A dip in the pool reminded me that gratitude is best defined through life experience, rather than through words in a dictionary.
I’m an active person who enjoys an occasional run around my neighborhood, commuting to work on my bicycle, sailing on the Chesapeake, a round of golf, or a hike through the woods. Not only do I find these activities fun but they have a noticeable and positive impact on both my physical and mental health.
Recently I’ve discovered that having the freedom to decide which activity I’m going to participate in, and the level of intensity I’m going to commit to it, is something I’ve taken for granted.
Starting sometime during the late winter, early spring of this year I started spending way to much time with my Doctor. I seem to move from one nagging injury to the next. First it was tennis elbow which was treated with physical therapy and an air cast, than a knee that just couldn’t seem to function going up or down stairs, and then the icing on the cake was a painful craptastic bulging disk sciatica nerve issue that reared its ugly head around the first of May.
Clearly, a lot of other people have more serious challenges than me but I found my attitude and outlook being defined by my personal experience with my new found limitations. I found it easy to focus on things I wanted to do, but shouldn’t. This thought process led to frustration and magnified the extent of my narrow list of choices.
The Doctor told me that swimming is OK as long as it doesn’t aggravate my symptoms. I’ve never been an enthusiastic swimmer so I grudgingly made my way to the pool. After entering the water I realized that this exercise felt really good and I was able to do it pain free. One of my first thoughts was that I’m just grateful to be able to do this and I thought further about people who don’t have the choice to jump in a pool and realized how fortunate I am. This dip in the pool changed my perspective and is just the kind of medicine I need to recover with a smile.