WEST POINT -- A phrase from the movie "Kung Fu Panda" defines how James Andersen plans to live the rest of his life, now that he can breathe a little easier.
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present," said Andersen, 24, sitting on a couch in the living room of the home where he grew up.
On a wall is a photograph of him with his younger brother, Rex Andersen, dressed in camouflage hunting clothes and holding shotguns.
Rex died Nov. 9, 2010, from complications of cystic fibrosis, the same genetic disease James has.
James breathes easier today after his double lung transplant on July 19 at the University of Utah Medical Center. He was put on the waiting list in February.
"I've lost a lot of friends in the past 21 months because of CF," James said. "Some died on the table, some didn't get there and some opted out (of a lung transplant)."
James is now waiting for the doctors to give him approval to start doing some of the activities he has missed.
That list includes: swimming at least one lap around a pool; hitting three bars in Salt Lake City; learning how to ballroom dance; shooting a 50-caliber rifle; and, reading the entire "Game of Thrones" series and the "Dune" series.
"I'm not a drinker, so I'll be drinking Coke," James said about the bars. "I will need to find a teacher for ballroom dancing, and I don't even know anyone with a gun that size, but I'll find one."
The last time he swam was, well, "I don't remember," James said. "It was a long time ago."
He also looks forward to hunting pheasants this fall, hiking, finding a job and getting involved in a serious relationship.
"I'm really excited to go out and find a job," James said. "I don't know what I want to do yet. But I'll figure it out."
As for a serious relationship, James said he never allowed any of his female friends to get too close to him because of the threat of his disease.
"I kept people at a distance and pushed them away," he said.
The lung transplant has given James hope for the future, even though there are no guarantees.
He recently celebrated the first day he did not need to take a nap following physical therapy. "That's a good sign to me," James said.
James was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 8 months old. At that time his parents, Ralph and Carol Andersen, were told James may not live past the age of 20.
"We had not even heard of transplants back then, but (the doctors) were always talking about a cure, and treatments have gotten better and better," Carol Andersen said.
The year before the lung transplant, James was using oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He also spent two weeks of every month in the hospital because he was always sick.
"I'd come home for two weeks, then be back in the hospital for two weeks," James said.
He still has bruises on his arms, chest and back from his surgery. He is taking 32 pills a day, which include antibiotics, anti-rejection pills, blood thinners, and medication to counteract side effects of the medications.
James still has cystic fibrosis, but his life expectancy -- barring any complications -- has increased dramatically.
He is still adjusting to his new lungs, which started breathing on their own without any jump starting from the medical team.
"Most of the time they have to jump-start organs to get them going," James said.
His breathing capacity with his old lungs was around 20 percent, which James said is like breathing in a room filled with smoke.
"My brain is still used to the old lungs. It isn't used to getting so much oxygen. It was so different, but good," James said. "It feels so awesome. Cool and clean air."