“Establish a life that prepares you for life”

Those words are from the book “What Though the Odds” by (and about) Haley Scott DeMaria.what though the odds cover

She goes on to say :”Surround yourself with the tools, the people and the discipline to navigate the roadblocks life puts in your way.”

For those of you unfamiliar with her story of tragedy and triumph, Haley was paralyzed following a horrific bus accident injuring a number of her fellow Notre Dame women’s swim teammates and taking the lives of two of them.

Although Haley was told she’d never walk again, she pushed past that prognosis and returned to swim competitively for Notre Dame.

What she accomplished physically though is dwarfed by what she accomplished emotionally, spiritually.

Often, when I read a book like this, I wonder if I would have the courage to do even half of what she did and that’s about as far as that thought would go. But this time was different for me. I was flipping through the book and looking at pages I had marked when the quote I used as the title of this post blazed out at me. I’m half surprised an editor didn’t ask her to re-word it as it feels a bit…clunky…at first. What does that mean to establish something that prepares you for that very same thing???

I haven’t tried to contact Haley to ask but here’s what I came away with – how I approach life, what I choose to do as I plan my life and as I respond to whatever life throws at me – is what I want to look at, not whether I could be courageous or heroic. Let’s face it, most of us will thankfully never be called upon to bear what this amazing young woman did but all of us are called upon each day to live. Each of us, each day is called upon to accept the gift of life or reject it.
Each of us is given a life, one day at a time, one moment at a time and what we make of it defines us just as much, if not more, than any label anyone could imagine for us, including ourselves.

For me, surrounding myself with tools, people, and discipline has become what I do.
Do I always use them to “navigate the roadblocks”? No, honestly, I can’t say that I do as often as I’d like, which is why I continue to be a student of life and a student of living – looking to learn more each day about how to live more fully each day.

Fortunately, I don’t have to wait for a class to end or a title to be bestowed or a certification to be acquired – this is learn by doing and do by learning.

Need a little boost to help you navigate those roadblocks? Be open to learn, speak with someone you know and trust, allow for perspectives previously ignored or rejected – once you’ve established a true desire to grow, so many possibilities appear.

About zolfw

I am an avid trail runner and fitness enthusiast, an accomplished cook, a lover of cinema and literature (although I read everything from graphic novels to professional psychology tomes, neither extreme being literature in the strict sense) . I am a retired Health and Wellness Coach. I am a husband, father, grandfather, and uncle.
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