One Week Until #FortyOnederful!

 
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On September 21st of each year, my father's birthday, I always ask him how he feels about turning a year older.

"It beats the alternative," he always says.

If nothing else, the past six weeks have demonstrated the truth behind my father's statement.   

For those of you who know me, and read my newsletters, you know that on December 14, 2018, Sophia's paternal grandmother had a massive stroke at age 73 and passed away 4 days later.  Carol was a woman who truly lived life to its fullest; so much so that, when Sophia was lamenting about how young Grandma Carol was, her father told her that she was so busy that she actually lived two days in one, which would have made her 146 years old.

Losing Carol, and the way it happened, has certainly shaken me to the core.  I am fully aware that, at almost 41, I have been extremely fortunate.  Until December 18th, Sophia had all four grandparents living within blocks, there had been no major health issues, and all four were dedicated and involved.  It is not something I never took for granted; however, as it was the "norm", I didn't think much about it.   

Around Christmas, just a week after losing Carol, my father started to get sick.  My father, age 71, never taking a sick day in his life, is a man that also lives two days in one.  Always the first one to offer to help; always there for his family and friends.  So when his Christmas cough turned into a New Year Eve trip to Maryland for a close friends sons wedding where he could not make the party; which turned into back pain so severe two days later which prevented him from flying to Florida to attend his oldest friends mothers funeral; which turned into 103 fever; which turned into pain so severe in his arms he could not move them.....

 
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My father ended up in the hospital for two weeks with Endocarditis; a bacterial infection in his heart.  He was very unlucky to have gotten this, as it often develops from a mouth bacteria which we all have.  However, we are very lucky to have caught it as quickly as we did.

Fortunately, my father will be okay and each day is getting stronger.  It is not lost on me that not everyone is as fortunate.

 
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Doing what we can to stay healthy is important; yet it is not a guarantee.   When it comes to Carol and my father, they kept and keep themselves in good condition.  We have all heard stories of a 30 something year old healthy individual having a heart attack while running.  We have also heard of the never-in-their-life-smoke-a-cigarette 50 something who gets lung caner; and we have heard of those who have never worked out a day in their life, smoke three packs a day, living well into their 90s.  Is it luck of the draw?  Is it that something was always lingering uncovered?  Does it have to do with stress or sleep?

Health is everything; and when you don't have it, especially when you are used to having it, it certainly can rock your foundation.  And, as the body is a chain, when one thing goes wrong quickly other things could as well.  Muscles atrophy, leading to overcompensation elsewhere which could lead to another injury or illness.  We truly have to be careful and give ourselves the best shot by taking care of ourselves; yet we cannot live our lives in fear of something happening and must find ways to live life to the fullest, because we truly do not know how long we have.

And, as I head towards my next birthday, the one thing I could say is, I am grateful for my health.  And, through my trainings, my words, and guidance, I hope to help all of you live the strongest lives you can.  And stay healthy.  

 
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Laura Kovall