Walk while you have the light, there is only so much light.

“You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going.”

John 12:35

The quote from Bible contains one of my favorite phrases “walk while you have the light.” I’ve had piece of art with this quote on it, hanging on the wall above my dresser for about 20 years. Although it’s often buried behind a pile of t-shirts, socks and underwear, (I’ve never claimed to be the neatest or most organized person!) I’m always aware that it’s there and the lesson it has taught me. ‘Get out and do what you want or need to do before you aren’t around to do it anymore. God forbid it comes down to a Dylan Thomas “rage against the dying of the light” type standoff!
Yes, in this day and age we have streetlights, headlights and flashlights that allow us to stay out well past dark giving us extra hours past sunset where one day medical science may allot us ‘extra hours’ by extending our lifespans through advancements in technology and medicine, but for now let’s stick to the centuries old gist of the metaphor, ‘your internal light.’

I belong and am active in my local church, but do not consider myself particularly religious. I do try and live spiritually by treating others as I’d like to be treated, I respect nature, and try not to judge other people. I’m using a quote from the bible because the illuminating words inspire me. Walking in that light is not always easy to do, but I do my best to workout regularly, play with my daughter, and enjoy my family. I am human though, sometimes I do succumb to the call of the couch for a long Saturday afternoon nap (not always the worst choice). Sometimes I do end up mentally judging a person or a situation before I catch myself, breathe into the space and think it through, and eventually, let it go. In the end, I strive to remember that someday I won’t be around anymore to do the things I’d like to do so I’d better ‘get out there and do them now!’

I had a stark wake up call 8 years ago when my Dad suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 66. It’s the reason I’m a personal trainer and bootcamp instructor today. I made the decision soon after his death, that I would strive to take much better care of myself than he did of himself, so God willing, I can be here for my daughter while she grows up. I changed my nutritional habits (still working on many of them), got myself into much better shape mentally and physically, and became a personal trainer. I was able to take the ‘light’ that the grief and pain cast from my Dad’s death and ‘walk with it’ — sometimes, I ran an endurance race, kicked a heavy bag, pushed a sled, or flipped a big tire. Walking of course, doesn’t have to be literal.
All of this is much easier said than done in our daily lives…. Work, bills, and time constraints get in the way and veer us off message. I am a realist. As tempting as it may be, I can’t just wander off like Ben Stiller in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and become a full time rock climber or ultra marathon trail runner if I want to keep my home, my marriage, and send my daughter to college one day. So, I set a daily intention to remember the illuminating words from the book of John. But you never know, maybe we will take that trip to Iceland next summer!

Dave Kuhlman CPT/NASM at ELITEXTRAINING Lombard.

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