Ronn Spencer is in pain.
He has Parkinson’s and said candidly to me, “it is more horrible than I could have imagined.” Then he raised his finger and said, “But I’m happy. I’ve done everything I ever wanted to do, and look at my life.” He gestured around his beautiful abode. My eyes jumped from the view through the kitchen window of the woods outside their Santa Fe home, to a collection of odd and colorful art objects, to the brick flooring and adobe walls, to his lovely girlfriend, Blake, to his and Blake’s photographs, and back to Ronn.
Yes, a comfortable and beautiful life. Perfect… with a side of pain.
This is something I can relate to on a small scale. Because my life is also perfect… with a side of pain. Everyday I wake up happy. I love what I am doing. I love the people I meet along the way. My only job is to walk each day. I call this freedom.
But walking 15 or 25 miles with a 40 lb. pack is painful. Not the first 5 or 10 miles, that is pure joy. I start the day lighthearted, walking briskly through the most beautiful countryside. However, by mile 12 or 15, some part of me hurts. Sometimes it is just a little tiny blister in my littlest toe. Other times, it is the soles of my feet or the base of my back or the tops of my thighs or one, lone shoulder.
It doesn’t matter that I have been doing this for 57 days. It doesn’t matter that I am in the best shape of my life. It doesn’t matter that I sleep 8 or 9 hours a night and take mid-day breaks.
Every day I am in pain.
And every day I am happy.
This is good to know. Because some day, I will have a painful disease or injury or sickness or, if I’m lucky, grow into creaky old age.
Pain is part of living and I thank Ronn for sharing that with me.