“I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”
Lyrics from I Lived by OneRepublic
I feel like it’s a mid-90’s move to start this blog post with song lyrics…or maybe a super cheesy move. Like mozzarella string cheese (which I wish some company would make a vegan equivalent of because I miss that snack sooooooo bad).
Either way I couldn’t help myself.
That song has been playing on repeat in my brain since I watched Val and Victoria dance to it on Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the Stars.
If you don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, Victoria Arlen is on the show because she’s a living miracle.
When she was eleven-years-old, she developed two debilitating neurological diseases that caused her to have seizures every two to five minutes. She was locked in and unable to move.
In 2010, despite all medical professionals saying she’d never talk or sit up or walk again, she started to gain feeling back in her hands. She continued to recover, but it seemed like she would spend her life in a wheelchair.
Every test and every doctor said Victoria would never walk. It was supposed to be impossible, but this woman decided she wasn’t ready to give up.
I’m not sure of the circumstances, but just last year she learned how to walk.
And, now she’s dancing the foxtrot and quickstep in front of millions of viewers across America every week.
Even though my votes are going to Mark Ballas and Lindsey Stirling (hey…I have to be honest), I’m inspired by Victoria.
Inspired doesn’t seem like a big enough word.
This woman was told over and over to give up. That her dream of standing on her own two feet was hopeless. And, she didn’t back down.
I want to say I’d do the same thing in her situation, but if every specialist said it was impossible, it would be hard for me to believe otherwise.
Thank goodness there are determined people like Victoria out there who show us the true definition of motivation.
When I find myself complaining about my own health issues, one of things that has always gotten me through has been looking to people who’ve gone through much worse. Victoria is one of those people.
If she can learn to walk again without being able to feel her feet or legs (yeah…she’s dancing on television without being able to feel her legs), I can get my act together on the days when I feel flu-ish.
I can write despite the body aches.
I can find my yoga clothes in their drawer and pull them onto my clammy body and do 20 minutes of yoga despite a low fever.
I can fill up my water cups and get out my watercolors and lose myself in painting even though my head aches.
I can grab a tennis ball out of the dog cabinet and watch the joy spread across my dogs’ faces as they realize we’re going to play even though I’ve got a shooting pain down one leg.
I can turn up the music and dance like a kid with no one watching even though I know I’ll be out of breath by the end of one song.
Otherwise, I waste another day.
And, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste another second.
If your moment comes soon (like in the song by OneRepublic), will you be able to say that you did it all?
Will you be able to say that you lived?
What’s one thing that you could do today to say that you lived a little more?
Maybe you stop by that bakery you always think about and pick up a chocolate salted caramel cupcake?
Maybe you stay up till midnight writing and sipping peppermint tea?
Maybe you shelve the salmon you were going to make for dinner and you take the family out to play at the park and then for tacos (I mean…because tacos!)?
Maybe you stop by Lush on your way home from work and get yourself a pink pumpkin bath bar to turn your bath into a sparkling oasis tonight?
Maybe you call your mom to tell her how much you love her and then you bust open that bottle of champagne you’ve been holding onto for over two years?
Maybe you book a long weekend away for you and your spouse because you can’t remember the last time you spent more than a handful of hours alone–and that was when you had to go to the emergency room?