Optimism can get you anywhere

Who says there is an age where you get to retire and hang off your training kit and call it a day? If you ever come across someone who says that, slap them in the face and tell them no one is ever too old to keep in shape. That’s the beautiful thing with being optimistic – you get to see things in a different way, and you always find ways of making your life better. I met two individuals who had gone through so much, actually I don’t think I would have been able to be myself if I had been in any of their situations, yet they still managed to look up to the future with so much hope and belief that they could overcome. It is not every other day that you meet an individual over 40 years old who still has that enthusiasm to work harder as if he were 17.

There was Richard, quite an insightful guy this one. Within one year, he had three operations. Each of these operations left scars on him, not just physically, but emotionally as well. At times when I think of how much he has been through and his determination to make it, I do not think there is any other way to put it other than I have total respect for the chap.

Even as I spoke to him I managed to learn so much. Throughout he kept on stressing how much it was important for him to remain positive and regain control of his life. Picking himself up after the operations was the most important thing for him, and eventually he was able to start heavy lifting and even his body was responding all too well to the workout sessions. He often said it felt like he would live forever, he felt so alive, so young and so fresh and all he ever did was not lose the faith. And each time we spoke, I could only imagine myself being able to do all that he has when I got so old.

Then I came across Diane. Her situation was more or less similar to Richard’s. She had two operations, and on top of that she had to face the prospect of moving from her beloved Connecticut to Florida. As if that was not enough for her, I still do not understand to date how she managed to study for and pursue her second master’s degree.

Perhaps what I came to learn from these two amazing individuals is how much they valued a new start. Not even the obstacles and challenges that were in their way would have stopped them from achieving their goals. One of the most important things that I learnt from them is that most of the time when we think we have obstacles in our way, there are actually none, just potential obstacles. It is our perceptions of the same that turn them into real obstacles and we start finding ways of avoiding them instead of confronting them. Optimism can really take you so far.