A long time ago I had a dream that I died. In my dream, I was on the “other side” and, when I realized where I was, I would begin to beg to come back to my life. I even started negotiating at some point saying things like, “Just one day, please!” and I could feel the intense yearning to see people again, to be here again.
I always think of this dream. It keeps me focused. It keeps me grounded for those times when I’m tempted to complain or whine about something in my life. Because, you see, my life is pretty awesome. I have amazing people in my life and I GET to do so many things that I love.
It’s amazing when you think about it that way…I GET to go to the gym, I GET to go to work, I GET to work on my weaknesses, I GET to get up early, I GET to food prep… And I’m kind of morbid this way because I always think of the alternative. I tell people things like, “Okay, you missed that lift. I know that sucks but you have all your limbs and you can try again!” And I think of real things that are happening around the world or limitations that would not even allow you to step into a gym. Like having to flee from where you live or having your workplace or gym bombed or having a terminal illness. And while I don’t like to think about how horrible those things would be, I do. My struggle at the gym or in any other aspect of my life is a freaking GIFT. I GET to have this struggle. I GET to walk into a gym and join people with a common purpose. I GET to struggle through a workout so that I can be better. The rain, the weather, the traffic, what other people are doing—those things are truly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
I believe gratitude is life changing and leads to happiness. And with reason! If you really thought about how great your life is, you’d be grateful. But this requires that you focus on the right things—the things that really matter. It requires that you “don’t drown in a cup of water” (this is a saying Spanish—I’m not sure if it works in English but I think you get it). Sure, you’ll have setbacks and things that just majorly suck but you still get to be here.
So, the thought of death or other situations always brings me back to gratitude. When I got up this morning, walking to the bathroom was not a struggle. If you’ve ever been around someone with a terminal illness or some limiting condition, then you know what a gift that is.
There are times when I am struggling during a WOD or a difficult situation and I think of my dream. I think to myself, “Remember, if you could not be here…you would be begging to be here, to do this one more time, to feel this struggle and to feel so alive.”