You are who you are, but only right now. In a little while you transformed into somebody else. As time passes and events happen in your life (or not), you are never really the same person. From the moment you are born until the last breath you take, you are partaking in a continuing series of transformations. Small instances and big metamorphoses, ones that are explicit and ones that go unnoticed. All of the time. It explains why over time the same stimulus can trigger an entirely different response. Celebrate your transformations, they make for a journey of a lifetime.
Recently, a casual dinner conversation went dark and out came my physical pain Top Three. Third place. The tantalizing nerve pinches of my early teen upperjaw braces (1984); I could not bite a green bean in half. Then came 2006, and I endured the tearing agony of an ingrowing toe nail. Had to wear loafers under my business suits for weeks. Nothing however, compared to the waves of excruciating pain of a passing kidney stone (occurred to me twice, in 2002 and 2011). Kidney stones are, apparently, the closest thing to delivering a baby. Mine felt like twins.
The body has no memory for pain. We are incapable of vividly retrieving the sensation of pain once its occurance is over. That said, I am very well able to recall the disturbing, reality narrowing tunnel of agony you endure when pain is inflicted upon you (physical pain that is, not its mental equivalent). So far, I have been lucky where physical pain is concerned. Only three times in my life thus far, I experienced physical pain beyond what I thought was possible, or endurable for that matter. Bear in mind, I am of the weaker kind.
One year in a dog’s life is about seven years in a man’s life. With technology, the same principle applies, only with double the lever. I learned about this concept when my oldest boy was being condescending about my laptop (thís very laptop, I wrote most of my Bites on it). “You know that one year for a computer is fifteen years for a human?” Me: “Is that so?” Cosmo: “No, I just made that up. But is is still true”, and he then he drives his point home: “Your laptop is about six years old, see how unbelievably slooooow it is”.
There is a stunning difference in media coverage of the Paralympics compared to the ‘main’ Olympics. I find that awkward. Think about sports in terms of the obstacles you need to overcome in order to become a world class athlete. In general, you may argue that Paralympians have shown more endurance and perseverance to enter the world’s biggest theater of sports than the ‘other’ Olympians. Experienced more hurdles, overwon bigger challenges. Paralympians are true examples of overcoming obstacles. Performing world class is given to only a few. Performing to the best of your abilities however, is within reach of all.