Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Human Spirit

Today I left home with Penny, my three year old Chocolate lab for a walk on the trails. Wearing my vibram five fingers we headed out on french creek then on to leon creek. Walking at a slow pace and enjoying the cool overcast evening. Penny was excited as deer frequently ran across the trail ahead of us. She made me proud as she calmly watched as mountain bikers came toward us on the trail and whizzed on by. As we reached the newly paved trails in the creek, two young boys about 5 and 7 rode up to us and asked " can we pet her?" Sure I said, but she's gonna lick you! the two boys smiled ear to ear as they pet Penny. "Why is her tongue hanging out?" they asked. She's been walking over two miles now I explained, and she is overly excited at the attention you are giving her.
As I bid farewell to the kids and headed back home, a young lady on a mountain bike came riding up and said Hi. I said Hi, and asked her how long she's riding today. "oh, I came from Babcock" she said. Wow, I responded. That's 4 miles to this point (Bandera Rd). Yes she said, but I do it almost everyday and it doesn't feel like 8 miles round trip. We struck up an interesting conversation and she explained she suffers from Diabetes. She tries to keep it in check by watching her diet and exercising. You all know me. I suggested vegetables and fruit to eat, to which she responded, "I do eat all that." She told me she was a runner in high school. I asked if she still runs, hoping to recruit a new runner to our group, she went on to tell me she also suffers from poor blood circulation in her legs and restless leg syndrome. And, she later explained "I also have low bone density, and scoliosis." All this she told me while smiling often. "Wow, you ARE sick" I said laughing. "Como una vieja!" she said (Like an old lady). I asked her age (I know, don't ask a lady how old she is), and she said she was 37. She did not look a day over 30. Due to the exercise and good diet, no doubt.
"Keep up the exercising" I told her. And "keep smiling and thinking positive." I will she replied. Nora rode off and I could not help but think what a great joy for life she has. She suffers from many illnesses and still smiles and tries to help herself through diet and exercise. So many others let such conditions rule their lives. But some like Nora fight through it.
Many of us are so fortunate to have good health. If you are one of these, Treasure it. If not, Keep smiling, and keep pushing on.

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