In case you don’t know it, I’m a sports junkie! I love all sports but basketball is my favorite. I grew up playing it, and now I watch games, I attend games, I have coached for over 10 years, and I even referee High School games.
I just finished reading an article on Larry Bird, who was one of the greats of the 80’s and 90’s. The article is titled, “Larry Bird will die young. Just ask him.” Well, that was enough to grab my attention. The article focused on how many tall and large athletes die young, most commonly from an enlarged heart and the stress it creates on their bodies.
The part of the article that especially caught my interest was a short focus on Bill Walton. Bill Walton was one of my favorite college players. Short bio on Bill Walton:
2× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1972–1973)
3× National college player of the year (1972–1974)
He was THE man. Walton estimates he’s undergone 37 surgeries, including fusion surgeries on both ankles. “When you are in that never-ending cycle of pain, it puts you in a space of darkness, sadness and overwhelming depression.” Walton says. “You go through stages. The first one is, ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna die.’ The next stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to die.’ And the third stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to live, and this is what I’m stuck with.’ That’s the worst stage of all. The article goes on to state: In 2009, Walton underwent an 8½-hour spinal fusion surgery that required four bolts, two titanium rods and a metal cage — akin to an Erector Set — to put him back together. Now he travels the country advocating for athletes to be proactive in their treatment. “We athletes are our own worst enemies,” Walton says. “We don’t listen to our bodies, we don’t listen to our doctors. We don’t realize until later in life that health is everything. Without it, you’ve got nothing.”
I have just hired Bill Walton to be my public relations manager! He hit the nail on the head: Without your health, you’ve got nothing. My hope is that you do not have to suffer like Bill Walton has to listen to your warning signs. I feel sad when I read stories like this. He thought he was doing the right things, he listened to the right people whom he held in high esteem. Ultimately it is HIS health, just like it’s YOUR health! YOU must make the right decisions to optimize your physical, emotional, and psychological health.
What choices do you make?
Do you pay attention to your body’s and take action, or do you keep on keeping on, without listening to the messages your body is trying to send you?
Do you eat foods that your body can easily digest, real food, or do you reach for the easiest, the fastest, the cheapest?
Do you take the time to plan out your exercise, and give your body a chance to recover, or do you ignore exercise because you don’t have enough time?
Do you engage your mind throughout the day, and challenge yourself, or do you take the easy way out?
Do you think positive thoughts throughout the day, set goals, say affirmations, or do you take the path of least resistance?
Do you commit to a care plan to keep your Nervous System functioning at its best, or do you say, “I’m healthy if I feel good right now?”
I feel that it’s great to have choices to make. How different would life be if you did not have a choice?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.