An email goes across the workforce to inform us of the loss of a fellow employee. For most of the workforce, this leads to a comment or two, some condolences offered and back to work. For some of us, who knew... well, let’s just call him <*P*> to protect his identity at this point, this hits a little closer. <*P*> was a gym rat, like myself. Every day we would run into each other at the building fitness center. He was 47 and married, at the point in his life where fitness means something different that the single 20 year old who thinks the gym is a social engagement. We would pass through the strutting roosters, our headphones on, towel in hand, from station to station, bench to bench, mat to mat, grinding out the iron and reps to make sure we enjoyed the other 23 hours of the day to the fullest potential. We were like quiet sharks, circling a cross cable machine with presence while the young’uns decided they were finished and would let the “old men” have at it. He would always strike up a conversation while I did some of those ‘crazy routines’ I am known for from my martial and military past -plyometrics, bench drops, rolls into explosive strikes on the bags. We would share a chuckle at the seasonal crowd; you know the group – the January surge, May “summer is here” procrastinators, guilty November groupies, etcetera, etcetera. I would have my last conversation with <*P*> on the afternoon before he departed this earth. He was in a point in his life like me, had not drank alcohol in over a decade and a half, watched what he ate, kept in great physical, mental and spiritual health, loved what he did for a living and lived every day to its fullest potential. The next morning he did not show up for work. It would be a few hours later that word reached us of the cause of death – aortic dissection caused by a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. In the end, genetics got him.
So, what is the lesson here? Our time here is short in the grand scheme. Live every day to its fullest potential. Enjoy your time here; make a difference in your community, your family and yourself. Fill your cup to the rim every day and empty it every night before bed. You will be missed, my friend, but the lessons of quiet perseverance and indomitable spirit live on.