As a sports junkie, I have a special place in my heart for sports legends from the 1970’s and 80’s. These were my formative years of my sports viewing, and also the time I reached my pinnacle with my sports obsession.
It pained me to read the recent story of Dwight Clark, a former pro football player with the San Francisco 49’ers, who is regarded with making one of the greatest winning catches in NFL history, in a championship game in 1982. It was simply named, “The Catch”. I remember that play like it was yesterday, but for Dwight Clark it must seem like a lifetime ago.
You see, Dwight Clark was just diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is 60. You know how this story will someday end, and it will be a sad ending. What caught my eye in the story was how he described some of the symptoms he had been experiencing.
“In September of 2015, I started feeling weakness in my left hand,” Clark wrote. “I was mildly paying attention to it because since my playing days, I’ve constantly had pain in my neck. (You realize his playing days ENDED in 1987!) I was thinking it was related to some kind of nerve damage because it would just come and go.
“After months of tests and treatment, I got some bad news,” he continued. “I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”
Do you think it is wise to ignore warning signs for 30 years? Even if his warning signs had nothing to do with developing ALS, ignoring severe warning signs is not a recommended step towards achieving optimal health. How do you know what your body is trying to tell you unless you listen and take action. Isn’t that the intent of your body? To let you know that what you are doing needs to stop or change. If it is not stopped or changed, what will your amazingly intelligent body do? Probably continue to deteriorate your health.You see, your body will always win out.
Warning signs are the BEST thing that could happen to you. Why? They are an opportunity to assess, change, and improve. Isn’t it so great that your body can send you pain, stiffness, emotional upset, a loss of energy, and sleeplessness? Remember, when your body sends you a warning sign, you can simply say, “Thanks. I’m going to do something about this.”