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One decision can change everything: Reflections on the power of making choices

I read the quote recently by Mark Batterson, "You're always one decision away from a different life".

This is one of those quotes that can get you thinking about so many decisions you have made in your life, good or bad. I have read many books that explore this. One recently " The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig. Goodreads describes it this way: Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? A novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.

One decision I have witnessed in my life and career that has profoundly affected me is people's choice of diet and exercise. The great part of this is when you see people make changes and get a second chance in life. The sad part is when you see someone at the end of their life who chose to not exercise or eat a healthy diet.

I saw this in my career daily and in my life with my mother's choices that led to her suffering and death. She grew up during a time when women were not encouraged to exercise. She did not have access to Physical Education classes and was not encouraged to exercise or play sports. Back then, women were not even allowed to run marathons due to the lack of education about the effects of exercise on women. She continued on in life, being a Mother of 3 children to later experiencing the changes of aging without the education and resources to most effectively deal with that. I spent years trying to help my mother with her medical issues and her medical providers, from a distance, living in another state. She never really had options to make choices about her health, she just did as her medical providers told her. Many of these providers may have not had access to the resources that exist in other states. Then again, it is known that generally speaking, most medical providers are 20 years behind the recent research. She did what she could and with the knowledge she had. I feel, now that she has passed away, that education needs to get out to all people to help them be informed on making decisions.

On the other hand, we all need to do our research and listen to medical providers who are doing their best to help people. I have witnessed people get the best advice and knowledge yet still make decisions to not follow that advice (and the consequences of that). Now it is time to look ahead to a new year. Where are you with your health? Let's make the decisions that make for a better life. Look for those who can help you.

#Live Inspired

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, LMT, CMP

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