Has med school taught me to appreciate the complexity of the human body and the intricacy of human disease? Hell no! What has it taught me? That the human body is a freakin’ mine field. Every which way you turn there are 10 more ways stuff can go wrong with your body. Some of them are worse than others, but let’s suffice it to say, there’s a lot of bad diseases out there and a lot of ways for you to die. It sometimes makes you wonder how we’ve got so many relatively healthy people out there. I suppose at least part of that is a credit to the human body’s resilience to withstand the barrage of daily attacks on its integrity.
The thing that sucks about the body is that we only get one, and it only takes one bad event to land us in “game over” territory. It’s not like a car, where there may be a lot of ways things can go wrong, but you can replace a blown out tire or just buy a new car if things get bad enough. If you blow out your liver though, you’re taking out the major player in the regulation of your body’s biochemistry. You lose that, and you do not pass Go and collect $200. That’s not to mention all the junk that gets old and wears out just through regular use. It scares the hell out of me because I don’t want my car to break down.
So what has all this knowledge of the body taught me? People are screwed. They’re gonna get sick. I mean really sick when one of these systems breaks down. And at least some of the time, there’s not a whole lot you can do to avoid it. It’s scary, and sometimes it makes me want to curl up in a ball and not leave my room. It makes me worry about every little pain, bump, or abnormality. Is this going to be my blow out?
But then I realized that this is why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m going to get really sick. So are you. We could both be really sick right now and not even know it. This is what the training is all about. It’s so that when someone is really sick, we’re ready for ’em. You don’t practice and train for a sport because you like to beat yourself up. You do it so that when the time comes, you’re ready to face the challenge head-on and kick its ass with barely a thought.
The only problem is that there’s always going to be a better opponent. So we train and we fight, but ultimately it’s a losing battle. And that’s OK. The point is to do all you can, and to do that you’ve got to be well-trained. What good does it do to be scared? Being scared does nothing; neither does being ambivalent. The fight’s coming to you, whether you’ll have it or not. The best you can do is be ready and waiting for it.