I know I’ve mentioned that my son is a triathelete currently training for an ironman. A lot of that training is cycling related and much of that training has to do with spin classes.
I’ve been working out for years, but sadly I have to admit I’ve never taken a spin class. I probably will at some point as my son has just about convinced me it is essential if I ever get serious about straddling a bicycle again.
I just got home from visiting our local hospital. I was visiting a friend of my Mom’s who is in the Intensive Care Unit. I could tell you just how special this lady is: how strong, how good, how grounded… I could tell you how good she was to my mother, or how nice it was to have her here for the holidays for the few years they lived in the same retirement community, but I’m not sure that is central to what I need to share here.
You see she is in “transition,” the current medical euphemism for “checking out,” heading to that “Big Garage in the Sky,” or just plain dieing.
This lady was diagnosed with stomach cancer a little over a year ago and at eighty-nine decided against conventional treatment. Her rationale was simple: quality over quantity. For the most part, it was a great choice. Health-wise, the last year was a good one overall. Now, however, the consequences of that decision had become clear. The family decided to honor her wishes and withhold “heroic measures.”
We’re all going to check out eventually. That’s about the only thing we can be sure of. How we do it, however, is a choice we can make if we take the initiative have the courage to follow through. After leaving the hospital, it occurred to me that we should probably train for this just as much and just as hard as we would if we were running a marathon or preparing for an ironman. From where I’m sitting, it like takes at least the same courage, discipline and determination.
So, maybe there ought to be a “Life-Cycling Class” just like there is a “Spin-Cycling Class:” something to prepare your mind, your body and your spirit for perhaps the most difficult test of all. It wouldn’t necessarily have to focused on just the ‘bad’ stuff either. It could help us train for births and confirmations, Communions and Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and even divorces, if necessary. And, it could certainly help us prepare for the hollow, empty, difficult moments when we realize that either we or someone we care deeply about is moving to the next level.
I think my mother’s friend took such a class… She confided to a mutual friend that her mother had told her that if you lived a good life you would probably have a good death.
Maybe we should all start training now…