Today I lay face up on the track absolutely gassed. I'd just completed the last interval of my sprint conditioning workout when my desire to breathe as deep as possible thrust me to the ground. I'm sure the look on my face and the scene of a grown man writhing on that rubber surface was one to behold. I remember the sun...the warm air...and then my heart beating wildly. My limbs were splayed out like...
Then it hit me.
I had a previous workout planned just 48 hours prior, but soreness from a training session made me pack up and go home without even starting a warm up. I remember thinking, 'Chris, what are you doing...you're not keeping yourself accountable. It's what you do when noone is watching that truly tests your character'. But another voice of reason chimed in and told me to be patient and listen to my body. I left the track feeling ok about my decision.
On my way to the bus stop, I stopped at a coffee shop for a pick-me-up and saw a little commotion on the patio...what appeared to be a sleeping bag and some other miscellaneous items tossed on the patio was actually a guy who'd fallen from his table and passed out on the cement. The scene was already playing out and the owner was responding with a safety phone call about a distressed individual who may need assistance.
I went outside and kneeled down next to this man. He was OUT. I tried to get him back to being responsive and asked him if I could check his pulse and what was in his system. I normally don't interact in this manner, but something put me there. I got his attention briefly, just enough to get him to acknowledge that another bystander and I were going to pick him up and lean him against a railing. We did so and covered his shirtless chest with his blanket and sweatshirt. I remember him saying, "I'm dying. I'm dying" in an incoherent voice. I assured him that he was ok... I wanted him to be. I started seeing the connection.
Paramedics arrived and took over...
But here's what hit me while sprawled out, half lifeless on that track earlier today...I was VERY MUCH ALIVE. I was breathing in as deep as I wanted. I felt a healthy, rocketing heartbeat vibrate through my chest onto that track, and as physically taxed as I was, I was doing again what I've waited so long to do - be healthy. I realized at in this moment I could have been that man on the patio. I've been that man...repeatedly. "But for the grace of God..." as it's often said, "there go I". I have no idea who that man was. No idea the outcome after the medics loaded him into the ambulance...but had I not called off my training session barely a half hour prior, I would not have had that experience to show me the powerful moment that I experienced today.
It's the moment you realize change is happening. I recognize there are no random acts in life and that I am perpetually placed into situation that I can draw a lesson or life from.
I've gone from a binge-drinking, fallen out, reckless alcoholic to a wiser more receptive person who embraces a new life in recovery...and I'll never forget that ugly road.
It's all beginning to serve a purpose. By the grace of God.
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