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Still Living STRONG October 23, 2012

Posted by Barbara in LiveSTRONG.
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Once in a while I have to go ahead and take a stand.

I try to stay pretty apolitical.  I prefer to talk values rather than party line, to find common ground and shared humanity.  I make an effort to live to reflect my moral / religious / political beliefs instead of preaching my doctrine on the street corner or standing as judge and jury over others.

Which brings me to the controversy over one of my favorite people:  Lance Armstrong.

I don’t know him personally.  I’ve never been involved in the racing sport – although I cheered for several of his Tour victories as I watched on TV.   I’ve never met the man; but I’d like to –  regardless of the truth behind the drug use allegations.

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The hero within November 16, 2011

Posted by Barbara in LiveSTRONG.
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“You have to climb a mountain before you can enjoy the view.” ~ via Marc and Angel Hack Life

Sometimes doers of heroic deeds find themselves in a public spotlight, and many times the stardom that follows overshadows the truly heroic effort.   We focus attention on the end result to create super-star moments.  We remember only the victor’s hands raised in glory.  Sadly, this makes it difficult to see the long, persistent struggle that finally resulted in that moment – and that likely continues on a daily basis long after the attention has vanished.    And we believe that mere mortals such as ourselves can scarcely hope to attain that victory.

In reality, heroism is deeply ingrained in each of us.  It germinates when life hands us the most difficult moments, pushing tenuously through our being like a seedling struggling to break the crust of soil and find the light.  And it blossoms as we trudge through the frightening, heart-rending moments to conquer our own pain and fears and find the strength to stand despite it all.

We look at ourselves standing there, covered with dirt, sweat, blood and tears and we don’t see a hero; just a real person doing his best to make it through.

If you’re there right now, know that your inner hero is showing.  And the light is giving the rest of us courage to keep on fighting, too.

You are the hero we most need.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”    ~ Winston Churchill

The bucket list October 26, 2011

Posted by Barbara in Life, LiveSTRONG.
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Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.                         ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Life’s good.  I have no regrets.  I’m active and getting healthier, slowly but surely.  So why not just keep on keepin’ on?  Why a bucket list?

Because I have things to do.   And doing some of them means that my family and friends need to know what’s up so they can come along for the fun, if they want.  I’d love that.  Some things on this very flexible list are kind of solo activities.  But others (like those that entail travel or adventure) would really only be enjoyable with great company.

And I realize, finally, that procrastination is equivalent to failure.

I’ll be changing the list pretty frequently at first, as I think through the difference between things I really feel a drive to do and those that would simply be pleasant side-trips.  Making the list public puts me on notice that the time is now.

In fact, now is the only time there is.

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Living STRONG March 24, 2011

Posted by Barbara in Life, LiveSTRONG.
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I’ve been sporting a new yellow wristband recently. It’s a reminder of why I’m putting in gym time,  planting a garden and generally trying to simplify my lifestyle. It keeps me motivated and helps me stay aware of the bigger picture.

If you don’t know, LiveSTRONG is the cancer support network of Lance Armstrong’s foundation. If you or anyone you know is affected by any type of cancer, check them out. The resources they have available are absolutely awesome. Don’t just glance at the website, either. Watch the videos. Call and talk to a real person. It’s mind-boggling the kind of real-people helping real people network they have.

Like many of you, cancer has touched my family more than once.   We’ve survived prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer.  I lost an aunt to breast cancer and one to ovarian cancer.  An uncle died of lung cancer.  My cousin’s son was lost to testicular cancer.  And I have many dear friends who are cancer survivors.

Each of those family and friends would be worthy of a commitment to health and to understanding and beating that disease.  But that isn’t really why I started wearing the band.

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