Whenever my father felt the first signs of illness, he always used to whip out the vaporizer. I used to watch him as a child as he filled the brown vaporizer with water, drop some Vicks liquid, wait for the steam to rise, and stick his face in for 15 minutes. I was mesmerized at the vapors. Over the years, if I ever complained to my dad that I was getting sick, he always advised the vaporizer. Guaranteed. I never did listen to him until today, my third day of suffering terrible congestion.
As I walked to our nearby pharmacy (thankfully, we live within a 2 block radius of every kind of possible store we could need), I thought of my dad. A dentist by trade, my father is the epitome of health. He gets up at 4:30am daily and does his morning routine: he walks briskly for 45 minutes with two pound dumb bells, returns home for breakfast, and then heads out to the market to buy the day’s food. His family has a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. While his siblings take insulin and other medications, my father has managed to avoid the pills through strict diet and exercise. I asked him on my recent trip to the Philippines if he felt any sorts of pain associated with aging that his peers often complain about. “Nope,” he answered. Arthritis? No. Muscle stiffness? No. Indigestion, gas, acid reflux? No. I was impressed. I’m half his age and suffer from chronic knee pain and various other joint issues.
I hope by the end of this challenge, I hope to feel the same way my dad feels. I believe I get my discipline and determination from him. So I dedicate my practice to my dad*, who is such an example to me of good health. When I start to waver or have my down days, I’ll ask myself, “What would dad do?”
*I can’t dedicate a practice to one parent while leaving the other out. So I also dedicate my practice to my mom, who is on her own health journey.