Life demands participation. There’s no question. The people who live the richest, fullest, happiest lives are people who are so busy LIVING life that they’re not stopping to watch someone else have fun. They’re right in the middle OF the fun.
Those are the people who thrum and vibrate with energy, the people we seek out innately. They’re not necessarily thrill seekers, but they are people who are unafraid of the cost of participation in this great game of life. Their fearlessness and willingness to jump into the deep end of the pool enthralls us, inspires us, and motivates everyone around them.
There IS a cost.
Participation means acceptance of the sacrifices made by the body. It means accepting pain, accepting aches, accepting strategic retreats in pursuit of improvement. Participation means knowing that you’ll, at some point, need an ice pack, a bandaid, some k-tape, anti-inflammatories, or even a rest week or three. Participating means the acknowledgment that you could break a bone, shed some blood, or need to see a doctor.
But there’s the thrill.
You’re pushing yourself, you’re getting better. It’s not about training for life – it’s about LIVING life. It’s about being able to say “F*ck it, let’s skydive” without a second thought that you’ll be sore or can your body handle it. It’s about spending a weekend hiking and not paying for it for the next week. Or going skiing and not worrying about how bad your quads are going to feel.
If you’re afraid to get hurt, if you let every scrape, bump, bruise, fall, and scratch stop you from what you’re enjoying – you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re letting the minutes pass you by, and you’re not filling them, tasting them, experiencing them. You’re not contributing. The world is moving around you, and I promise you, you’re going to get left behind.
Living life means accepting all the bumps and bruises that go along with it. They’re part of your story. This life is meant to be lived fully. You only get one go around…make it count. Every day.