Time is a weird entity right now. Here we are, June 1, and I both can’t believe it’s almost summer and feel like we’ve aged years in just a few months.
But time has been weird for me for a while now. Life-altering events will do that to you.
In fact, it’s a testament to how bizarre our current reality is that I basically missed Brain Tumor Awareness Month, which was May. I had planned to participate in events this year, but the world went sideways. Ironically, my brain tumor helped prepare me for all of this.
As many of you know, my personal world went sideways last March when I went in for an MRI to try to find out why all these weird things were happening to my body and was immediately admitted to the ER when the scan showed a very large brain tumor. Within the week, I’d had brain surgery and begun the long, slow process of recovery.
You’re never the same after something like that, but the key is how you respond to the sharp detour your life just took you on. Attitude plays a huge roll here.
Yes, I have permanent damage from the tumor’s intrusion into my brain. My memory is not the same, my ability to multitask is diminished, and the functionality my right hand is impaired.
But I gained so much from the experience mentally and physically that it’s hard not to view the experience in an overall positive light.
For starters, I gained a newfound perspective on the many blessings in my life and shifted my priorities in a positive way. I’m not going to pretend that dealing with this pandemic has been easy, but it has been easier thanks to my experiences last year.
But the biggest changes have come to my physical health. I am now in better shape than I have been my entire adult life. Starting June 8, 2019, I set a goal of walking at least 5,000 steps per day. I haven’t missed a day since. I need to walk now. Even if it’s pouring rain, I get my steps. Even when the gyms closed and I was afraid to stray very far from home, I got my steps. I walk wherever and whenever I can.
I’ve also lost 35 pounds and am back to what I weighed when I started grad school.
It feels great: physically, mentally and spiritually. I’ve had friends and neighbors tell me that I’ve inspired them prioritize their health, as well, as they’ve watched me on my journey. That’s the greatest gift of all.
So, if you’re looking for a little inspiration in this department, my advice is set a goal and stick to it. Steps, if you can get them, can be done anywhere. You can even march in place in front of your TV.
But since we’re approaching summer and all need to get out of the house a bit, long walks outside (if you can maintain social distancing requirements) can be just the thing to get your streak started.
Listening to audiobooks can help. I’ll keep walking even after hitting my steps to keep listening to a good book. WMG has a number of audiobooks, if you want to start there. Just click here.
Based on all the research I’ve done and doctors I’ve consulted when dealing with my own health issues, the secret to good health is actually very simple: eat healthy food and exercise.
So, load up a good book and get moving!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.