Los Angeles knows fitness. Let me tell you something, people; Los Angeles knows fitness. With a YogaBarrelates/CorePowerConjunctionFunction on every corner, you have absolutely no excuse not to be in shape. There are classes and studios tailored to any and every want or desire. It’s a real Debbie Downer. So, that’s that. If you’re going to live here, you’re going to work out. “But, Morgan, I hate working out! How can I possibly make such a brazen lifestyle change?” Well, let me just tell you. You find your Why. Unfortunately, your primary purpose of exercise cannot be the ultimate attainment of a Kardashian ass. We have to dig a little deeper than that. You have to find your Why. Why am I here? Why do I want to do this? Why do I want to get better? I don’t really have any advice on finding it, so this is probably all a moot point. I think it’s one of those “you’ll know when you find it” kind of situations we have here. But find it. And hold onto it. Find your Why. And, hey, maybe mine will inspire something for you. Or not. Definitely one of the two.
This is my Why:
So, you’d have to be living under a rock to know me and not know about the Nuggets (some would use the term “cousins” here). What you may not know, though, is that they do, in fact, have names. Today we’re going to meet Nugget Boy. Dane.
When Dane was 2 months old, he suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that nearly killed him. Doctors induced him into a coma for a week, during which time they told us that if he lived, he would be a vegetable. That is, he would not be able to walk, talk, sleep, eat, breathe, etc. on his own. He would have no brain function whatsoever. After a two-month stay at the hospital, it was time for Dane to come home. Through the help of a new network of incredibly gifted and devoted doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, we began the process of proving the old doctors wrong. And we did. At nine years old, Dane can yell and scream and laugh. He eats pizza with sausage and chicken fingers with ranch. He walks with the aid of his orange and green walker. He’s brilliant, too. He attends school with his peers and is entirely cognitively sound. He doesn’t complain about being unable to independently walk. He aspires to do so and wholeheartedly believes he will—as do we. He does get frustrated, though. Sometimes, he’ll rip your heart clean out.
Dane is a goal-setter. When he wants something, he sets a timeline, and he’s going to get it. From the moment he could talk, he would tell us proudly that he would be walking on his own by the time he turned five. He knew it. “I’m going to walk when I’m five, guys.”
It was his fifth birthday. Dane’s Day happens to fall on the day immediately following Halloween, so excitement truly knows no boundaries during that two-day stretch. After a rigorous round of trick-or-treating in his new wheelchair (he uses both a walker and wheelchair, depending on where he is and how fatigued his legs are), he was ready to snuggle in bed with Cord (that’s me…no one knows why he calls me that, but we just go with it because he thinks it’s hilarious) and Aunt Cyndi (my mom). And that’s just what we did.
The next morning, we woke him up with a positively stunning rendition of the birthday song. He waited patiently for the cacophony to end before he excitedly requested that I pick him up and put him on the floor. I obliged, of course, and asked why he was so excited.
“I’m 5 today, guys. That means I can walk now, right?!”
I watched the light go out of his eyes as we tried to explain.
I will never forget that.
That day is my Why. That boy is my Why.
So when I’m out for a run around this new rural playground, I’ll go one more mile. Why? Because I can. When I’m planking at Pilates class, I’ll hold it for five more seconds. Why? Because I can.
So, why do better? Why be better? Because I fucking can.
Because we fucking can.