By Maurie Cashman
The Journey was an article that I wrote this spring that turned out to be the most widely circulated that I have written. I wanted to follow up on a couple of the people that I talked about in that article with an update and what I have re-learned from them. It is much like the old Wide World of Sports tag-line, â€œThe Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat.â€
I believe in miracles. I also believe in the miraculous things that can be overcome by the human mind and body. And I also know that what we pray and work for is not always Godâ€™s will for us. We have much to be thankful for this week.
First, an update on my friend who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Things looked very bleak at his diagnosis as he had a large tumor that had metastasized and was throughout his body. He got hooked into a doctor at Mayo Clinic and began a very aggressive regimen of chemo-therapy. After his second treatment they did a CT scan, not expecting to find much. Well they didnâ€™t. The cancer was nowhere to be found! He completed four more rounds of chemo and his last scan showed him as healthy. A couple of days ago we talked and he was ecstatic that he had a cold! His immune system was working. Another miracle and his journey continues.
I also talked about helping my sister-in-law training for an Iron Man triathlon. I was privileged to ride two days with her at ninety miles per day. Almost killed me but I made it. She continued her training, which lasted TWO YEARS.
Darci ran her Iron Man triathlon last weekend in Phoenix. For those of you who donâ€™t know what that is, you must swim 2.5 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon in the same day. She is in incredible shape and was excited to finally see her dream come true and end her journey. However, she suffered a pinched nerve half way through the bicycle leg which left her right arm completely numb. Rather than risk further injury to herself or other competitors she decided to drop out.
That decision had to be agonizing for Darci. She had trained unlike any other for two years for one event. So, you may ask, where is the miracle? First, I find it miraculous that anyone could endure that level of training. Second, I know that she will rebound from this and I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see her try again. Third, she inspired so many others along the way. She did not reach her destination but her journey continues.
A close friend of mine lost his sister to cancer last week. She was 48 and a year younger than he, who is the oldest. I talked to Mike for quite some time last week about his sister and the funeral. Mike comes from a very religious family and is a wonderful friend and example for me. He talked about his niece getting up at the funeral and talking about her mother. She was barely 20 years old and managed to talk at length about her wonderful memories of her mother. Mike lost his father at about the same age and so he has experienced this type of tragedy before. People came to him afterwards and told him it was the most beautiful funeral they had ever attended.
I am as driven a person as most of you will ever see but I learned something from listening to Mike last week about the importance of family and friends and making time for them in our lives. I could tell he was hurting but I could also tell that he was at peace and would continue his journey. Iâ€™m not sure I could do that without a miracle.
The Journey or the Destination?
I love the line by the late Jack Palance in City Slickers about finding the meaning of life. Life is about the destination, but one must take the journey to get there. And as the old saying goes: the sun doesnâ€™t shine on the same dog every day. This week has been rough. But look closely in your personal life and business – there are plenty of miracles along the way that should be celebrated.
What can you find to build your journey on?