By Ben/Photo Credit: twincities.com
Keeping our bodies healthy is very important. That doesn’t mean just having a healthy physical body but an emotionally healthy spirit as well. We can always work on something even if we think we are doing well. Life is hard and can sometimes get the best of us; we need to be ready for trials in all aspects of life.
I have been extremely blessed competing in a sport that includes 17-inch blades and physically demanding exercises that make most people hold their backs in pain just watching. This year I had to deal with my first major speed skating injury. During my summer training I started to feel a pain that ran down my leg. It started to make my leg go numb and it made it uncomfortable to walk, run, or even sit. At first I tried to ignore it but I knew it was something serious. After a couple of weeks I decided to pay a visit to the doctor. I was told I had a herniated disk in my lower back. The doctor said that this was common — for a 50-year old. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do. I thought my skating career was over and it hadn’t even started.
I got bitter and asked my Heavenly Father, “Why?” I was depressed. All my life I was able to do the things I loved and didn’t have to worry about my body failing me. Every day that I skated, I didn’t even want to be there anymore. I decided to take a month off and see if it would help the pain. I had thoughts of quitting skating, something that I loved so much. This injury was something that wouldn’t just heal but something I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. My dad then gave me two choices. He said I could quit skating, or do my best to deal with what I had and try to do everything in my power to fix my problem. I was sick of being sad and feeling bad for myself. I decided the only thing I could do was my best and trust in my Heavenly Father’s plan for me.
I started skating again and I have been training ever since. I have learned to stretch and strengthen my back and have been training harder then ever. I haven’t really looked back since. Most importantly, I have learned to trust my Heavenly Father. My back and leg still bother me today but I do with the best that I have and try and keep a positive mindset. I now look at myself with a different perspective and think about how my Heavenly Father has blessed me with a sound body to do the things I love and I feel so lucky.
I know my body is not perfect, but Heavenly Father’s plan for us is perfect. We need to treat our bodies with ultimate care to show respect to him and all He does for us. Life is challenging but we can be happier if we follow His commandments. I know that if we follow the commandments including the Word of Wisdom it will benefit us greatly in this mortal life physically and emotionally.