And The Crowd Goes Wild!
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You ain’t never gunna keep me down!”
The Foda’s take: First off, I inexplicably love this song. It’s one of those catchy tunes that doesn’t really say much of anything, but it gets stuck in your head. Secondly, I like to think of this as our American legacy- pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps. After all, everyone loves the underdog who triumphs through adversity… although the journey to get there can be pretty rough. Just ask Luke Skywalker. And his mechanical hand.
Hi there! So good to see you again. Have you been watching the Olympics this week? I know I have. And wow, has it been exciting! The speed, the jumps, the Cinderella stories of athletes coming up from behind and crushing the competition! And then there’s the stories of the athletes who fall and have to get up and skate, sled, or slide on. We cheer for these people. We root for them. I was personally cheering big time for ice skater Jeremy Abbott, who fell hard on the ice after a quad, and then got back up, obviously in pain, and finished his routine beautifully. And the crowd goes wild!!!!
And then I think. He fell. He was hurt and stunned and in pain, and things were just not going the way he had hoped they would. But he gets up anyway. And the entire arena roars and cheers and spurs him to go on. And we eat this up. I mean, who doesn’t love an athlete who shows some serious moxie, regardless of whether they medal? I know I do! But then it hits me… what about the invisible people, the ordinary you-and-me people who fall down every day in bodies that won’t function properly due to illness?
Who’s going to cheer for us?
It’s really hard to live in a body that won’t match up to what our minds think we’re capable of. When you have a chronic illness, it can feel like every minute of every day is you falling on the ice after attempting to jump. And what makes it worse is that since so many people with Lyme or auto-immune disorders or chronic depression look completely normal… who’s going to cheer us on, give us that pat on the back, and tell us with complete confidence: you can do it!!!
Not a screaming arena, I can tell you that. But think of it this way- we are the true fighters. The true Cinderella stories. The unseen, unrecognized battle-hardened warriors. And while I would love to have a room of strangers cheering me on during my toughest moments when I’m having a hard time finding hope… it will mean just that much more when I get there.
I’ve learned things I never could have hoped to know at this age if my body was healthy. I’ve learned faith, and patience. I’ve learned humility and perseverance. I’ve learned that there are two ways to view every situation, and that how I react is a choice. And I know- I KNOW– that when I get up again, I will not mess around. I will not get stuck in the mundane problems of life. I will not complain over sniveling little colds, or because I’d rather sleep in than go to work. I will be PRESENT. I will be a WARRIOR. And I will NOT apply to the phrase how “youth is wasted on the young” because I will be wise and mature beyond my years.
There isn’t a whole gaggle of strangers cheering for me to get back up from the stands. My struggle is not all over the nightly news. But just like Jeremy Abbott, I WILL get back up. And when I do?
The crowd goes wild!!!!!!
Even if that crowd is just a few close family and friends.
Join me, won’t you?