Monday, June 9, 2014

I Should Be Committed

“F*** Cancer, Woo!” I heard as I rounded the corner.  “F*** Cancer,” came the reply off in the distance.  It was almost 4:00 in the morning when I heard these calls.  My arm lifted as if it had a mind of its own and I found myself yelling out “F*** Cancer!  Woo-hoo!” in solidarity, as if in a dreamlike state.  We were some of the remaining 800 plus people that still had the energy to keep walking, as was part of the commitment made many hours earlier.  11 hours is a long time to commit to keeping in motion after having spent a full day at school or at work.  I kept thinking that I could make it, only another hour and a half to go.  People I know were telling me to sit for a few minutes to talk.  However, I knew that placing my derriere down on any object, whether it was soft and comfortable or hard and unfriendly, the rest of my body would lapse into a semi-comatose state and my commitment to walk until the closing ceremonies would be over for me.

Almost every Friday night for the past 14 plus years, I have spent playing with our band, Mystery Train (some online samples – for audio: or for video: ), first at my house, and over the last few years at my brother’s home.  We start at 10:00 and play until 1:30-ish.  That is 10 at night until 1:30 in the morning…sometimes later.  We play out occasionally, and always at our own parties.  Some people work out to refresh their minds of the stresses of the day-to-day.  We play music.  This means I am not the most in shape of people – good at music, bad at exercise.  So, how did I end up walking around a high school track until sunrise? 

I was approached by a Relay for Life team captain in my town of Paramus.  Having lost my mother to cancer 18 years ago, lost an Uncle years ago, having a cousin, friends and a sister-in-law as survivors, I understand raising monies to fight cancer and made the commitment to join the team.  Based on the people in my life, I can fully support eradicating this is one disease from the face of the earth.  At the opening ceremonies, a high school freshman told of his battle with cancer – A HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN!  In my youth, I would have thought that older people made poor choices that led to sickness (e.g., cancer), from smoking, poor eating habits, etc.  A youth cannot have the time to make the bad choices that can lead to life altering sicknesses.  Relay for Life, for me, was an easy choice to help by committing my time to the walk and to helping raise money.  Of course, when the team captain that approached you is your wife, backed up by her co-captain, may daughter, I knew this was the right choice. We do do this as a family (ha, ha – I said doodoo) because we believe that this is an important thing to commit to.  When the closing ceremonies finished, we all had a great sense of accomplishment at having made it to the end…even if a certain keyboardist did sneak off for band practice from 10:30 to 1:30…