Person A is Dead
We all know that one person (or more) that constantly lives in the past. “Back in my day… blah, blah, blah.” In the fitness industry we routinely hear someone bragging about, “Well, ya know, back in high school I could bench 400lbs for 10 reps.” Most of the time the exaggerations are just that, exaggerations. Their way of living in the past. However the past is no place to live. We have more important things to do in the present and thoughts of the future to concern us.
It took a bit for me to realize this. I’m still not quite settled on it but I was brought to the realization that I was doing the same thing as those old timers in the gym still playing out their glory days of high school lifting or football. That person was Person A.
I sat down with the psychiatrist on my team during a seemingly tough time. I was complaining about how I wasn’t feeling like I used to. I know that I’m a long way off what I was able to do physically and I’m reluctantly coming to terms with that but the idea always lingered that I was going to be able to go back to my own pre-cancer glory days. She had other words for me.
“Person A is dead,” she flat out told me. “You are now Person B. You might be able to become Person C which could rival Person A but you need to realize that you’ll never be Person A again.”
That hit home. That hit home hard. I was not prepared for that but I needed to hear it. I need to be cognizant of the past but I can’t become that person again. The Will I was pre-cancer isn’t coming back. I’m a new person and I need to spend more time with the person I am and thinking about the person that I can choose to be. Person C has all the potential to be a better person than Person A simply because of the experience and empathy that comes with him.
Of all the medication I’ve taken recently that was the hardest pill to swallow. I’m working through it. Slowly but surely. I thought I had it good before cancer but what I need to understand is that things can be better. I can take what cancer taught me and grow from it. I can turn it up on its head and make something useful out of it.
In all reality, cancer or no cancer, we’re all dealing with the death of Person A on a daily basis. We are Person B today and we can become Person C tomorrow. Everyday is a choice we make to choose just what kind of person we can become.
One day at a time.