Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A successful Life – Survival of the Fittest

It’s the beginning of a new week after having surgery last week. I’ve recovered and am now ready to get back to work. It’s early in the morning and I’m about to leave and teach a cycle class.

Survival of the fittest is the story of evolution. When we think of evolution we think of Darwin but actually it was Herbert Spencer who coined the phrase. By 'fittest', of course, Spencer and Darwin didn't have in mind the commonly used meaning of the word now, i.e. the most highly trained and physically energetic. The 'fittest' referred to here are those animals which are the most suited to their environment, i.e. those which are best fitted to survive.

I’ve always bounced back faster than the doctor’s predicted. I am strong and seem to have a healthy immune system. My cancer surgery humbled me because for the first time in my life I could not bounce back. It was a long arduous process however I did go back to teaching long before I expected in part due to my good physical and mental shape prior to the surgery.

My environment like most modern humans is full of stress, anxiety and constant competition. Today’s environment demands that we are energetic and quick to change. Technology has made it so that change is happening at such a fast rate. Mental alertness and agility allow us to adapt. Mental agility and alertness are enhanced by a good diet and exercise. So I would argue that today the survival of the fittest is those who strive to stay in good mental and physical shape. The adaptation to any environment is so much smoother when you are healthy and strong.

My surgery last week was minor compared to my cancer surgery but still it took it’s toll on my body and my mind. It set me back a pace or two and gave me reason to pause. In the pausing phase I realize the fragility of my health and how we as humans take it for granted. It is only when our health is taken away from us that we truly take the time to appreciate.

My energy has not returned. I still need time to heal. I look forward to the day ( and I hope it will come soon) when I feel full of energy without any pain. There is nothing like a day when everything comes together and you feel at the top of your game. When those days come, appreciate them. Survival is found in appreciating the nature of life with a respect that strives to more than simply survive; it strives to truly live with passion and joy.

Doctor Lynn


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