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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Could You Save Your Own Life?

A friend of mine from high school posts the same exact email on her Facebook page each and every December 26th.

She's been doing this Facebook posting tradition for eight years now.

It's the email that she wrote to her family after living through the Tsunami in Phi Phi, Thailand on December 26th, 2004.

In her email she speaks of how she was sitting on the beach enjoying her vacation.

Hanging out in her bikini eating breakfast when she heard what sounded like the loudest thunder she had ever heard.

She looks over her shoulder to see a wall of black water headed towards her.

And she ran.

She ran up the nearest (and only mountain).

And she ran up over a mile and half of stairs.


She ran.

Up that mountain.

Up so many stairs.

She talks about how she passed people on the stairs who weren't fit enough to make it up the stairs and were swept away by the wall of the sea.

Not everyone could make it up the stairs fast enough.

She evens grabs a toddler on the way up and continues her run up the mountain, carrying him to safety.

She mentions how relieved she was that her usual daily exercise routine back home in the states involved the stair master.

There's no way that she would have been able to save herself from the Tsunami if she hadn't been in such great shape and so fit.

Then she mentions that once she reached the top of the mountain that there were so few people there.

So many people who couldn't climb all of those stairs were gone.

Into the sea.

Villages and people.

Gone forever.

I suppose Darwin was correct.

Survival of the fittest, right?


Over 230,000 people died due to that earthquake and the following tsunami.

I am so happy that my friend is alive today to tell the story of that fateful day on the island of Phi Phi.

Now, where was I on that same Christmas of 2004?

I was busy stuffing my face with Nutella filled crepes in the City of Lights.

Vacationing in Paris.

We woke up that morning in our hotel room to see horrible devastating scenes on CNN of the Tsunami.

That same Christmas of 2004, at 245+ lbs, there was no way that I would have been able to climb even one flight of stairs without becoming out of breath and having to stop to rest.

My health was not on my mind.

Being fit was not important.

Now, let's fast forward.

To just a few days ago....to the Christmas of 2012.

I am proud.

I am proud that I am now healthy enough to be able to save my own life.

I can walk up flights of stairs without becoming winded.

I can now walk a mile without stopping to rest.

And that's why I continue to fight this fight.

That fight that I fight each and every day to stay fit.

Why I put exercise at the top of my priority list now.

Why I go to Zumba now.

Why I ride that treadmill now.

Why I do, what I do.

...after Zumba


  1. This is an awesome post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Fantastic post. Fantastic observation. This is one of the greatest, most meaningful whys.

  3. What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing this. It reminded me that I am more powerful and stronger than I give myself credit for. While I can't quite sprint up those stairs yet, I'm on my way!

  4. Wow! How strange and wonderful to be able to think about this every year and position ourselves as the one who could or could not run up those stairs. While your friend was in Phi Phi and you were in Paris I was in the UK that day watching the devastation at my mother-in-laws. I would not have made it up those stairs then either. I don't really know if I would today but I like to think I could.

    What a great motivator to keep moving and hug someone you care about.


  5. Such an excellent post. It's exactly why I'm getting up and going to Zumba tonight. Why I walked for 35 mins at a 4% incline yesterday and why I'll do it again tomorrow. This is exactly why and THANK YOU for sharing. /heart

  6. wow...I think about that when I see end of the world movies or even the walking dead...losing weight isn't enough, it's also about being physically fit...good post (as always)

  7. This is a great post. It reminds us that fitness is about more than just weight loss. Thank you for reminding why it is worth it to get out of bed and get sweating nearly every day.

  8. Thanks for sharing your friends story, and yours also. Good choices you both made then and are making today.

  9. Wow! I can run up more stairs than when I started but I couldn't run up more than 3 or 4 flights at speed. And she must have done that at some serious speed to get away from the water.
    I shall tell myself this story every day to get my backside back into exercise mode. Thank you. xx

  10. Amazing.

    I'm going to start working on the treadmill again.

  11. What a great and on point post. I so needed this...

  12. This post was powerful. Thank you for sharing. I could so relate to this post as I often wondered how I would race out to save my toddler running into a busy street weighing over 400 pounds if it happened. It's so important to put yourself first so you can be there for others. God Bless you and your friend.