Looking around and inside ourselves this winter, it's a good time to ask, "How are we doing?"
At first, the news seems discouraging — our planet is too warm; our children might not prosper as we have prospered; and we might be keeling over from too many trans fats, carbohydrates, or the lack of the perfect night's sleep!
And yet we are more grateful than ever, more realistic than ever, more informed than ever before — and knowing this should yield more internal peace and resolve. While we can't control everything, this knowledge frees us to focus on the things we can control, such as our health and our daily approach to life.
The French-Algerian author and philosopher Albert Camus wrote: "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer." And the American novelist Edith Wharton added this: "Two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." Both writers express how we at WebMD felt when we chose Andre Agassi for this issue's cover story.
Andre inspires us. We've all watched him grow during his 21-year career to become one of the greatest professional tennis players of our time. He gave us many indelible images: the fiery determination and telltale inconsistencies of youth; the pride of creating a family while managing a career; the maturity of persevering through adversity and enduring physical pain; and, finally, giving back to those less fortunate. Perhaps the most unforgettable impression was his last one, this September at the U.S. Open: his emotional farewell after the final match and then, just moments later, his face contorted in pain from the ongoing back injury that has plagued him for years. What's next for Andre, as he heads into a new life chapter? Find out in our cover story.
Also in this issue, we're honoring heroes who are not in the public eye. These four everyday Americans have managed their own health challenges and continue to give back to others in very special ways. Meet WebMD's 2006 "health heroes" and read their inspiring stories.
Oh, yes — have a healthy and enjoyable winter. Please come join us here at www.WebMD.com for health and medical news, daily living tips, community support, and all the facts you need to know for a healthy and happy holiday season.
Yours in well-being,
Nan-Kirsten Forte, MS
Editor in Chief, WebMD the Magazine