I hate to workout. There’s nothing more to it. I don’t enjoy it, my body hates me while I do it, and the only way I can finish m run is if I listen to “If You’re Going Through Hell” for the last quarter mile. I played soccer for most of my life, and once it was over working out dropped way down on my priority list.
One day as I was laying in bed, watching videos on my computer, avoiding working out, studying, or any other act of efficiency, I came upon a video of a young teenage boy they called, “The Butterfly child.”
His name is Jonathan Pitre, and he was born with an extremely rare and painful disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa which makes his skin so fragile that he has to be wrapped in gauze every day for protection. It causes everyday activities, such as eating and walking, to cause excruciating pain and blisters. He will never be capable of the things I can do but so often chose not to.
He will never be able to play sports, despite his passion for hockey. He will never be able to run or lift weights. He will never be able to be strong or in shape like he desires.
Not only did this challenge me to invest more into my ability to workout, to run, to lift, to treat my body as the temple that it is, but it also challenged me to look deeper into other aspects of my life, into other opportunities that I took for granted.
I was born into a hardworking family, that had the finances to, not only send me to college, but to send me to a private Christian college of my choosing. I felt incredibly thankful for this opportunity… for about a month.
When you get into the swing of college it is easy to forget the sacrifices made to put you there. It is easy to forget the tuition check your parents sent in at the beginning of the semester when your alarm is going off for your 8am class. It’s easy to forget how expensive an education is when you have better things to do than study. It’s so easy to neglect the fact that you are at a place that many others dream to be, when you have been there long enough.
I found myself taking the easy way around way too often. I found myself settling for the easiest way of quick memorization rather than implementing important material into my mind. I found myself skipping classes and writing half-effort papers. I found myself web searching during class lectures. I found myself forgetting where I really was, what my parents had paid to get me there, and what my number one purpose for my time here was. I was cheapening myself and my opportunity for no reason other than entitlement and laziness.
This happens in many occasions. Opportunities become responsibilities, and then they become burdens. Think of all your rights, all the things you can do because you were born into the right country, family, neighborhood. This isn’t a guilt trip, this isn’t society telling you to be ashamed of your privilege. This is nothing more than someone who is tired of abusing her own opportunities challenging you to think through yours.
I still have a long way to go. I still have days when I lack the self-discipline to wake up and go for a run, or study the extra hour for the test, or even go to class for that matter. But I’m working on it.
What are you capable of doing, but often choose not to? How are you going to utilize the gifts you once took for granted? How are you going to be the best you with what you’ve been given, and what you’ve achieved?