“Look, I’ve never had a dream in my life
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued
I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done
So I’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one”
—No Regrets, Aesop Rock
I had an argument with myself today.
My hand has been acting up the past few days, it’s doing this weird tremors/twitching thing. It’s mostly in my thumb, but it spreads to the rest of the hand sometimes. I am perfectly aware that this is definitely MS related, but I know that it’s not quite serious enough yet to warrant a 3-day IV drip (thus scaring my students and giving a ‘face’ to the disease that they generally don’t see, not that that matters much to me). I did talk to Oli, and he asked me to please talk to my Neuro. So I’ll do that tomorrow, during business hours and between my classes.
Obviously, when I get anything LIKE a relapse or something minimal like this (I’m going to start calling it MS-ing), I know better than to drag my ass to Budo. Today was a lovely 60 or so degrees with 0 humidity. I really could have trained, but I still don’t trust my triggers or my knowledge of the threshold just yet. I’ve been relapse free since 2009 and I intend to keep it that way.
I know that Budo is a trigger. I know that the up and down of throwing or being thrown does it to me. I also know that we’re currently working on ShindenFudoRyu, so there’s really no reason for me to go to class when those are my problems. I know better.
But I don’t think that biking is a trigger yet. If it is, it hasn’t happened.
So I was sitting at home, pouting because I wasn’t able to train and generally being pissed off. Not at myself, just the situation. I want to train. I want to work out, I want to get better, always. I was sitting in the office getting some boring class work done when the thought crept into my head that I should try to bike, to see if it would make my tremors any worse. I don’t really need my hands for anything while biking the way I need them for Budo. I mean, yeah, I need them, but not as the major players in the fitness activity, you know?
That’s when the argument happened in my head. I got up and was pacing around, and I started changing into biking clothes kind of subconsciously. I think I thought I was getting into my night-clothes. I was having this thought process that went back and forth between ‘you should really be careful and take it easy, your body wants to rest‘, and the other side saying ‘no, my HAND wants to rest, the rest of my body is fine‘, and then ‘we don’t know if biking is going to set you off’, and then BAM, the match point argument came out of nowhere:
Are you going to be sitting in a wheelchair one day, when you no longer have the ability to walk or ride a bike, and regret not TRYING to ride your bike today? Are you ever going to think about this day, specifically, and regret not doing something that you might have been capable of doing?
And just like that, there was my mom, limping along, kicking her legs out the way she used to do because she had no feeling in them — there in my head, reminding me of what I might look like in 20 years.
If I were my mom, at this point in time I’d have 19 years left to live.
Talk about a wake-up call.
I don’t ever want to regret not doing things the way that she did. I want to be happy with my life, no matter when I stop walking or breathing. And maybe I won’t have to stop walking. Maybe I’ll always be like this. Maybe MS will be cured or at least stopped better than it is being now. Maybe I’m already healthier than she ever was and I’m not making her mistakes.
But that’s not a gamble I’m willing to make. I’ve always felt like I was on borrowed time. I’ll be damned if I look back on today, or any day, and regret not making the most of it.
So I rode my bike. And I rode farther and longer than I have before. It was great. Then I came home and did my push ups and crunches. I’m proud of myself.
Carpe Diem. Go everywhere and do everything. You’ll never have more time than you have right now.
(I’ll let you know if I relapse;)