Disheartened, again, after seeing and reading about yet another group of refugees overcrowded on a boat to escape terrible, horrible, unthinkable conditions so much that they are willing to risk their lives and lives of their family for the chance of a better life.  I can’t even imagine.  And I go about my cushy life as a wealthy American, getting annoyed at such trivial things.  I know, I know, we all have our journeys; we don’t choose where we are born; we can’t feel guilty for the cards we’ve been dealt; just do the best you can do . . .

So, of course, I try my best to have compassion and give where and when I can give and feel grateful for all I have and all I was born into and what opportunities I have and didn’t have to work so hard to get.

I was trying to explain this to my 13 year old daughter the other day–just to make her aware of all she has and all others don’t.  It’s my role as a mother to do this every so often–to remind my kids of their privledge so they can appreciate it.  Little did I know how much this reminder would help me that day during my very challenging workout (that I have the privledge to do).

As we were doing our cardio-interval class, I was thinking how hard it was, fighting my limits to finish the reps.  Often I don’t.  I often stop a few before the end out of what I perceive is exhaustion. And I usually question myself, thinking I could probably push myself to actually finish them, but why make myself so uncomfortable?  Until I thought of those refugees.  I thought, “damn, those people have lived through so much, and here I am complaining to myself about how my muscles hurt from working out.”  So, with this thought, I finished each and every rep we did that day. I pushed myself.  When it felt too hard, I thought more about the possible details of the lives of these people half-way around the world, and how each and every one of them would trade lives with me in a split second if they had the choice.

I finished the class, exhausted, but satisfied and grateful for all I have, vowing that I will push myself to my absolute limit, not only with exercise, but in many things I do and give up on because I have the luxury of giving up.  It’s not fair that I have the luxury to give up when so many others don’t.  Once again, I come to that mantra that my mother always reminded me of while I was growing up (and I hated it then and still hate it) that “life isn’t fair.”  It’s true.  It’s not fair.  And I’m damn lucky that I got the long stick.  I’m going to take advantage of that long stick and do the best I can with all I’m given.  It’s truly the least I can do.

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