monday, I left for Europe. 

During the trip I did make sure that I appreciated every moment with my family and every meal. The petty issues were just that, petty and a
waste of time. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy the trip because of the vertigo and pain all over my body.

Upon returning to the states, I slowly started to feel better. The doctors couldn’t really tell me what caused it. Perhaps it was my body telling me that I was pushing things too hard and that I needed to slow down? I’ve adjusted some things. I’m still training, but not in beast mode. I’m working but leaving early. 

What’s my take away? Don’t waste time stressing over stupid issues or things you have no control over. Especially now with the world pandemic, social turmoil, and political conflict. Laugh more, play more, read more, sleep more. Tell your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. 

— Ralph