Tag Archives: Hope

Sunset Reflections

Written on the gold-speckled beaches of Coronado, San Diego
Written on the gold-speckled beaches of Coronado, San Diego

The softest sand I’ve ever felt nips between my toes

Like the downy stroke of a newborn calf

Nostrils open onto untold worlds: Salty and filled with coconut tears

I lift my soul to the sea, allowing it to thrush through my veins

Leaving markers behind, as soft whispers tend to do

I am Aphrodite with gossamer wings: Fragile but beautiful

With power burnt deep into hollow bones

Move me with your persistent trick

Your silent cry for timeless mercy

Take my hollow bones and make them your temple

So they may be fragile and weak

No more.

Giving Yourself Permission when Your World is in Pieces

Giving Yourself Permission when Your World is in Pieces 

Picture this. You’re a confident, self-sufficient Homo Sapien. Poised. Driven. Ready to take over the world with a wave of your hand. But then, BOOM. Life happens. Suddenly, you’re sick. Depleted. Dependent on the good will of others. And while relying on the kindness of strangers may have worked well for Blanche Dubois, you’re not so enamored with the concept. You become desperate. Smaller. A beaten warrior, trying vainly to keep going when all your resources have been plucked from you without so much as a “by your leave.”

How do you feel after reading this? Have your shoulders hunched up? Is your neck tense? Are you angry? Indignant? Sad?

This is what a person living with a debilitating chronic illness goes through every day. We wake up, and for one brief, shining moment, we’re the person we once were. Confident. Driven. Poised to seize the day. And then it hits us. We’re not that person anymore. And this knowledge can be just as crippling as the illness raging within our bodies.

So what’s a life-long optimist to do? We don’t want to become bitter and hateful, becoming a victim, spouting off why the world owes us. We want to thrive. To rise above the illness. To be the strong warrior others can look at and say: “Wow. You inspire me.” So we search for a new purpose. A new way for our lives to matter. Perhaps it’s exploring a new passion, or focusing on the little moments with your family. But then, just as you start your transition into Redefining You, that voice appears. The one in your head that tells you: “you’re not doing enough.” That compares you now to you then. That holds up a measuring stick comparing you to “normal” people.

Man, I hate that voice. It does me no good. I call mine Charmaine. (Mainly because I love alliterations, and saying: Shut up, Charmaine!! just trips off the tongue so satisfyingly.) But I digress.

I give that nasty voice in my head a name because I want to be able to call her out when she tells me that I’m not good enough. That I should be able to push through the crushing fatigue, or handle this emotional rollercoaster better. Charmaine doesn’t help me. But lately, I’ve learned how to banish her to the top of a dragon-guarded ivory tower. (Take that, Charmaine!)

My weapon of choice? Simple. Permission. Instead of beating myself up when my illness places limitations on me, I give myself permission. I quite literally say: “I give myself permission to…”

Take a break. To listen to my body. To push myself a little farther, and then be proud of myself when I have to lie down, instead of being angry that I’m so depleted. I give myself permission to be sad or angry or frustrated when I’m feeling particularly bad, and permission to be happy in spite of how hard my life is. I give myself permission to enjoy the little things, to notice the blessings in my life. I give myself permission not to compare who I am now to who I was then. (And I give myself permission to tell that charlatan Charmaine to shut the hell up!)

It may sound silly, but often, what we really need is to allow ourselves to be who we are and do what we must without judgement or guilt. After all, our lives are already hard enough. So let’s be proud of what we accomplish. Let’s celebrate the warrior within us. Let’s give ourselves permission to embrace our own beautiful humanity in all its mess and imperfection.

And as for that jerk Charmaine? Tell her to take a hike.

What about you? What do you give yourself permission to do today?

Love and light,

The Foda

“It’s Cold as Hoth Out There!”

Howdy, folks!

Man, it is cold as Hoth out there today! I’m sitting in front of my patio window, watching the light flecks of snow rain down, the hiss of the heater providing a nice, steady hum. Correction. A nice, steady, loud hum. Like, obnoxiously so. Which is frustrating, because it’s kind of doing an abysmal job at keeping me warm. But it’s obviously working so hard that it’s kind of like that kid who stinks at math but tries so hard… you’re at your wit’s end, but you just smile and say: “good hustle, kid-o! Keep up the good work!”

So, 2015 has begun and I’m currently crafting my query letter to start sending my book out to agents, which is very exciting. On the down side, my appeal to my insurance company to approve my medically-necessary super-expensive totally-need-it PICC line just got denied… again… Envisioning God standing in the clouds right now, arms crossed, shaking his head and saying: “Not yet, little Foda. Farther, your journey must be.” 

Sidebar: is it odd that in this scenario God talks with a Yoda voice?

Don’t answer that.

But in all seriousness, as frustrated and burnt out as I am with the length of these Lyme Disease shenanigans– (everything sounds better if you call them shenanigans)– I never would have written this book or discovered how much I love writing if I hadn’t gotten– and stayed– this sick for so long. I would have been happy teaching music forever. I love working with kids, and I miss my job a lot. But I’m hoping this fantasy book written for young adults will give them something I really needed as a kid growing up with a sister battling cancer… the wondrous world of imagination. I really believe this is why I love Sci-Fi and fantasy so much… it’s because when my own world was so bleak and trying, I needed to find a world where I could be safe; escape my own reality for a while. In a way, it was probably destined for me to become a fantasy writer.

Plus, I dream in super hero. No joke. Dream Foda is AWESOME. She flies, pushes people away with her mind (and an awesome palm thrust a la Luke Skywalker), and never gets caught.

Although we won’t analyze how in all of these dreams I’m being chased by someone… must be some psychological ramifications to that… <gulp!> 

So I guess I can hang out *here* a little longer. No, I don’t know what the future has in store. But I have hope.

Cheers to you,

The Foda

“The Iron Wind”

“The Iron Wind”

I looked out on the frosted moor

My mind did wander, took a tour

It sent me back to days gone by

When dream I did, and need but try

Yet youth was wasted ‘fore my time

My course was jackknifed on a dime

And now I must ply dreams with fate

My choice accommodate or wait

My shell won’t go my throat won’t sing

I know not what each day may bring

Yet as I traversed through these woes

A steely iron wind doth blow

It blanketed the earth below

And shoved me where I dare not go

Into the icy wilderness

Where sharpened blades my feet do kiss

I stand in place, my breath is smoke

I’m all alone, my spirit broke

And yet the iron wind does blow

And shows me where I dare not go

Where every step the ice impales

And every breath drags in like nails

But still I stand and pray to grow

My arms outstretched, my cheeks a-glow

And through a cloud a ray of sun

Spotlights my life and tells me run

Run even if your legs cannot

Dance in your heart and with each thought

For one day you’ll be here again

Your body matching what’s within

You’ll look out on the frosted moor

And thank God for what came before

This time is rare, the journey long

But it will serve to make you strong

And then the light it did retreat

Yet in my soul was born a heat

To live where iron winds doth blow

To go where others dare not go

And so I walked in stocking feet

And thanked the icy blades as sweet

For courage coined must come through fear

And roses grow where thorns appear

“The Smile Builder: Five Days in Five Ways”

Hey, everybody! First of all, I want to apologize for the absence of the Chronic Funnies over the past several weeks. It’s not that I’m discontinuing them, it’s just that I haven’t been feeling particularly funny during my latest dip. But fear not, because I have a plan! This is why I created a 5 day challenge I’m calling The Smile Builder. I hope you join along with me and give it a go!

 The Smile Builder: Five Days in Five Ways

 Warning: Excessive silliness, improved mood, and lack of caring what others think may be a permanent side effect.

 Day One: 

  1. Sit on a firm pillow and meditate for 5 minutes.
  2. Pick a favorite song and sing it at the top of your lungs
  3. Find a mirror, look at it, and say: “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”
  4. Write down one good thing that happened that day and stick it under your pillow. Read before bed.
  5. Choose either five minutes of yogic stretching focused on hip area, or if too fatigued, choose to attempt yogic laughter: the act of forcing yourself to laugh for as long as you can. Tip: attempt with a partner or mirror for maximum results.

Day Two: 

  1. Sit on a firm pillow and meditate for 6 minutes.
  2. Pick a favorite song and sing it in the shower. Whilst serenading your shampoo bottle.
  3. Find a mirror, look at it, and say: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
  4. Write down two good things that happened that day and stick it under your pillow. Read before bed.
  5. Choose either five minutes of yogic stretching focused on gentle spinal twists, or if too fatigued, choose to attempt yogic laughter.

Day Three: 

  1. Sit on a firm pillow and meditate for 7 minutes.
  2. Pick a favorite song and sing it at the top of your lungs while deliberately subbing in words that make you giggle.
  3. Find a mirror, look at it, and say: “You would not part an old man from his walking stick?” Double points for speaking in a British accent.
  4. Write down two good things and one random thing that happened that day and stick it under your pillow. Read before bed.
  5. Choose either five minutes of yogic stretching focusing on hips/spine, or if too fatigued, choose to attempt yogic laughter.

Day Four: 

  1. Sit on a firm pillow and meditate for 8 minutes.
  2. Pick a favorite song and sing it at the top of your lungs while patting your fingers over your open mouth really, really fast. Other option: sing into oscillating fan.
  3. Find a mirror, look at it, and say: “Expecto Patronum!”
  4. Write down two good things that happened that day and one prediction for tomorrow, and stick it under your pillow. Read before bed.
  5. Choose either five minutes of yogic stretching focusing on hips/spine, or if too fatigued, choose to attempt yogic laughter.

Day Five:

  1. Sit on a firm pillow and meditate for 10 minutes. (Yes, we are skipping from 8-10. Don’t worry. You can handle it.)
  2. Pick a favorite song and sing it at the top of your lungs while taking out all the consonants. In other words, make like a flying monkey from Oz and sing only with vowels. (Sidebar- anyone else used to think they were singing “oreo”?!!) Ooo-eee-oooo….. 
  3. Find a mirror, look at it, and say: “Better out than in, I always say!”
  4. Try and remember every good thing you wrote down over the past four days and put it under your pillow. Read before bed.
  5. Choose five minutes of gentle yogic stretching focusing on hips/spine, or if too fatigued, do it anyway.

Hope you enjoy this 5 day challenge! Feel free to let me know how it goes by tweeting me @thefemaleyoda and using #smilebuilder.

Putting the Cheer in Cheerio,

The Foda

“The Choice”

“The Choice”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart… Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~Carl Jung

 The Foda’s Take: I have a feeling that Carl Jung is also a pretty big believer in mindfulness.

 Hi, everyone! So last week, Mandalf and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. This gave me a day where I could flip through old pictures, relive the most beautiful day of my life, and remember the moment we danced hand-in-hand into the reception as man and wife- to- I kid you not- the bombastic Star Wars theme. (Come on. With a handle like the Female Yoda, did you really think I wouldn’t marry a fellow Star Wars lover?) Yes, the wedding party proceeded us by boogying down to the Cantina Song. And yes, it was AWESOME. And no, I didn’t have my parents/in-laws come in to the Darth Vader theme song… although I’m pretty sure it was discussed… all in good fun, of course… But I digress.

Now, when you’re dealing with a chronic illness, special occasions can sometimes be tough- you know how you’d want to celebrate, but sometimes what you want and what you’ve got to work with just aren’t in the same realm. For example, Mandalf asked me what I wanted to do- and what I wanted to do was hop on a plane and spend the day drinking margaritas and eating shrimp tacos on a beach in San Diego. But considering my current capabilities? Not an option.

So the night before, knowing I didn’t want to spend our special day being sad that I couldn’t celebrate it the way I would have if I was healthy, I made a choice. I could either focus on all the things I had and could do, or on the one thing I didn’t have and wanted more than anything. I chose to focus on what I could do. And it was a wonderful day.

So often, when we have something that we want so incredibly desperately, it’s easy to feel like nothing else will make us happy until we get it. And I fall into this trap a lot. So I get it. But over the past several days, I’ve been struck by just how much energy goes into moping and pining after something out of your control. And considering how I have a very limited amount of energy to begin with, shouldn’t I be spending it on things that can make me happy right now? Consequently, the past several days have been some of the most productive I’ve had in a while. (Closing in on finishing draft three of my fantasy novel! Woohoo!)

I know special occasions are going to continue to be bittersweet while my life is in this holding pattern. I get that. But I’m starting to really believe that you can still move forward while your life stays “stuck.”

Cheers,

The Foda

Grace Under Fire

“Grace Under Fire”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”

~Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

 The Foda’s Take: Oh, we want it, alright. Everyone wants to be the person who rises above adversity admirably. But in typical form, grace is not easily won or obtained. Tricky little wench.

 Hi, folks. Today I’m feeling very existential. You know, pondering what does it all mean while lounging about in my silk robe and velvet smoking slippers, a monocle dripping from my fingers. And I have decided something. I believe that the antithesis to achieving grace and positivity invariably comes down to two common rascals: doubt and frustration. Shall I go on? Here’s my thesis.

The trouble with hope is it doesn’t come with an expiration date. Hope + time = doubt.

The trouble with faith is timely proof. Faith + no proof =  doubt and frustration.

The trouble with control is not having it. Control + lack thereof = frustration… and doubt.

But the trouble with doubt and frustration is that if they’re not countered by hope, faith, and relinquishment of control, they will take over, until nothing is left but darkness. And no one wants to live in the dark. Unless you’re a vampire. But I’m not certain how large my vampire audience is for this blog, so I’m going to assume we’re all daylighters here….

Now why am I going so deeply into this, you ask? Because I don’t have an ending to my story yet. At least, not one I’m willing to accept. I’m still waiting in the wings, listening carefully for my name to be called so that I can step into the lime light (and out of the lyme light.) It might be easier for me to wallow in frustration and doubt until my time comes, because all that requires is living in another moment- which is pretty easy to do. What’s hard is living in our current moment. What’s hard is finding hope and inspiration in turmoil. What’s hard is choosing grace under fire. Because grace is not easily won. It’s hard and, as Flannery O’Connor said, it requires the beholder to go through great pain and suffering in order to achieve it. We all want to live with grace, we just don’t want to go through the horrible trials we’ll need to endure to get it. Unless, well, you’re a masochist… in which case, I have several pairs of high heels in my closet for you.

I work every day to live through my trial with grace. I don’t always succeed. It’s not always easy to feel hopeful and confident that my happy ending is coming when I’ve been sick for so long. But anyone who stands up and tells you they’re one hundred percent “glass half full” is lying. (That’s right, sir- calling you out.) Faith and hope take work. They take daily dedication. But I have a dream, you see…. I’d like to believe that when all this is past me and I’m able to rejoin the human race as a healthy, vibrant woman, I will have achieved so much wisdom and grace under fire, that it will shape not only my life, but inspire the lives of others as well. I want people to come up to me and say: “It takes a lot of grace to do what you did!” And I’ll shrug humbly, wave my hand dismissively, and say: “Psshhh, Grace is my middle name.” Which… in point of fact, it is… so there’s that… pretty sure that doesn’t count, though…..

So today, I rededicate my commitment to finding and living with grace. (Besides, well, in my monogram….) Which, come to think of it, means I’m going to have to learn how to better define it so that I will know it when I see it. Hmm. What do you think? As I close, I’d like to ask you, dear reader- how to you define grace?

Gracefully yours,

The Foda

Episode XXIV: Dream A Little Dream

Episode XXIV 

Dream A Little Dream

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “You don’t age until your regrets outnumber your dreams.”

~ John Barrymore

 The Foda’s Take: I absolutely adore this quote, because somewhere in the hustle of grown-up life, it becomes all too easy to forget that dreams come in all sizes, and are not just for the young.

 Welcome back, friends! I’m happy to report that I’m beginning to see a smidgen of light from my Death Star of a rut (as discussed in great depth in “Episode XXII: Fight or Flight”) and what’s really helped bring this about is my new favorite topic of….. DREAMS! 

Now, the last time someone asked me what my dream was, I was in high school, and my answer was: well, to be on Broadway, of course! Preferably playing Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Or Maureen in Rent.  Or Elphaba in Wicked. Or pretty much any role Idina Menzel has ever originated, for that matter. (Sidebar- how AWESOME would it be if someone wrote Star Wars: The Musical? Because I would SO be all over that.)

But then I went to college, graduated with a degree in music education, and found a fabulous job teaching children to sing and play, and most importantly, how to express themselves through music. And I loved it! So life went on. I worked, I got married, I explored new hobbies, and that was my life. Until I got sick. And then sicker. And then I couldn’t keep that lifestyle anymore.

Now, I know at this point you’re all going ugh, Foda, this sounds, like, super depressing! Well, hold your Tauntauns! Because the silver lining is that all this has led me back to a place quiet enough to DREAM

Yes, I have lost a lot of things I’d love to have back right now. And yes, not many people would jump at the chance to live my current life. But one truly wonderful, AMAZING thing that has come out of this is that I have been forced to step back out of my previously hectic life and truly think about: WHAT IF…

What If?

What if the reason why I got sick is because I’m meant to be on another path- one I wouldn’t have found if I had just stayed the given course, doin’ the head-down hustle, all pedal-to-metal? What if this experience, besides gifting me with GOBS of wisdom and perspective, (aw, shucks, mental me!) is also designed to give me the time to cultivate a bigger purpose for my life? How amazing would THAT be?!!

Now, I’m no foolish Foda. I know that just because I’ve been given a difficult road doesn’t mean I’m destined for a future of Best Seller Lists and Tony’s. But once you remember just how GOOD it feels to dream… why would you want to stop? Oh, because it might not happen? Umm… so? This is America! We work for what we want! It’s, like, engraved on the Statue of Liberty! Give me your poor, your sick, your dreams of book deals… (By the way if you really know what’s on the Statue of Liberty I’d appreciate it if you kept it to yourself right about now (funk soul brother!). Your superior knowledge is really spoiling my diatribe, here. Smarty Pants.) Hair flick. Pivot turn. Annnnnnnddd sashay. Wuurrkk it!

Oh. Um, sorry. Got a little carried away there. I told you there’s a thespian inside of me!

So sometime this week, I invite you to try and find a quiet moment. Put on your most comfiest of clothes, light a nice smelling scent (cinnamon and eucalyptus are great for revitalization), tip your head back into a ray of sunshine, and DREAM.

Because sometimes after WHAT IF comes…

WHY NOT?

Yours Truly,

The Dreamy Foda

P.s. What do you MEAN I never told you my dream? It’s like a birthday wish! You CAN’T say it out loud! Whaddya wanna JINX me???!!!! SELFISH. Hair flick. Pivot turn. Annnnnnnddd sashay.

Episode XXI: Questions of Grandeur

Episode XXI

Questions of Grandeur 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”

-Cool Runnings

 The Foda’s take: This was my senior yearbook quote. I love it because it reminds me that humankind often makes the mistake of looking for things outside of ourselves to help make us happy. In my case, that means collecting shoes and all things Star Wars. In Mandalf’s case, it’s bicycles and yogurt. The point is, we all do it, hoping our acquisitions will help us find our bliss, especially when the going gets rough. But that bliss will always be temporary if we don’t make peace with what’s inside first.

 Welcome back, friends of Foda! I hope you enjoyed the little musical parody last week. The inspiration just hit me, and I had to go with it. (Plus, Mandalf runs a podcast, so it was really fun to try out his new microphone!) Anyway, I watched Cool Runnings the other day in celebration of the Olympic spirit, and that quote jumped out at me again, just as strongly as it did when I was a teenager. This caused me to have several moments of deep reflection.

What is the thing I’m without that I want the most?

Do I want to be able to walk out my front door again without worrying how many minutes I’ll make it? Yes. Do I want to know that there’s a turnaround point soon in my future? Umm… yuh-huh! Do I want to have peace, living in the moment until then? Seriously. You have to ask?

A part of me- the tired part who’s been fighting so long- wants to scoff at this quote and say that it doesn’t apply to people who are looking to obtain their general HEALTH back. I mean, that should be, like, our birthright. But the other part- the part who’s learning how to find hope and meaning in all of this- tells me that it DOES apply to me.

It’s really easy to sit back and try and find distractions that will make you feel, even if just for a moment, like you’re in the famous Family Guy skit: “Ooh, piece of candy!” And the more “candy” you find, the more you want to make that fleeting feeling of happiness last. But that’s just the point. IT WON’T. (Just watch what happens in the link above!) Why won’t it work? Because it’s a band-aid over a Sarlacc-sized hole.

And okay, I can hear you cynics out there. Alright, hot shot, what do I do to find my “inner peace”, huh? (Is it weird I just pictured Harrison Ford saying that from the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon?)

Well, here’s how I see it. Our “coming-of-age” story can happen at any time in our lives. Who says it’s just for doe eyed teens learning to make their way in the world? That’s like saying life isn’t hard after 25. WRONG! So if my “piece of candy” is my health, then what I really want, as I do everything possible to get it back, is…

To relax. To have peace. To BELIEVE that everything’s going to work out okay. And, what I’m learning is most important: to KNOW that I can contribute grace and beauty to the world even without the use of my legs. These are the things I can take with me no matter what happens.

So while this does NOT mean I’m going to stop fighting for my “normal” life back, I guess I’m realizing it won’t mean as much when I get it if I don’t learn how to reckon with my inner Foda first.

If you’re reading this, you may be going through a rough time, like me. Or maybe you went through something in the past, and read this blog because you can relate. Whatever your reason, I hope you take a minute and really think about what your deepest desire is. I thought mine was to have a healthy body- and that’s true- but the real underlying desire is to have peace, and freedom from worry. And pursing that is a choice I’m going to have to make over, and over, and over again.

But hey- Luke didn’t use the Force right on his first time either… (Especially if you believe this hilarious video spoof.)

Namaste,

The Foda

Pssst…. over here! I promised in my bio: The Birth of The Foda that I would never talk medical stuff with you, but many people have asked what it’s like to have Lyme Disease. Here is a WONDERFUL, informative, non-scary article written by a woman named Shannon Donegan called “Ten Things To Know When Someone In Your Life Has Lyme.” Please read and share. I know many Lymies who have agreed that this is EXACTLY what it’s like. Thanks to Shannon for letting me post it!

Episode XIX: And The Crowd Goes Wild!

Episode XIX

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!”

-Chumbawamba

 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?

Go Team,

The Foda