Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday Musings, 9/12/10

Originally posted on Crossfit.com, as I do most Sundays.

Sunday musings…

1) Butterflies. (From Wendy Keretz). It’s OK to have butterflies before something big, as long as you can get them to fly in formation.” Man, how good is THAT?

My friend’s daughter missed her bus to get to a CC meet. Anxious, nervous, scared, and angry, she ended up posting a PR on the 5K CC course. Got all of her butterflies in formation, she did. I really like this quote (wonder where Wendy found it); it makes me think of my preparation each time I do “Fran”.

2) Grace. Mrs. Bingo: “You know, of course, that if you had the pain in your back that I’ve had you’d have been in therapy months ago.” Truer words were never spoken.

There’s something about the varied and disparate ability to not only withstand pain or discomfort, but to do so with grace. To stand up to pain of any sort, physical or otherwise, and bear the pain without comment or complaint. You know people like this…we all do. I’m apparently just not one of them, at least as far as physical pain goes!

I messed up my knee on Friday. Landed funky on the dismount from my pull-ups in the warm-up (it’s amazing how far the butterfly kip sends you when you are new to it). All weekend I’ve been “commenting” on how my knee feels, what’s going on inside my knee at that particular moment. To one uninitiated in “bingo-speak” it might sound like a verbal newsreel, but Mrs. Bingo knows exactly what’s going on, that I’m whining about my pain and about my concern that I won’t be able to continue to be physically, I dunno, young.

Last night was spent in the company of my friend, the one who is dying. His body is fading; the cancer will win. Yet, the capitulation of body is not accompanied by a surrender of the mind or the spirit. The cancer will not spread to my friend’s brain; he will have the exquisite yet excruciating experience of knowing exactly when he will make that surrender. His intellect is fully intact, and he chooses to remain so. Chooses the pain over the retreat that will simultaneously end his intellectual engagement as it ends his pain.

What does this have to do with any of us, healthy and pursuing a longer life of health? Well, we need not aspire to the level of grace demonstrated by my friend; indeed, it may not be POSSIBLE to reach that level absent a similar pain, eh? No, what we can aspire to is a certain level of grace in which we address any and all of our pains as simply the cost of doing the business of life, as Mrs. Bingo addresses the chronic pain living within for some 10 years now. One doesn’t ignore it, nor does one embrace it. Who, in their right minds would choose the pain?

We can choose to persevere, with grace, however big or small our obstacle. Not to surrender. Not to capitulate. To say, as my friend is saying each waking moment: Not yet…


I’ll see you next week…

3 Responses to “Sunday Musings, 9/12/10”

  1. September 13th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Apolloswabbie says:

    One of my life’s most profitable studies, such that I’m able to discern, is the study of self pity, and how to detect and avoid it. Perhaps it would be better stated, “how to transcend” it. I got hooked on this idea reading the opening to Scott Peck’s book, “The Road Less Traveled.” Of note, the book’s opening passage was sent to me by a friend presumably after some significant self pity was sent her way by me.
    The short version – life is hard, it’s hard for you, it’s hard for me, it’s hard for anyone you know, or don’t know. Doctors, Naval Officers, sinners, saints – it’s hard for them too. What turns ‘hard’ into suffering is the belief that one’s own pain, one’s own difficulties, are special, unlike those that others go through. The trick to avoid turning pain into suffering is to accept that life is hard, and to learn not to expect that life will be easy.
    This is also very hard! Pursuit of this end is a worthy task, in my judgement. It may be one definition of grace when one has gained this skill.

    I wish your friend fair winds, and following seas on his journey.

  2. September 13th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    darrellwhite says:

    Thanks, Paul. I will miss him, but I will remember him, and the grace with which he faced his journey.

  3. September 22nd, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Ligia Ehrman says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned from you, I love all your posts. Thanks so much for sharing.

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