Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
So one of my 2017 goals was to “face my fears”. As a person who has had a lot of recent success, the truth is I am very blessed. The even bigger truth is despite those successes, I still have many areas of improvement. A lot of times, people who are successful can pretend they aren’t subject to the same issues as everyone else. T-Boz and Toni Braxton both suffered from health issues, despite being famous. The truth is a health scare is not only restricted to a select few, anyone can get sick. So now it’s story time….
Back in November, I was eating dinner one night and my stomach started feeling weird. I will never forget because it was the night before Thanksgiving. My stomach was in so much pain, I could not even describe it. What made matters worse was the fact that the pain continued for weeks. Normally they say you should see a doctor if a problem continues so I definitely met that criteria. Silly me, I figured if I give it some more time, the pain would go away. The truth is that it never did. One night, the pain became unbearable so I decided to go to the doctor’s office.
Part of my hesitation in going to see a doctor is that it had been so long since I last went. It’s like how some folks feel about church when they haven’t been a while. You envision tons of eyes looking down on you for your long-term absence and you truly have no excuse why it’s been so long since you last came. The last time I went to a doctor was in 2007 and it’s now 2017 so that should tell you something. There is one major difference between then and now…
Before having stomach pains, I was planning to go see a doctor anyway. As I mentioned earlier, my 2017 was to look my areas of improvement in the face and deal with them. My health has always been one of those areas. I wanted my relationship with my doctor to be a partnership. They would give me advice and I would follow it. When I was younger, the doctor was a place I only went when it was a huge problem but now, I see the doctor as someone I can get regular advice from a good health practices.
So the moment of truth is here, I am now at the doctor’s office and I cannot stop sweating. I am so nervous and embarrassed at the same time. I decided that as an author, motivational speaker, life coach and more, I had to get over this embarrassment. I didn’t want to be someone who traveled to schools preaching about living a successful life and I was not living one myself. When they call my name to come to the back of the office, I just take a deep breath and I go.
The first thing they always do is take your weight. This is the part where I always felt the most judged. The benefit is that I am comfortable with my body and I have actually been losing some weight since 2017 started. The scales agreed as I was apparently eight pounds smaller since 2017 started. Let the church say amen!!! Next they measured my height. This is the part where reality sets in. I am 6’3.5’’. I had been telling people I was 6’5’’ because I didn’t know but I guess that mystery was put to rest. The real joke of the day was them having me do an eyesight test. They had me cover my right eye and read the smallest line of letters. Who would have thought a G looks so much like an O when you are standing ten feet away from the eye chart. Could I be needing glasses soon? Oh my!!! Apparently I don’t because the nurse said I did fine with the eye test. I think I would be handsome in glasses if it came to it.
Now for the real reason I came, a meeting with the doctor. The nurse leaves, the doctor walks in and I’m not sure what to expect. He isn’t mean but he isn’t as friendly as the nurse. Doctors are busy people and I didn’t come for a new best friend so I get over it. I’m explaining to him my stomach pains and he ask me about my life. I tell him all the things I am involved with and I’m sure he’s like “dang boy when do you sleep?”. I ask myself the same thing but that’s neither here nor there. The life of a boss I guess...
The doctor also ask did I have any life changing events take place. I share with him that I lost my grandfather in November who happens to be like my best friend. Ironically I lost him about one week before these stomach pains started. Could stress be the reason this all happened? I almost began crying talking about it because I really miss my grandfather. We have the same birthday and practically talked every day. Sometimes it still gets me that someone’s life could have such an impact and you don’t realize until they are gone.
So at this point, the doctor gives me some good advice for better healthy eating practices. The reason I came was fulfilled, to get help. I came to the doctor’s because I wanted to improve my life, not to be judged. I am grateful the doctor was understanding of that and never once made me feel bad. The same way I would never laugh a first time writer or aspiring author is how I would expect a medical professional to not laugh at me. I know I have a long way to go on my health journey but I am off to a good start. I am proud for facing one of my areas for improvement. It’s the only way to live a stress free life.
Moral of the story: What you come to terms with cannot be used again you so get comfortable with yourself.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.