I have committed to at least 30 minutes of activity or movement daily.  You’d think as a gym owner, that wouldn’t be a challenge for me, but you’d be wrong.  I sit ALOT!   So today, I pushed back my chair and took a walk.  I went alone.  I needed focus.  I needed to clear my head.

Across the street from the gym, there’s a cemetery.  Now you might find it eerie that I enjoy walking through the cemetery.  But it’s very nice.  There’s a black top pavement that circles around to a lovely mosoleum.  The lawn is well kept and a fence wraps the cemetery in a sweet little hug.  It’s easy to walk alone, ear buds in, and just focus internally on your walk.  I did this for a couple rounds of the pavement until one of the headstones caught my eye.  There were pictures of two young men on the headstone, very young, apppearing to be teenagers and I’d guess, brothers.  They passed away on the same day.  How sad is that?!  I found myself wondering about their ‘story.’  How did they pass, or more importantly, how did they live? How many lives had they touched in their short lived, young lives?  I imagined many, perhaps too may to count.  But I couldn’t possibly begin to imagine the pain of their parents.  My mind can’t even go there.

I began to look at each headstone.  But more than look, I saw.  These were more than concrete slabs.  These were people, real people with real lives and real stories.  There were war veterans, children, babies, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, the list is endless, each individual so unique.  I walked and tried to determine who had been there the longest.  Who was given the honor of resting here first?  I saw a headstone of a woman.  Her name was Margaret.  Margaret passed in 1812 at only 55 years of age.  Perhaps in 1812, 55 was ‘old,’ but I’m only a few years from 55, so it sounds younger to me every day.  I thought about the difficult life she must have lived.  Men and women worked very hard in those days just to survive.  There was no time to piddle with their phones or other distractions.  I’m quite sure staying fit wasn’t anything for which they had to focus.  They were plenty active and they ate what they could grow or raise, no processed food choices.

I’m quite sure I spent more than my allotted 30 minutes in that cemetery and I felt grateful to all these people for making their mark on me this day.  We are all in charge of our own stories.  While we can’t necessarily write each chapter of our story, ultimately, we have the power to determine how our story will end.  We have the power to choose the foods we eat. We have the power to get up out of our chairs and move another day.  We have the privilege of living within a body that we get to nurture and love.  We are blessed with another day to choose.

Get up!  Move!  Hug!  Love!    We get one shot at this thing we call life.

Choose well, my friends.