Twelve months ago I was cruising; I had worked out what my ideal life looked like, down to the how the day felt. I could smell the grass and the dew on my morning run.
Little did I know three weeks later I would be facing a very different reality. I would be sitting in an appointment with an oncologist who was 80% sure that the cyst on my left ovary was benign, but could not give me a definitive answer. The only way to know was to have it removed – which I did .
After the surgery I was recuperating, physically unable to do what I was used to doing (more lessons here!) - working, looking after two active boys, running, fitness and coaching. I was in pain, doubled over. So to pass my time in bed I decided that I couldn’t be lazy and watch DVDs; I watched TED talks instead.
I believe there are no coincidences in the timing of the next few events. I had only just started to listen to Steve Jobs Stanford Lecture and had to pause it to take the oncologist’s phone call. It was in this call that she gave me the all clear and a wave of relief washed through me. I then went back to watching Steve’s lecture.
I’d listened to plenty of TED talks before, but this time it was different. What was different was that I was now open to see the potential for my life; I’d had a glimpse of what it could have been, but I was now given that second chance that I never knew I needed. Or wanted.
The grieving began and almost ended in the same instant – for what I had done and how far I got, but also how much of my life I had taken away from myself. Whilst that was painful reality, emotionally and physically, I knew I couldn’t dwell there. I had finally had my AH-HA moment. I couldn’t see it before then. I had to be literally in agony before I could choose to leave the pain. Perhaps in all of that, it was the most powerful thing I did with my life. Not overcoming depression and a breakdown; but taking a stand, and stepping up and living for me. It is as close as I have ever felt to being given a second chance at life.
What I learnt in that instant is to live. To truly live - every single moment without regret. To live my life the way I felt authentic, in alignment with my values and on the path to what I wanted to achieve. To trust my gut, my own intuition that I knew what was best for me, no matter what anyone would, could and did say. To step outside my comfort zone, pursue my passion and make my dreams a reality.
I know I can’t say it much better than Steve Jobs himself. Not only the quote that changed my life – But the speech that was the catalyst for me to start living at the speed of my life.