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I will never forget one of my first Boy Scout camping trips. It was kind a mini jamboree with several troops camping in proximity to one another. There were lots of kids, tents, campfires and fun stuff to do. One of the activities they scheduled for us was an obstacle course which wound its way through a playground and made use of the equipment. We walked on see saws, climbed up slippery slides, jogged through tires and traversed the monkey bars.

For most kids, Monkey Bar Guys are fun but as a chubby kid, I was never good at them and these were especially bad because for extra motivation, the ground beneath them had been soaked into mud. Boys will be boys. Standing in line waiting for my monkey bar humiliation, I mentally grasped at ways of getting out of it. There were only two choices ahead. I could demonstrate unsportsmanlike like behavior and whine my way out of the monkey bars or I could give it a go and, baring a miracle, fall to the mud in disgrace. I chose to face my doom.

As I climbed the ladder toward the cross section, inspiration flooded my soul and I came up with another possibility. They said I had to get across this obstacle, but they did not say how. Instead of hanging and swinging from arm to arm, I opted to climb up and walk across the top, thus saving my nicely ironed uniform from muddy degradation. Of course I was teased and heckled. But the ruling fell in my favor and a couple of fat kids in line behind me followed suit. I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. As long as we fail to confront obstacles, they loom large and daunting. Once confronted, we are able to see our way to a resolution.

Over the years, I have noticed the same obstacles come back at different times, under unexpected circumstances and in different forms. It is as if the obstacles in my life were uniquely designed for me to confront and conquer. Life is kind of a giant custom designed obstacle course in which we confront challenges and learn to conquer them. We can choose to either see life and its obstacles as either a big game or as a tedious exercise. And it is that decision that factors into whether we spend our lives laughing or crying.

It does not really matter how we choose to confront obstacles as long as we face them. I could have gone home from that camping trip, exercised, gone on a diet and practiced until I could cross those monkey bars in the traditional way. Instead, I used innovation and faced taunting for bucking the system and being labeled as rebellious or different. Neither strategy is necessarily more right than the other.

If I had understood the importance of life balance back then, I probably would have done both. Doing so would have helped me later in other ways that I could not see at the time like when my gym teacher insisted we do chin ups or climb a rope to the rafters of the gym. Obstacles by nature come back again and again like hurdles on a track. To mangle a quote from W.C. Fields, the only fish that get to float downstream are the dead ones. It takes a live one to swim.

Published at: Recent Health Articleshttp://recenthealtharticles.org

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