As I occasionally scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout the day, I see an array of things. I see politics, memes, drama, and so on, but most of all, I see people going through the motions. Many cannot see this with the naked eye, however, some can. These lifeless posts stick out like sore thumbs to us, as we envy what you take for granted. "Another month closer to graduation," "can't wait until summer," and "not feeling the gym today" are a few things that I have read in my newsfeed within the past week. As I sit here on the couch for the eleventh consecutive day of not leaving my home, I wish nothing more than to be in school, to be wrapped up in a winter coat, or to be working out with my team.

On days prior to becoming ill, and even since becoming ill, I am guilty of going through the motions as well. I looked back on my social media accounts and found posts about how I wanted basketball season to come faster, how I was upset I could not do things because of an injury, and so many other meaningless reasons I could not allow myself to be happy in that moment. I was so caught up in the few negatives that I completely missed the many positives I was surrounded with--my health to name one.

One of the many definitions of the word "live" is "to have an exciting or fulfilling life." I beg that each of you asks yourself, "am I, by this definition, living?"

We get so wrapped up in what could be rather than what is, and before we know it, what is becomes what was. My one biggest regret from my healthy self is not living, and I write this praying that readers do not realize they never "lived" after it is already too late. There are so many things that can be considered "exciting or fulfilling" like in the definition. Every day that you wake up, you are gifted with another day on Earth; is that not exciting and fulfilling within itself? I am by no means suggesting you cannot be excited about future endeavors, complain about the crazy weather, or be upset your team did not make the playoffs, but instead am challenging you. I am challenging you to live every day of your life.

As the ill community tries our best to live life to its fullest with our limitations, I ask that each of you live your unlimited life in our honor. Appreciate everything; dwell on nothing. These are the six things I strive to do every day and wish I would have done back when it was so much easier to do.

  1. Live every new day with a fresh start. Do not let your mistakes of yesterday keep you from having a wonderful day. Today is too good of a day to have a bad day.
  2. Use every opportunity to your advantage. Each day is filled with endless opportunities and adventures, do not be afraid to take a chance now and then.
  3. Never wish your days away. Accept each day as a blessing and make it a great one.
  4. Be kind. There is nothing more fulfilling than to make another person smile. Perform a random act of kindness each day. It can be anything from buying someone's lunch or even simply complimenting them; a little goes a long way.
  5. Stop doing things just to do them. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, either stop doing it or try to make the absolute best of it.
  6. Allow yourself to be happy. Do not let little things drag you down. Remember to relax and smell the roses.

Now it is up to you; are you going to accept this challenge and begin living, or are you going to continue going through the motions?