Three Life Lessons

by Suzanne Andrews

What You Must Know to Get Through the Tough Times

I wrote this when my youngest son was little. It stemmed from a patient responding to my coaxing her to exercise, "what would you know, you've probably never been sick a day in your life!"  (Nothing could be furthest from the truth). 

My son is in college now, but the message is timeless and it can help you get through tough times...

The teacher who influenced me the most didn't produce a scholarly curriculum or carry out formal daily lesson plans. Even though he often wishes to, he is unable to assist me with my day to day operations. Yet, he motivates me day after day to reach beyond what I thought I was capable of and surpass it. Every new day, he continues to teach, to inspire and to influence my life in a way I never thought was humanly possible. He weighs a mere 68 lbs and proudly stands 4 feet 3 inches tall. He is my son, the child that several doctors predicted I would not be able to conceive.

Lesson One: A Ray of Light From Darkness

At the age of 10, I was placed in the terminally ill section of the children's hospital.  At the age of 20, I again overcame odds and beat a severe infection in my right ovary that affected my reproductive system. At the age of 24, my left ovary was removed and for the third time, emergency surgery saved my life. However, there would be one more emergency surgery and this one would bring great joy. My son's triumphant arrival by C-section on a memorable day in spring taught me to believe in the unexpected and to never give up hope.

Lesson Two: Appreciate the Little Things

To this very day, I marvel at my son's accomplishments and realize how important it is to praise not only his efforts, but also other people who come across my path in life. My son has taught me that the simplest joys in life; laughing, listening and loving are the best gifts we can give and receive. As he continues to discover life's daily events with sheer fascination, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to reflect on his newly acquired knowledge and see the sparkle in his beautiful innocent eyes. Each fresh new moment I spend with him offers the most enriching learning experience I have ever had. He's taught me to believe that I can be a compassionate mother, a loving wife, an inquisitive student of life and a better person who has the ability to make wise choices.

Lesson Three: Choose Healthcare, Not Sick Care

One of those choices is keeping off those extra sixty pounds that once wore on me like a backpack full of rocks adding stress to every joint in my oversized body. Now I'm not talking about being a size 2, I'm talking about being a size healthy. My dear son made me realize that "love thyself' is not just a cliché. By getting in shape, you are essentially saying to all those that love you, "I love myself enough to take care of my health and I want to be around a long time to share my life with you." When we commit to love our body, we make wholesome choices and feel free to discover the restorative powers of good health. From the moment you realize you love yourself enough - a paradise lost is regained. Those seeds of wholeness - given to you at creation are within you. When you are discouraged, just look at your creation, your little miracle, and know the motivation to make healthcare a priority is within you!

Keep those letters coming as you motivate me!

Healthiest Blessings,

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

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