A refreshing night of rest after a long previous day of travel. After a family breakfast of smoothies bowls and sandwiches my brother and I set off on a leisurely jog along the Waikiki shore. After our jog I joined my mom at the resort for a relaxing hour of yoga on the pool terrace overlooking the ocean. My mom and I enjoy yoga as a hobby at home and do a yoga video occasionally in which the instructor is practicing on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. We joked that all those days of wishing we could practice yoga along the beach just like Suzanne Deason had come to fruition!
After yoga the whole family took a ride to Diamond Head park where we planned to hike to the top. As former (me) and current (Austin) cross country runners my brother and I scoffed at the thought of a .7 mike hike, as we are used to running much farther distances. We were quickly humbled as we set out to climb Diamond Head. As it turns out, 0.7 miles up a Hawaiian mountain in 80 degree weather is very different from 0.7 miles alongside a corn field in Indiana. All the same, we conquered the climb and the view from the top was more than worth it. As my heart pounded in my chest and my forehead dripped with sweat I was brought back to a scene in my life from just over a year ago.
I had been in my hospital bed for almost 24 hours straight, weak from chemotherapy and a nearly sleepless night. My mom encouraged me to call the physical therapist and ask for her to give me a few exercises to complete. When she arrived she gave me a list of exercises that we were going to do. To me they looked like cake. The first thing she wanted me to do to was take a walk around the floor. I unplugged my IV pole and confidently headed out of my hospital room. About three steps into our walk I realized just how weak my body had become. My legs were shaky, I could hardly stand up and my vision began to blur as my body could hardly handle the few minutes of walking that it took to go around the circular third floor. When we finally made it back to my room I collapsed on my bed, exhausted. I had no idea just how difficult the walk was going to be.
This situation mirrors the one of today, at Diamond Head, on many accounts. Not just because of the difficulty of the climb, but also the fact that I had my family right along side me the whole way up. After a long, hard climb the view from the top was breathtaking, and the feeling of victory, sweet.
Not that I had much choice in the matter... but I consider overcoming cancer an accomplishment. I believe that each and every day we have a choice of how we want to fight our battles. Whether it be cancer, a mountain, a challenging goal, or any other hardship life might throw our way, the best we can do is look in the face of our troubles and say “I will overcome.” The things that we “wish” for are already inside of us we must pursue them with everything we have. Once we reach our final destination it makes the whole climb worth it.