Down Below

Down Below

While gasping for air after the last interval, in the last set, of a long course swim workout I saw a buddy of mine sitting peacefully in the subdued but warm winter sun. His arms where stretched behind his head, he was taking in the moment, on first inspection anyone seeing  this would think everything about the moment appeared to be perfect for my pal.

What the onlooker would not be aware of was that three weeks ago my friend got diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of prostate cancer and to my knowledge was awaiting the results to see if the cancer had spread. I said a little prayer for my friend, counted my blessings and did a 10 minute cool down to work through some of the waste products I had spent the last 70 minutes creating from my HIIT training.

When I finished my cool down, my friend had been joined by his lovely and faithful wife. They exercise together everyday, swim in the same and appear to be very much love after 30 years of marriage and raising a bunch of kids. In that moment I though about his wife and how his illness might effect her and I was saddened…

I hopped out the pool, gather my gear and went over to say hi to my buddy knowing either today or last Friday he would have gotten the prognosis on his disease.

“They’re gonna take my prostate next week, but I’m clean,” he said, “I’m clean!” My heart opened, his wife smiled n got teary and I pulled my buddy in for hug.

He is not out of the woods but the news of the week was far better than expected and the prognosis for more life with his wife, adult kids and time training and taking in the sweet sun at the pool was promising for now.

Looking only at people on the outside often tells very little about what really going on. Cancer, depression, disappointment…so much can be going on under the hood that we never know.

Someone who didn’t know my friend’s situation might look at this healthy middle aged guy, sitting at a pool in La Jolla in the middle of the day with his legs up taking in the sun and think man this guy’s got it easy.

Remember amigos, everyone is fighting some kind of battle, little or big and how things appear down below the surface are rarely if ever the whole story.

Friendship, strength and honor,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × five =