1) I can actually walk around an amusement park without becoming exhausted! Last week my girls and I went to Marineland and I pet a beluga whale, an unforgettable experience. The whale, Isis, was like a marine dog, eager for human interaction. The 3 of us (and my 76-year-old mother) walked miles around this park. It was easy. The last time I had the opportunity to walk around an amusement park I recall it being exhausting.
2) I can play with my children without getting winded. My girls and I spent another day bike riding, playing on a playground, and picnicking at a glorious county park. The same park where I met their dad, just about 11 years ago. The same park where he asked me to be his wife. I played with my kids, hung from monkey bars, ran through a field and biked back and forth up and down hills.
3) I now seek out fun, active things to do with my family. A couple months ago we put a tandem kayak on layaway. Layaway. The last day of
our vacation we picked it up and went paddling. We also got a zippy sit-on-top kayak for my older daughter, Payton. She named it “Tango.” The four of us spent a few hours exploring a creek off Chautauqua Lake. Certainly not a strenuous outing, but it was active and together.
4) I can proudly say that I live a healthy lifestyle. For 15 years I have practiced medicine and become more disillusioned with what I am able to do to help people. Lifestyle is everything. I take care of very old 50-year-old smokers and drinkers. The obese populate my hospital rooms with diabetes, hypertension, wounds that don’t heal, depression, sleep apnea. Patients come to the hospital toting their own C-PAP machines in plastic grocery bags. I dispense insulin with the regularity of Tylenol. I have to lead by example. My patients notice. Last night I walked into a room in the ER to admit a lady who has been my patient for years. Despite her distress, she squealed with delight when she saw me. She told me how good I looked and that I glowed (despite my complete exhaustion). And then she said that if I could do it, with my work schedule and sleep deprivation and stress and kids and home, that anyone could do it. Wow. That was some unexpected, much welcome and very gratifying, recognition of what I have accomplished thus far.