Monday, June 7, 2010

Life as a precious resource...

One of the toughest things in life is the death of someone who you care for and love.  Over the past 3 days at work I have had to deal with this a number of times.  My occupation is a veterinary technician and each day I have to opportunity to save animals, keep them healthy, and share in their bond with their owners.  This job  has many facets.  You have to be good with the animals and with their owners.  You need to be the voice for the pet and give the owners guidance and advice in good times and bad.  Some days it is nothing but happy puppies and kittens and they keep a smile on your face all day long.  Other days it is a true challenge with mean or difficult pets or the very sick pets.  The past three days have been full of very sick pets.  Twice in the last three days I have been part of bringing an arresting animal back to life.  I am not sure how many of you have had to deal with a life and death situation where every decision you make or action you do will either make something live or die...let's just say it can be extremely stressful.

Saturday a cat coded.  This means the cat had no heart beat and was not breathing.  Within 30 seconds the cat was intubated, oxygen support was going, and your standard emergency drugs were being injected into the IV catheter.  A few seconds later the heart was going again and the cat was breathing on its own.  What a cool feeling.  We just took this dead cat and made it live again.  It was great.  Stepping back from the situation I began to think about it.  This cat died in my hands and then as a team we brought it back to life. 

Have any of you felt life leave something? 

It is an awkward feeling.  Something that was living and breathing has now stopped and there is a very good possibility that it will never do that again.  Even tougher than this is trying to explain to that pet's owner that their loved one is no longer with us.  There is a massive range of emotions of sorrow, sadness, and even relief.  Sometimes the owner knows their pet was suffering and they didn't know what to do.  Now they no longer have to worry...the suffering is over.  Watching adults cry is very difficult to witness.  It is equally difficult to be strong in front of them. 

Why am I writing about all this unpleasant stuff?

I am writing about this because I think that we all take life for granted.  We as Crossfitters are always wanting to be better, eat healthier, go faster, be stronger, etc. and get really frustrated when these things don't happen.  WAIT A MINUTE...You are alive!  You are working out, having a great time, and are more fit and a better athlete then most people anywhere in this world.  Think about how precious your life is and how precious the lives of your loved ones are.  Think about the people around you in the box suffering and sweating and how precious their existence is.  Sometimes we need perspective on how amazing you are as a person and as an athlete.  This perspective is the key to understanding how precious each day is. 

I get really frustrated with myself sometimes when it comes to Crossfit and Olympic lifting.  I am very hard on myself and never believe that I have gone fast enough or pushed hard enough in the WOD.  This motivates me to be better the next time I walk into the box and that is great.  After the past 3 days of work I will not go any easier on myself but I will be more appreciative of the chances I have to go into the box pick heavy stuff up and suffer through the WOD.  I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity.  Don't you think you are lucky as well?  If you don't come spend a day in my world. 

Everyone I know in the Crossfit community has been truly blessed by many things like determination, work ethic, athletic ability, and perseverance.  I think that most of us know how lucky we are to have the experiences and friends we have.  We cherish our opportunities to get better as an athlete and truly want the same for our friends.  Next time you walk into the box think about how precious your life and the lives of your friends are.  Be thankful for each step you take and each challenge you conquer.  If you are not motivated by these opportunities think about it a little more or watch the world news.

Life is a gift.  Cherish each moment that you have.  Put everything you can into it, never short yourself, and always be thankful for the people who love and care for you. 

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
- Ashley Smith

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