I had a really motivational and inspiring experience at the gym recently. Yes, this is one of my New Year’s goals (kind of the same ones I set every year) – to get in better shape and lose weight. Now I know there are those who know me will stop me right here and say, “Wait, did you say you were at the gym? I never would have guessed!” The truth hurts but I’m not giving up on my dream of someday, someone saying to me, “Dude, do you like live at the gym? You look awesome!” I can dream, can’t I?
Anyway, back to my story. As I climbed on my favorite treadmill (I like this one because the display is small enough that my upper torso covers the display while I work out so people around me can’t easily see my stats – super self-conscious, I know), I glanced to my left and saw an old friend who was assisting his son on the rowing machine. I see his son at the gym often; he has such a kind smile but is faced with an unimaginable trial. Over 20 years ago, my friend’s son was in a terrible motorcycle accident and was hanging on to life by a thread as the ambulance rushed him to the hospital. In spite of the best efforts of the emergency room physicians, my friend’s son passed away. His 23 year old son was pronounced dead.
I can’t even begin to imagine the overwhelming grief my friend and his wife must have felt. Then a marvelous miracle occurred. A young doctor, refusing to give up on this young man, tried one more last ditch effort to revive him – and it worked! He was brought back to life after several minutes of being clinically dead. Little did my friend know that in spite of this great miracle, there would be countless days and nights of pain, desperation and fatigue that the entire family would experience. You see, there had been severe brain damage that occurred and his 23 year old son had reverted to an infant in mental capacity. Now at the age of 45, he can talk in a very limited, broken fashion. He can move all of his appendages, but he still can’t walk and has no balance.
When my friend saw me, he left his son and walked over to my treadmill and brought me up to speed as to his son’s progress. Up till about six months ago, his son still had to use a wheelchair but had now graduated to using a walker with some assistance. He had never let go of the absolute goal of someday being able to walk unaided again. As my friend and I were talking, I kept looking over his shoulder at his son and watching him pull with a strong back the handle on the rowing machine. Then all of a sudden, he fell over with his feet still strapped in the machine. We rushed over to his aid and unstrapped his feet and we both lifted him back up to sit sideways on the machine. When I reached under his arm to help lift, I was shocked at the massive muscles I could feel under his shirt. It felt like I was lifting Hulk Hogan or some other WWF wrestler.
His dad explained that his son would often spend six to eight hours a day at the gym and could bench 350 lbs. and squat 900 lbs. Wow! I was so impressed! But then I thought, this didn’t happen by just casually frequenting the gym when he felt like it. He was absolutely dedicated to the goal of walking again and was willing to do whatever it took. It’s been over 20 years now, and he still hasn’t given up and he never will. He is totally focused on his goal and regardless of how long it may take, he WILL NOT GIVE UP!
Now you may be asking yourself, what on earth does this have to do with emergency preparedness – well I’m glad you asked. Preparing for difficult times ahead is not necessarily an easy task, it will require time, effort and dedication. This type of dedication is unfortunately rare today but is a trait I hope we all would like to develop to a much greater extent. Making and keeping goals is certainly not a new idea for any of us but having the courage to never stop trying is indeed rare.
I took my wife to the movie “Darkest Hour” about Winston Churchill the other evening – really liked the movie. I honestly had no idea how much opposition Churchill had during WWII from his own party as well as the balance of Parliament. Churchill was adamantly opposed to giving in to Hitler and negotiating some type of treaty. I loved seeing the movie “Dunkirk” as well that showed these extraordinary times from another very unique perspective. I would highly recommend you watch both movies.
So after being motivated by these great movies, I came across a quote from Churchill that I really liked. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Even though at first blush it comes across a little negative, I really liked the message so I decided to text it to my daughter. This was her reply, “Thanks Dad but that’s the most depressing horrible quote ever.” I guess she needed to see the movies first. I decided I better call her to explain why I really liked the quote and why I believe it’s critical that each of us keep a strong, positive outlook on our life, never giving up on our goals and aspirations, regardless of what happens, never ceasing to strive.
Interestingly enough, there are many out there who really feel strongly about providing emergency food storage for their families but just keep hitting some kind of wall that keeps them from following through. Some may struggle with chronic procrastination, others with the lack of understanding of knowing how to begin. There are those who don’t feel they have the space or are distracted with other important projects. And there are those who may be struggling with just putting food on the table right now and the thought of putting 3, 6 or 12 months of food away for a rainy day is totally beyond their financial reach.
My simple plea for each of you that may fall into one of these categories is to set your preparedness goal and never give up trying to accomplish it! I truly believe miracles will happen. Some miracles just happen, like my friend’s son being brought back to life but most miracles happen only after a trial of our faith and commitment. There will be set-backs and challenges; this life is full of them. But if you keep your eye on the preparedness ball, always keeping in the back of your mind your goal and desire to prepare and provide for your family, miracles will happen that will allow you to accomplish your preparedness goals. Please don’t allow the fact that you may be struggling keep you from striving – allow these miracles to happen in your life.