That which does not kill us… Almost kills us.

 

This is obviously a play on the Frederick Nietzsche quote, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”. This is obviously a very positive way of looking at struggles. Most motivational speakers will also say things like “it’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity” or “a problem is a chance to do your best”. But, sometimes a problem is just a problem. When I was growing up in grade school only focused on science so I didn’t develop much of an interactive skill with people. In high school and college, I was only focused on running. I spent years spending most of my free time alone on the roads of Nevada and Oregon running tens of thousands of miles. This beat my body up pretty good. From there I went into the military and volunteered for special forces that training all but destroyed my feet, back, and knees. After I was discharged I started to compete in triathlons again tearing down my body due to excessive use. I have been the poster child of the idea that you need to be the best, train the hardest and sacrifice the most in order to achieve your goals. All of these things that I strived to be the best at required significant sacrifice. Now that I have grown up a bit can take a clear look at how I have lived my life and there is one clear activity that has the benefit without damage, the practice of tai chi. I find that the more I practice my tai chi drive for competition is replaced by peace of mind and my need for approval from others is slowly dissolved as my body and mind are reintegrated. My credo for living life has changed from “be the best” to “be complete”. And from experience, I can tell you it hurts a lot less.