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    This is a newsletter I have started a few times, stopped, deleted and tried again, just like discovering a new trail without a map. The last month and a half have been pretty challenging, and I know that these are usually opportunities disguised as problems, so the best thing I could “force” myself to do is write about it and, like Walking, discover the road ahead as I progress.

    At the beginning of June, I concluded an important milestone on my journey. I finally published my book about Walking Mentorship, named Don’t count the kilometres, and it was a wonderful day surrounded by very special people. On top, the previous months were magnificent for our mentoring activity with a multitude of programs and incredible feedback.

    A few days later, I departed for a short vacation and looked for some time with the family to rest and savour such a special moment. Sounds perfect, right?

    Well, not so fast.

    Once I started that wonderful week on the beach, my right leg started complaining out of nowhere and even with extra care, I ended up spending those days in pain. Upon returning home, I was diagnosed with an inflammation of muscles in the shins, which took me about ten days to recover. I was puzzled by the timing.

    One week later and after a trip to the Czech Republic, and probably because of my effort to “correct” my walking posture, I triggered another inflammation, this time in my right knee. Ouch! I was starting to question why so many (bad) things were coming my way. This was supposed to be a period full of gratitude and happiness, not pain and frustration.

    On the way back from Prague, I cracked a premolar that I should have cared about way before, but I didn’t, so a couple of days later, I was pulling a tooth that was super hard to come out (the roots were twisted). For one more week, I was being treated with anti-inflammatories, most likely the biggest amount I had taken during my entire life.

    I entered July exhausted but also a bit confused with my fate. Fortunately, we had planned long before a short trip to Sevilla in Spain to take the boys to the Isla Magica Theme Park. Besides the blistering heat, everything went smooth until we reached our last day. Just before dinner, my wife fell on the stairs at the apartment door and broke her splint and shin bone, ending up in the emergency room.

    I was wondering seriously what the Universe was trying to tell me.

    I had no clue about the learnings except for a growing dark cloud on top of my head and many unanswered questions.

    Our stay at the Hospital in Sevilla and the trip back to Portugal deserved a script for a Hollywood movie, which I will spare you the details except for two of them. When my wife woke up after her first night at the hospital, I reached for the nurse in our block to get some water. I was speechless when I was informed that the hospital does not provide water to the patients. It had to be the families bringing water from the outside.

    The cherry on top of the cake was the ambulance sent by the insurance company. After an outrageous payment requested upfront, I noticed that the ambulance had no air conditioning for a five-hour ride between Sevilla and Lisbon, with temperatures around 45c.

    By this time, I became slightly faithless and had no other option than to start to accept that things can always get worst, so there was no point in feeling mad or frustrated, which I felt nevertheless.

    Upon our arrival at Lisbon Hospital, we were informed that the final surgery would take place the following day in the morning. I went home for a quick rest and planned to return to the hospital when I received on my phone a message informing me that my wife had just tested positive for Covid. Even knowing that she was asymptomatic, the surgery needed to be delayed for at least a week, and she couldn’t receive any visits.

    Obviously, I also tested positive the following morning, making it a perfect monument to that famous character, Murphy’s Law, stating that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

    I am writing you these lines two weeks after the last episode of this saga. My wife is already at home, recovering from the surgery that went well, and the boys and I are also fine. So, let’s stop for a moment and breath.

    Could I have done something drastically different? Probably not.

    I also wish I had an amazing conclusion to share with you, but I am afraid I don’t.

    If there is one thing I take with me for the future is the following – If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude. So here it goes…

    I am grateful that my legs are still moving, and tomorrow, I start a program of Walking Mentorship with Parents and Kids, one of my favourite moments of the year.

    I am grateful that my wife is back home, and she gets better every day in her recovery.

    I am grateful for all the help offered by family and friends. The road to get here would have been tremendously more difficult without them. Thank you! Thank you, thank you!

    I am grateful for every opportunity to become more human and more compassionate about other people suffering.

    Finally, I am grateful for the gift of life. I will soon complete fifty years around the sun, and I could not be happier about this beautiful journey.

    If you allow me to make a wish, that will be

    Keep walking with me.

    P.S.* The picture on the article’s cover was taken just a couple of hours before our family life took a twist. Now it is our decision to choose what kind of memories we want to keep in our minds and our hearts.

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