Dare to be yourself.
– Andre Gide
While flipping through various pages here I came across a beautiful video posted by Sandra R. on her blog about her exploration of Bali, Indonesia. Its fun, catchy and is another poke at me, to get off the armchair and do the things I think I want to…Its not easy to make time, travel and explore an unknown country solo, with a completely different culture, make time for other people by volunteering during your trip and express your experience as creatively. People talk about it but very few actually get down to doing it. I know – I talk about it.
She used One Republic’s “I Lived” for her video journal. A very catchy number. I liked it so much that I decided to look up the official video and found Bryan Warnecke.
Bryan is a 16 year old with cystic fibrosis, a painful, restricting condition that affects the lungs. The current life expectancy for him is 36 years. You can read more about him in this article.
But that’s not why I am writing this. That’s not why he is special.
Bryan is more than just a patient. In fact, I don’t think he has ever been a patient. Bryan is a goalie of his hockey team Arapahoe Warriors, whom he helped win the State championship in Colorado. He is an athlete, a young boy who didn’t get the best news very early on in life…and used it to create a spectacular life, which he is living right now.
Does that mean that all’s ok? No it doesn’t. It sucks. It must really suck to be someone this smart, this accepting and gutsy, to appreciate life – which honestly, not enough of us do and have it for a short time. It must be worse to go through pain to live the way you want to, within the time you have and be optimistic because 36 is better than what they may have said earlier…
To go through life and see people around you living healthily and yet wasting it…and still go through pain to just live. Live – because you were meant to! I can’t imagine how he feels and what he is going through. And I’m not going to pretend to
This is not a pep talk for anyone. And Bryan is way better and more worthwhile than being used for reference in a random post.
Watching Bryan go from one achievement to another, reading about his courage and pure grit, his wisdom and quiet strength, while living through and through everyday as much as he can, touched a chord. It showed me how life can be lived. He isn’t even aware of my existence and till yesterday, I wasn’t aware of his.
And he inspires me.
His story alone acted as a message and that message will probably be the making of me – it will play a crucial role in shaping who I want to be and the way I will be.
Bryan probably isn’t remotely concerned about inspiring anyone and it will just be his kindness if he is. But his life is his message. No one and nothing that was said could get through to me as he has.
By this I don’t mean that he will live forever … but I know he has lived more in his years that many have in a life. AND he has touched the lives of others – people he doesn’t know of, hasn’t interacted with or even met – just by being himself.
I am writing this for anyone who has cystic fibrosis or any other condition that they are trying to battle, anyone who is standing for something or willing to, anyone who is afflicted by something that they are experiencing and living with daily – whether it’s a condition, a disease, bullying at school, harassment, peer pressure, result of wrong decisions, self-hate, depression, loss of a loved one or anything at all.
I don’t at all mean to equate these or offend anyone’s sentiments
I do wish to say however to anyone going through a problem, experiencing pain and anyone who is doing something about it, can do something about it, doesn’t have the resources to do anything about it, doesn’t think that he/she can do something about it, has tried to do something about it…
You are all heroes in your own right.
Denis Waitley said –
It’s not what you are that holds you back, It’s what you think you’re not.
So who knows your limits? No one, not even you.
If it’s a challenge in your life, the reason you have it is that you can overcome it. You must acknowledge reality. But you can and must own it and once you do, you make a different reality. You can accomplish a life which you could have only imagined. If Bryan has shown me anything, it is that.
It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.
– Henry James
So I am going to use this inspiration and create the life I want. And hope that you do too.
You can read about Bryan’s team on their site called Pink Lightning. I am writing about him as I find his story inspirational. This is not a promotion.