Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Being Human

Today was hard. I wasn't going to blog  to be honest and I should be asleep right now but that's another story. I think today could be summed up by saying it was one of those" human "days. I always think a" human" day is a day where it's hard to be away from yourself and what you are experiencing and how it makes you feel. Your are just in your own space and all that entails. For me that was what might be called a reality check space.

There has been a lot of talk during the last three weeks from the day I went to stay with my Coach in Texas, a lot of talk about how this could maybe become a situation that I can view as seeing if I " can" do the Iron man. Following that was a conscious decision to head down that road and commit, followed by a gradual build up of training back to a point that would have to pretty quickly start resembling a largish volume of training. So I suppose that started to happen last week and then really hit in hard this week. Hence having one of those" human "days today.

So what DID change my experience of today somewhat? Firstly I got a phone call from a friend who said that a mutual friend in New Zealand was so proud of me just trying my best to get to Nice. This friend I was speaking with is coming over with her partner to cook for me on Saturday and she is just being all round supportive of all of I am trying to achieve.

Then after that I started to receive through the wonder that is social media all the crucial pieces of information via my connections and articles I read regularly just what this is all about. If I did not have that world out there on the web I can access every day I really do not know what I would do. It is an endless pool of inspiration and reminders that bring me back to why my heart wants to do all I try to achieve.

 I read a beautiful post by Barb Simmons @runstrong4hope on the official LIVESTRONG blog about this amazing resource that LIVESTRONG fund called Camp Kesem, this is a camp for kids who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis in their families, they go here to a summer camp for a week and get to mix with other children who have had the same experience, it empowers them to feel less uncomfortable about their own situation once they go back home. They make friendships and connections that provide them with confidence to feel that it's okay to be different to some of their other peer group back home. The similarities of the others in this safe and fun environment is a truly life changing experience for them. Barbs daughter attended  Camp Kesem last year and it was moving how she described how much good this had provided for her daughter.

Then on a heartbreaking note, I read of a young girl in Africa who is having the opposite experience, she cannot get even the basic medical cancer treatment that she needs to stay alive. She is 6 years old sitting in pain at home. For me it is even more poignant as her 7 Th Birthday is on the 7th August 2012, the exact day I will turn 38. She has a dream about having a Birthday party on this date and I know for sure I have to do even one small thing a long with others to make sure this happens.

Princess Dina Mired of the King Hussein Cancer Centre in Jordan, is a women I have admired greatly since I found out about her work  last year, as she is passionately advocating at a high level about the targets we need to reach in 2025 concerning trying to work towards lowering global deaths from cancer. She works tirelessly in this arena. Today she tweeted that she was in Geneva engaged in meetings directly connected to steps that are being made following the UN meeting on NCD's ( cancer is one) last September in New York,  to make sure we try to reach some of these promised goals made then. LIVESTRONG are partners with Princess Dina and work closely with her and her Cancer Centre. I thought then about her this evening and  was so pleasantly surprised and honoured that she has given my Irl4Livestrong account on twitter a follow. I am touched by this gesture as I love reading all of her words and I follow most of what she does when I am aware of what is going on.

There is another Lady Terri Wingham I met in Dublin and she is travelling around the developing world raising awareness about cancer and trying to start her own foundation. She wants to facilitate cancer survivors in the developed world coming to the developing world to volunteer with cancer patients. This provides a circle of healing. Terri found volunteering after her cancer treatment incredibly healing and uplifting and also as we discussed in Dublin if more people experience what is happening in the developing world and can tell their own stories of hope to cancer patients there and help them to have the confidence to tell their stories then it will help break down stigma as well. LIVESTRONG themselves are deeply involved in these sorts of anti stigma endeavours connected to people telling their cancer story. Terri writes the most inspiring blog and you can follow her on twitter at @afreshchapter and link in there to her blog. Every time I read her posts I just feel here is another strong woman who didn't let the after effects of living with cancer beat her. She found her own unique way to move on and with her foundation she may replicate her experience for many others. I really hope that people get behind her on this and I know her story is starting to get picked up now in some influential publications which will really help.

We all find our own path, those of us who decide to take some sort of action in our lives in response to events outside of our control that happened upon us. All of us have a common purpose but we all bring our unique drive and talent and path to bear on this purpose we all share. I have also learnt a long the way in my many struggles that the only way I can transcend being very human is by connecting in to what others are doing, it gives me so much strength and inspiration.

One of the most powerful things  in fact Mark Zuckerburg did when he started face book , in doing so in the way Face book actualised as a user experience, one that started to make sharing common place , it really became one of the catalysts for all we are witnessing now in how the web experience is changing. I read someone say that for so long Internet was based on search, search that was all about algorithms, now the web experience is becoming more and more about sharing. Its as if we are shaping it in to the way things have always benefited humans the most. Sharing. We always have told stories for as long as we have records to prove it, all the way back to what is on cave walls. It is interesting and it is heralding in powerful change.

Okay so where does today leave the Iron man experience, well one that is feeling very human in terms of it becoming very physically challenging and quite scary, but in another sense because of the tools I have at my disposal that connect me in to so much inspiration and reminders of why I am involved with LIVESTRONG and the cancer community I suppose I am still on track.

I don't like this fund raisng thing much though and the wonderful Shu Milne , my mentor in so many ways is coming up with great ideas for how I can feel less awkward about it. As I said we all have our unique strengths. I am completely in awe of some of our LIVESTRONG fundraisers, I just find it all very awkward, but you know what its not about me, its about all of the above and its about LIVESTRONG and all they do in regards to all of the above so yes please if you can a donation would be rather brilliant. This is my link to my Ironman France LIVESTRONG participant site

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