A New Beginning

This is not going to be a self indulgent, woe is me article. I want to make that abundantly clear before I begin. I’ve never been one to wallow in self pity because it gets you nowhere. If you spill your milk, you get up, clean it up and move on. Crying over spilt milk as the expression implies, is a monolithic waste of time. Like all good stories there is a beginning, a middle, and an end, and I assure you my trusted and loyal reader that this will be a good story. With that out of the way, let’s begin.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a really bad day for me. It started with an early morning training session. I wanted to get it done early because I was trying to create a window of time so I could (gasp) go to a social function for the launch of thefitnesselite.com, an online magazine that I write for. You know, actually do something that didn’t involve kids, life or writing, directly at least.

All was going well until I caught my toe on my sixth set of box jumps, and I skidded down the box on my shin leaving a deep, bloody and swollen gash from knee to ankle. I then had to move on to doing bike and eliptical sprints because standing was too painful. Finishing my circuits at that point wasn’t going to happen. That went fine and home I went.

If you read at this corner of the internet regularly, then you know I’m all about planning, focus and execution, with training, diet and life. I take this approach with my writing as well. I write everyday and often multiple articles because I like to bank many articles in order to always have a large surplus. It allows me to constantly edit them and if necessary, throw away some that I feel don’t measure up.

I’ll get to the second part to this little writing side story, because none of this is the real story-we’re just getting there. This preamble is just the piece that led me to want to write this piece. That and the constant push that my mentor, who is 16 years my junior I might add but whom I’ve come to greatly respect, is always giving me. His name is Andrew Young for the record. So back to my surplus of articles that I always have on hand.

As those of you that read here know, my other career is a stay at home dad of two boys aged five and one. That basically means non stop insanity with lots of feeding, mediating and a healthy dose of damage control thrown in for good measure. It means there is no such thing as me sitting at a desk for uninterrupted periods of time. The reality is I write in small pockets of time whenever I can, and doing so on a phone is perfect for that. Every word of every article you’ve ever read here has been written with one thumb. That’s because there’s often a baby in the other arm or some such task that requires only half my concentration so I can write with my other half at the same time. It’s a true test of your ability to split your brain into it’s left and right side capabilities I might add.

It’s a system that has proven remarkably effective. Until yesterday that is when I dropped my phone, resulting in losing my entire week of posts which I had ordered and categorized to slot into their specific days. Everything gone. The post I put up Monday morning was a rough draft chapter from the book I’m writing, but I pride myself in daily postings so the show must go on!

I did what anyone else would who had just lost 50 hours of work that they put their honesty, love and thumb calluses into-I got really down. Not for long however, because what would that accomplish? Yes I lost a lot of work, and when you write articles or songs or stories, it really feels like there’s a piece of yourself in everything that you create.

I’ll be honest with you in telling you that it hurts when you lose something like that. I can rewrite some of it sure, but those moments in time and the essence that was a part of that time is gone forever. That hurts. It was time to move on though. I can’t stand and brood over what has been lost. Besides, it’s not like I was just told I had cancer.

The feeling when someone tells you that is much different. You feel a billion things at once. Fear, numbness, sadness, hopelessness. I can’t describe entirely what it feels like to be told you have cancer. The moment is too intense to take in. I know, because I was told this very thing when I was 29. This is where the story begins.

It was an innocent enough mole that started looking funny. Then it started bleeding. I ignore it because I was way too focused on what others were telling me about my music and the press I was reading about myself in places I had never even been. The next big thing was used a lot in those articles. Teen People magazine for instance said we were going to be huge. But I knew in my soul what that bleeding mole was, and it was becoming a big distraction.

I finally had it removed and biopsied. Then I got the phone call. Looking back that was the end of what could have been. Everything changed that moment. My focus was gone.

The next step was surgery. The skin around it was removed and the path the disease would take was followed into my lymphatic nodes under my arm. After this surgery I was still dragging myself into the studio to record daily while being held together with massive staples. Fine, I’m fine I always said. This was just a bump in the road.

Then I went to the follow up appointment. I got the news it had spread. More was found in my lymph nodes and a second, extremely invasive surgery was scheduled with a year of cancer treatment to follow. That treatment is called interferon. Suicide rates are high due to the fact you feel like you’re dying every day for a year.

The day of that surgery came and went. I didn’t go. This was something I was going to fix. Enough surgery and drugs. The mind is the most powerful force that I’ve ever been in contact with. It was me, my body and my mind against this degenerative disease.

That is where I’m going to leave this today. That was the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Fear does strange things to a person and as much as I tried to carry on, I couldn’t. As you can probably guess, this is why I made it my mission to learn and live and this is the real story that I want to share with you. It’s because of this that I’ve spent thousands upon thousands of hours researching everything to do with health enhancement that I can find. If I can survive and thrive, then so can you. I intend to share with you everything that I’ve learned and have yet to learn. We’re all in this together after all. Until next time,

Happy Lifting!

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