There's a fine line between stubbornness and determination. Really, I think it's more a matter of whether you're annoying someone (stubbornness) or achieving a positive outcome (determination).
Three times a week I get myself over to the pool at the local YMCA. The exercise is a life line for me. It's one of the cruel ironies of my situation that relaxing, resting and taking it easy makes me feel physically worse. So, I push myself a bit.
The other day I was in the water and glanced over to see another pool "regular" come in. Now, I've always taken note of how people walk (it's the actor training, I guess), lately though, I'm fascinated by it. So, as I watched this lady stride across the room, a sprightly spring in her step, I suddenly remembered overhearing her tell somebody her age— 86.
Here was the 86 I had always envisioned for myself— a vibrant, energetic 86. At twice my age, this lady could easily run circles around me. Obviously now, I need to rethink my 86. In that moment, though, I was filled with a surge of new determination. I started pushing myself to work harder, faster, make the work-out more challenging. And I realized it's this fire-in-the-belly feeling I, somehow, need to tap into as often as possible.
I'm realistic. I know that all this activity won't repair a damaged spinal cord but it's something I can do and that counts for a lot these days.
Because, after all, I'm not ready to give up on my 86 just yet.
Next time: Stubbornness!