One year ago I lost a friend. At several points during our relationship, he and I were more than friends. But he was always my soccer teammate. He became a dang-good goalie. He was crazy-obsessed with cats and musicals. He loved making us (me and our two other roommates) family dinner that consisted of white chicken chili with beer and/or sloppy joes on regular bread. He and I duked it out many-a-nights on the N64 playing Mortal Kombat. He always giggled when he watched Ninja Warrior. And he believed very much in God.
One year ago I posted about how tragedy can motivate you to live healthier and stronger. One year later, I have a job (well, several) that I love; I have fallen in love with the most wonderful man; I have come to realize how much money doesn’t matter when you’re truly happy (soul and all); and I continue to learn every day how important family, a few close friends, and God are to keeping you positive, sane, and walking forward day in and day out.
I exercise and eat healthy because it makes me stronger—emotionally, physically, and mentally. It makes me happier. It makes my brain healthier. I find it fun. It makes me less angry. It makes me more motivated in other areas of my life. It makes me more confident, which makes me a better, more focused person. Exercise does so much more for me than keep me slim (which is partially genetic—thanks, Mom and Dad!). It keeps me from going to those dark places…. The ones where I’m scared about money; scared about making a difference; scared if it’s all worth it; scared if I’m worth it; scared about something happening to someone I love; scared and angry about the state our country and world is in; angry that things aren’t going like I hoped; angry that I can’t do everything I want to do every day…. Exercise keeps me going because no matter what, I control it. And having a little control over part of your day is a good thing.
I can’t have it all and I never will be able to, but I can’t rely on exercise to get me through the painful, sad, happy, excited, and depressing moments that I can’t do anything about. And I remember that even though I can’t have my niece and nephew and friend back right now, I can take care of myself and encourage others to do the same so we all stick around as long as possible for those we love.