By Tim E. Renzelmann (January 5, 2021)
As I watched some of the New Year’s Eve programming last week, one particular commercial caught my attention. A spoken word artist walked onto a stage and recited:
When they told me my work wasn’t essential, walls enclosed around me with the words “You can’t do this” tattooed to its surface. An unshakeable feeling. Pressure that swelled beyond my capable strength.
How do I break through alone?
I don’t! The strength to break through has always been built together.
Crafted with the people who stand beside us.
This ad, for the University of Phoenix, brought my thoughts to ST&BF program and the survivor-athletes who faced the COVID-19 challenges of 2020.
To some, the events and activities of ST&BF may not be considered “essential.” But for many of us survivor-athletes... “essential” may be an understatement!
And those last two sentences...
“The strength to break through has always been built together. Crafted by the people who stand beside us.”
... I can’t think of a better way to describe ST&BF throughout 2020! We were never alone. We got through it TOGETHER!
You can view the ad here:
The next day (New Year’s Day) I had scheduled several individual row sessions for members of the ST&BF Indoor Row Group. Traditionally, we would have had a group rowing session on the first of the year, but COVID-19 prevented that tradition this year. While the IRG survivor-athletes rowed in our second-floor conference room, I tried to learn more about this commercial and spoken word artist, so I turned to Google. I did not find what I was looking for... but I, rather serendipitously, came across a video titled “Blueprint for a Breakthrough” by featuring Shane Koyczan that you can find here:
His message was, as Shane described, “Like doctors making house calls doing their best to give me the right medicine at the right time.” It was the perfect message for me on this particular New Year! It is filled with many poignant reminders that seem particularly relevant at this very moment in history.
“The worst property of pain is not that it hurts. It’s that it’s completely normal.” - Shane Koyczan
So maybe 2020 was more normal than I realized.
“Stop waiting for your life to be normal. It already is. The hard times are part of it.” - Shane Koyczan
2021, which will surely be full of pleasure and pain, good times and bad, joys and sorrows... will also be normal. And that’s okay.
“Be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now. Let go.” – Shane Koyczan
“Check your blind spot. See that love is still there.” – Shane Koyczan
Join us on Wednesday, January 6th at 630P or on Wednesday, January 13th at 900A at our first two VIRTUAL Local Cancer Community Updates where, together, we will watch this message and share our thoughts. If you want to check it beforehand... feel free! I have watched it several times since New Year’s Day... and every time I glean more from it!