Friday, March 03, 2017

That one moment you never forget

I love the movie "Hitch" and I've watched it probably too many times.  I love the message that we should live life to the fullest. Sure, its a cliché we've all heard in twenty variations, but that doesn't mean we understand or get it. Take time to smell the roses.  Most of us know that one and we still don't do it, because we don't comprehend how incredible and fabulous living like this can be.

I listened to my bride tell me something the other day and I don't think it was anything earth shaking, but I looked at her face and how animated she was and I stopped her and told her how much I love her. Yea, I was right where I wanted to be. I had a deep understanding of just how important she is to me and how fortunate I am to have her in my life.

Years ago, a few Airmen and I were camping in the mountains of Montana. There was a lone bald peak not too far from our tents and I told them I was going to climb it. "Why?" they all echoed. "I want to experience it," was my reply and one by one they rose and we made the steep climb. As we sat at the top and looked around, we shared that experience and were in no hurry to leave. Now 40 years later I can revisit that peak because I absorbed it.

Do you ever wonder why people take vacations and cruises but never talk about them afterward? I wonder if they slowed down enough to let it soak into the fabric of their being? If you ask them, they will swear they did and maybe tell you how they swam with great white sharks or zip-lined through an active volcano and then they fall silent or change the subject. Did they truly experience that moment, or was it just another cheap thrill and a check mark on their bucket list? Truly amazing moments often happen in truly unamazing places and you never forget them. Make a note I am excluding tragedy from this line of thought.

I was in Midtown instructing an 0530 spin class and we were cycling in a near dark spin room, crowded with stationary bikes and sweating people. Believe it or not, I am often down there at Elgin and Louisiana, as they need instructors and I leave Baytown at 0420 to get there and get set up for class. Most all of these people work in offices and will leave the gym and go to work. Me? I am living and doing exactly what I want at that moment. I love it.
I often adjure them to be selfish with their hour of exertion. "Don't go to work in your head before your body has to. This is your hour to be selfish. You are not going to change a thing over there right now. You are here because there is no other place you want to be, so don't mentally leave. forget the TPS reports, your bills, the kids, forget everything but this bike and the mountain trail you are riding. Right now its just you, your body, and this bike," and then I tell them a corny joke. I often explain that their body will tell them to stop, but all they need to do is live in the moment and like one man told me after a class, "I've been spinning for 6 years and that was the hardest class I've ever been in."

I laughed because I didn't push him that hard - he somehow plugged in and pushed himself to new level and that should be our goal. Do we have to water ski behind a 900 foot ocean liner or wrestle a 26 foot long Nile croc to have an awakening?  Of course not. This moment will come at a most unexpected time of revelation. It may take place in a parking lot when you see a cloud formation, or talk to a lady in a supermarket. For that instant you realize why you are here and looking around you decide there is no place on earth like the one you are experiencing. You are living in the moment.

I stand in my driveway at night and look at the planet Venus and little red Mars and then the moon and I am as happy as a chimp with a banana. I know my bride is not interested in the view, but I am seeing the collective of millions of stargazers and I feel their connection. My Chinese Holly tree's berries are feeding the migrating cedar wax-wing birds and I can feel a satisfaction that stays with me all day and all I have to do is take time to watch them.

Living in the moment is far more than a tag line from a movie. It is a realization that there is no place on earth better than the one you are experiencing right now.


Anonymous said...

DDC: Another excellent column in The Baytown Sun this Friday morning. It was a great reminder to stop and take notice of what the Lord gave us to experience in that moment. We often rush by everything in this 'fast food' world that we live in. Good reminder. Have a great day and weekend.

Anonymous said...

BAM: That is a good article.

Anonymous said...

KE: Kurtiss Elder I enjoyed this. Thank you for reminding us to enjoy the moment as we're living it.

Anonymous said...

Barbora Cole: I enjoyed your last two articles.

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