Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life is not a drill

Seven years ago, when those planes crashed and the world changed forever, I was just a college student in Kansas. The moment I found out about the attacks, I was sitting in my school's breakfast cafeteria. I was eating fried eggs, sausage, and fried potatoes. I remember that because that's what I ate every single day.

It affected me, of course. Like most people, I spent the day glued to the television, completely shocked, not believing what I was seeing. It became real when I saw the people jumping from the towers. It was then that I started crying, and didn't stop until I fell asleep that night.

There are no really tall buildings in Kansas City, but I work in one of the taller ones. I also happen to work in a set of "twin towers," which is always strange this time of year. A few months ago, we had a fire drill. As I walked down a few flights of stairs, I got behind an obese woman who seemed to be having problems. Her knees were hurting her and each stair was getting more painful for her to descend. Because of her size, she occupied most of the width of the stairway. A traffic jam in the stairwell was forming because she was moving so slowly. She finally stopped, moved to one side, and waved us all by. I felt bad for her, but was happy I was no longer obese myself.

As I reached the bottom floor and walked outside, I marveled at the perfect weather and the storybook blue sky- much like that day in 2001. I also thought of that woman, and wondered if she was okay. I should have stopped and helped her. I should have made sure she could make it on her own. Then I thought of the disabled and severely overweight people who worked in the World Trade Center. They didn't make it.
That wasn't a drill.

Life isn't a drill, either. My life has improved so much since I lost the weight, but even still, I often treat life like a dress if the real thing hasn't started yet.

Sometimes it takes a traumatic event to shock us back into reality. For my dad, it was triple bypass surgery. Even though he was already thin, he made his diet even healthier. For my mom, and Angie's dad, it was when Angie's mom was dying from lung cancer. They both quit smoking. For much of America, it was September 11, 2001. We can't wait for our lives to start, because guess what- they already have. Now is the time to act. So do it- whatever it is. If you want to get healthy and lose weight, do it. It can be done.

Don't be like that woman on the staircase, letting everyone pass you by.


bunnah said...

This is wonderful. Thank you.

spunkysuzi said...

I can't think of a better way to express what you have here.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm speechless.

Anonymous said...

marla took the words right outta my mouth!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for those beautiful words. I live in NY and remember well that day as all of us do. Life is a gift, live it to the fullest!!!

VerseFameBeauty said...

Very great point. Thanks.

deanna said...

Well said. Do you hear my applause?