There was no longer any doubt, my body had begun to break down.
Chronic back pain. Weight gain. Shortness of breath climbing stairs. No one approaching fifty could consider these “positive indicators.” Soon I began to understand the main culprit behind my decline. My desk. Or more accurately, the eight hours or so I spent hunched over a keyboard, staring at a monitor each working day.
My body could no longer do the things I imagined, like delivering a burst of speed in a touch football game or tracking down a fly ball playing softball. I was beginning to walk stooped over; I had lost all flexibility; I felt unsteady and brittle.
I thought of the story told about travel writer Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin had been a highly regarded expert on Impressionist art when his eyesight began to suffer. A doctor determined a latent squint was impairing his vision; the close analysis of artwork demanded by his job caused it.
Chatwin’s doctor recommended a sabbatical – preferably one that involved looking at distant horizons. So Chatwin went to Sudan, and later, famously, to Patagonia.
One day I stumbled on a video, written and produced by Erik Trinidad, in which he poses a simple question. If you’ve ever questioned the idea of living your life chained to a desk, take a look at Erik’s video “Would You?”