Relationships and friendships have come and gone, illnesses have brought me to the brink of death and back to full health, medications have changed, many deaths have been mourned, careers have been thwarted and reimagined, often multiple times on the same day. But I have always kept a gym membership.
For over a decade, my primary focus had been to stay alive -- one day, one breath, at a time. Everything else became secondary. I lived in the country of AIDS, on another planet, in another century, speaking a foreign language, in what Virginia Woolf described as the "undiscovered country" of illness.