“A healthy person has a thousand wishes, but a sick person has only one.”
In late January of this year, I tested positive for COVID-19. The night my test came back positive, I immediately did all the proper things to self-isolate, get better, and stay put. I will share that the physical part of it wasn’t as horrible as it could’ve been, but the mental toll and head games of being sick for eight days greatly surprised me. I’ve had countless friends and family get it, so I knew the main symptoms and recommended treatments.
We all respond differently to illness and recovery. The world has enough crazy trains and negativity being thrown at us from seemingly all directions each second of the day, so I’ll continue to swerve the other direction like I’ve done most of my life by sharing the lessons I gained from the experience.
- Health is our biggest wealth. Like the Indian proverb above, when we don’t feel well, life becomes hard. Our focus changes from activity and progress to slowing the bus to a crawl or a complete stop. We are built to enjoy and expand each day on the journey of life and without our health, that can be difficult to do.
- Our mind can quickly turn against us. I won’t sugarcoat it: By about day four I was thinking some strange, depressing thoughts at times. This was weird for me because I’ve always felt that a positive mindset can overcome a lot of things, but lying on the couch, stuck from being out in the world was tough. I value my freedom of movement and I thank God daily even more after recovering and getting back into the world again these past two weeks.
- People are awesome. I had an amazing combination of friends, family, training clients, my girlfriend, and my kids checking in on me daily to see how I was doing or if I needed anything. It was humbling and once again showed me the deep power of compassion and empathy that all humans possess.
- Slowing down forces us to let go of control. When you feel crappy and can’t be around others it forces a shift in perspective, and it made me dig deeper into what really matters most at this point in my life and who I choose to spend time with. This self-reflection time wasn’t always pretty. It was tough at times. I truly believed I’d be okay, but there were a couple days where I became frustrated and impatient. I kept telling myself, Press on, you got this. Give thanks to God and be grateful for the people and blessings in your life, especially now.
- We are human and not immortal. When life is clicking and moving fast like falling dominoes, we often forget that illness or unforeseen tragedy doesn’t make reservations for when it’s convenient on our calendar. Life involves risk and illness too. It’s what we all sign up for when we’re born. However, the beauty of contrast and good health makes us appreciate happiness and health even more after we come out of a season of winter and challenge.
I won’t pretend like my COVID experience was the end of the world by any means; I was much luckier than many. However, the experience was definitely one that made me re-evaluate my mindset and how I plan to move forward in this continually changing world.