Earlier this week I wrote about how it is easier not to. It’s easier not to try. It’s easier not to think before your lash out. It’s easier not to connect and let people really know you. But as I said in the earlier post, when we choose not to, we miss out on the blessing. We miss out on seeing what our life can be about and what we can do. We miss out when we choose not to. As it would happen, Monday night I saw something on TV that beautifully illustrated this point. Before we go on, I should tell you that I am a huge Dancing with the Stars fan. Huge. I usually cry at least once during an episode. I vote weekly. I may or may not have tried to do the quick step around my house. I often say the only reason I would want to be famous is so I can be just famous enough that I can be on Dancing with the Stars. The show strikes a chord with me because quite frankly I think it is amazing that these people, who usually have little to zero dance background, learn these beautiful dances. I love seeing people try hard, and I just love seeing these people totally step outside their comfort zones and dance. After all, dancing is the very definition of vulnerability. (And I like the sparkly outfits too. :) )
This season, though, is like none other. This season paralympian Amy Purdy is competing. At 19 years old, Amy contracted bacterial meningitis and both of her legs were amputated at the knees and she lost one of her kidneys. In this week’s episode, Amy talks about learning to walk again and her father’s gift of life twice in that he gave her one of his kidneys. Amy shares how painful it was learning to walk with her new prosthetic legs and how one night, upon hearing a song on the radio, and she got up and danced with her dad. She said she thought, “If I can dance, then I can walk. And if I can walk, then I can snowboard. And I can live a great life.” A great life indeed. (Click here to watch Amy share her story.)
Amy and Derek’s dance this week depicts the story of her learning to walk again. It is one of the most moving two minutes and thirty seconds I have seen on television. This young woman who was given a less than 2% chance of even surviving the meningitis and who lost both of her legs below the knee is… dancing! It literally takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes as you see such an amazing display of courage dance across that stage.
No one would have faulted Amy for choosing not to. Out of her control and without her say so, her life was forever changed fifteen years ago. But Amy Purdy did not choose not to. Amy Purdy chose I can and I will.
Friends, it is easier not to. It is soo much easier. And yes, the alternative is hard and sometimes hard is scary. But when you choose not to, you miss out. You miss the chance to dance. I hope we all start choosing to dance.