“It comes down to a simple choice, really; get busy living or get busy dying.”
-Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption”
I left my job in the corporate world at 44 years old to do comedy full-time. I got into motorcycling when I was 45. Started doing CrossFit at 46 and now, at 49, I’m training to become a Paid On-Call Firefighter. Who knows what kind of cockamamie idea I’ll come up with next year when I turn 50. I’ve chosen to get busy living and my life is much better for it.
My father passed away at 68 from a disease that took his body, but not his mind. When he was diagnosed 8 years prior to his passing, he made the decision to start living his life the way he wished he had all along. He travelled, spent time with close friends and family, learned new things, and was the happiest he’d ever been even though he knew his time was limited. Witnessing his approach to the world during his final years made a lasting impression on me.
Shortly after he died, I made the decision to pursue life the same way he had and as long as I’m physically and mentally capable, I’ll never stop. CrossFit is a big part of that and, subsequently, a big part of my life.
I hit the gym 5 or 6 days a week, because, first of all, I love the being part of the community at 616 and, secondly, I enjoy seeing how hard I can push myself towards my potential. It’s flattering to watch younger members up their pace as time winds down on an AMRAP because you know they’re thinking, “I can’t let this old man beat me.” Don’t let me beat you.
I often tell my daughters, who are 22 and 19, “Don’t wait for life to happen, make it happen.” Try something you’ve never done before. Taste something you never thought you’d like. Go up and introduce yourself to someone who looks like they need a friend. Make that first step because, truth be told, most other people won’t.
We waste an incredible amount of time on worthless emotions like jealousy, worry, and guilt. I encourage all of you to put those on the shelf and get busy living. There are so many wonderful things this life has to offer, so many interesting people to meet, and incredible places to see that if you just stay inside your bubble where it’s comfy and warm, you’re going to miss it. Get uncomfortable and allow yourself to get cold…you’ll have a great story to tell.