Tomorrow Starts Today
Benjamin Franklin once said; “With adversity comes opportunity.” The Pandemic
of 2020 is one of the most challenging experiences that most of us have ever faced.
Our lives, livelihoods, and lifestyles were dramatically affected and many have
suffered greatly. Some of us have lost friends and family members and collectively
we are saddened by these losses. But, the Optimist always looks for the silver
lining; the light of the sun rising amidst the stormy clouds. With the rollout of the
vaccines, many are starting to feel “alive” and hopeful again. There is a sense that,
the worst is behind us and that better times lay ahead. Though this is true, we must
continue to “stay the course” and follow the recommendations our health experts
until we are truly “out of the woods.”
As we reflect on the adversity of this past year, it is important to know that oppor
tunity is there for those who seek it. Whatever your personal challenge, there is a
lesson to be learned from those experiences, and taking action is the key to growth
and success. The Pandemic has reminded me that we are social beings and that
we need each other. It feels unnatural and unhealthy to isolate and not interact
closely with our friends and family. This is an area that I personally struggled with.
I just missed a good hug and seeing my friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and
clients. My community felt so far away and I suspect that many of you felt the same
way. The recent increase in reported cases of anxiety, depression and suicide are
all indicators that support the fact that we need each other. The good news is that
the vaccine and the preventive measures that we all have endured are working and
hopefully we will be able to safely gather together again soon.
It was also reaffirmed to me that, a healthy body is better able to fight off infection
and disease. As a Physical Therapist and Fitness Professional I observe that reg
ular physical activity and exercise, combined with a good diet, contributes to good
health. Consistent exercise reduces stress, boost the immune system, prevents
weight gain, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves mood and
energy levels, reduces joint pain, and strengthens bones. Of course, there are many
health conditions that people are born with or are a result of unavoidable injury or
trauma; however, it is commonly agreed upon that lifestyle behaviors do contribute
to ones overall health profile. The CDC even estimates that about forty percent of
U.S. deaths caused by heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, stroke
and unintentional injury are caused by lifestyle choices, and are preventable. Thus
living a healthy and active lifestyle does supports longevity.
If you currently find yourself anxious, depressed or physically unhealthy after this
challenging year, please consider getting some help. First, start by seeing your
Medical Doctor to evaluate your physical and mental health. It’s important to be
screened for any major health issues as sometimes serious illness can remain
silent, or have symptoms that are misinterpreted. If necessary, seek treatment
from a qualified Therapist to help rehabilitate that physical or emotional challenge
that is holding you back. Perhaps consider joining a gym, hiring a Personal Trainer
or finding a Dietitian to help you get on track with your health and fitness goals.
Maybe, just try taking more walks and spending more time outdoors enjoying the
sunshine. Say “Hi” to a neighbor or reach out to someone in need. You will quickly
find that you are not alone.
This Pandemic, as challenging and tragic as it is; it is nearly behind us and it is full
of life lessons. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives; so let’s take Benjamin
Franklin’s advice and use the adversities of 2020 into inspiration us to find new
purpose and opportunities for tomorrow.
16 Seascape Village, Aptos
Jim Tucker PT, OCS
Owner of TheraFit Inc.
Seascape Village Fitness Center.