I nearly began crying as my shoulders squared up and I picked up the pace. To my left was my 12 year old daughter. She had looked up and gave me the thumbs up.

Both wearing our ear buds and listening to our prospective music, some would criticize that we weren’t connecting and taking advantage of the time to talk about life. But, I know better than that.

Sometimes, all we need is that look. That look from your child that says there is no other place they would rather be right now then to be at your side.

For the past several years, the same question was asked of me by my daughter… when are we going to go on a walk?

What? From a 12 year old? When are we going to go on a walk?

Wow! There are so many amazing things in that question. Sadly, often times, we are way too busy to read between the lines.

Maybe it was my daughter hearing me talk about my doctor and the results she gave me from my recent tests. Maybe it was my daughter just wanting to spend time with her dad. Maybe… it was both?

Last summer, my daughter and I decided to go hiking at Multnomah Falls, just outside of Portland, Oregon. It is an absolutely beautiful hike, even when you are not prepared for it. Looks can be deceiving as after the first few switchbacks, the incline starts going ballistic on you. Or, maybe it was just me.

Half way up the hike to the top of the falls, I had my first “heart attack” and needed a moment to give my self mouth to mouth. I wasn’t going to stop… I brought my daughter here to scale it. Nothing will hold me back.

Between that first heart attack and the next 6 or 7, my daughter, who was not breathing heavily at all, noticed my plight and began to coach me to the top. I’m not sure about you, but, when you hear your daughter tell you that you can do it and I believe in you… it cuts to the core. Not even the band Survivor playing Eye of the Tiger at the peak would have motivated me more than hearing those words from my daughter.

Not long after…. we made it. It felt good… no… it felt great!

With my shoulders squared as I began to pick up the pace, it was that look from my daughter that nearly brought those tears to my eyes.

I love the movie, Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe. Here is this washed up boxer that suddenly begins to win, and win big. When the press ask him what has made the difference, he responds with… “I finally know what I am fighting for…” Of course, the press ask the obvious question… his response…

“The Milk.”

Why have tears nearly taken over my walk at the look of my daughters beautiful eyes and her thumbs up? Why did I not feel this motivated when the doctor told me I was a high risk for stroke or heart attack?

Perhaps back then I was too “busy” to notice. But now…

I know what I am fighting for.

One day at a time… for life.

What are you fighting for?