Health is an inheritance from the earth in whose presence we can grow. Health is also, as they say, wealth. The start of the new year, it was not something I was thinking about, as I would walk, run and swim throughout my working week.
Argued that health was given to me. I put in the work and I got the result of a healthier body, smaller waist and a head in line with the world around it. But what do we do when the mind becomes ill? There is no gym for that. Last week was tough as I had my first migraine.
It was a pain that lasted for three days. It passed only after a lot of rest and painkillers. Since I’ve never had a migraine, it took a few days to figure out the cause.
Thankfully, the pain is almost all gone but I am back to running and running in my steady way on roads and trails.
The experience has made me think about health and its importance. As the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, keeping one’s body healthy is an expression of gratitude and a nod to the universe, the trees, the clouds, everything. He is absolutely right, but sometimes we don’t listen to our body.
Health is something that I do not take lightly, as I experienced its absence years ago when I was struggling with mental health problems. That fight, which lasted for many years, led me on the path to where I now live as an active person.
Health is not just about living free from disease or infirmity; It is about a state of total wellness where we are happy to get out of bed in the morning and face each day as a powerful new force.
In that journey of the body, I fell in love with speed, whether it was running or mountain walking, swimming or cycling. It was the fuel I burned to stay alive and the fuel that made me a rich man, both physically and mentally. I haven’t had any major illness since those events., so the migraine came out of the blue.
But looking back, all the marks were there. I worked my way up during Christmas, I eased into healthy eating and, perhaps most importantly, I was in tune with my body. It threw me off and led, I believe, to a migraine.
It reminded me of the health visit of a dear friend in Australia who had a year of headache. This stopped him in his tracks and made him wonder what his life had become.
The health that has been given to us so free can also be taken away. Hundreds of thousands of workdays are lost due to employee illness, leading to the disappearance of key workers at workplaces.
Living in the era of a pandemic, we are certainly more aware of our health and the need to keep it under control. As the current situation continues, thousands of people are out of office due to COVID.
In a way, we must build up our health reserves to ensure that we can stay healthy against disease. I was not prepared for a migraine and the level of illness made me feel it. I was put out of action for three days – three days I could use for work and exercise.
I have learned from experience that health really outweighs everything. When I sat alone in my dark room, I knew that books and pillars really meant nothing if I didn’t have the health to enjoy them. This is the best property we could ask for.
As far as it was for my friend in Australia with a year-long headache, it eventually got better after seeing multiple doctors and going through a variety of treatments. It proved that all things can lift, even years of physical pain.
The lesson I’ve learned is to slow down a bit. I must stop and smell the roses, because it’s not all about the work. We need to focus on ourselves so that we can truly reap the harvest of every day and season.
I have stocked up on vitamins and tonics and am ready for winters. To keep the body in good health, as I see it now, is a duty to myself and which I will no longer take for granted.
I’ve finished the weekend and I’m going to do some cool things for myself – walk, run, eat good homemade food.
It’s the little things that build a well of positivity and hopefully keep those migraines at bay and prevent them from becoming a pattern in life.
When we go through serious illness, as I did with my mental health, there is a transformation of self and spirit.
Health is not a given. We all must fight the good fight to keep our bodies full of the best opportunities for life to come through. None of us know what’s in front of us in terms of health, but if we build our own well we can be prepared to stand up to whatever life throws at us.
Now looking back, it was the overwork and stress that gave me that migraine. I won’t make the same mistakes again.
Illness can be an opportunity for change, and I can see that I myself need to change a thing or two. Here it is for your health. Your ship can last for many years.