|Team Zoë Cancer Sucks||
Just a little over a month since Zoë had passed, we were pretty frazzled, but we knew we wanted to continue her battle. Thank you to Charter TV3 and Hank Stolz for helping us with our mission. In hind site, I wish I had more media training, because I was nervous. I wouldn't admit it that day, but it clearly shows. Watch the whole episode or fast forward to 19:55 to see us!
Thank you to my friend, Katie, at GoPro, who recently donated a GoPro Hero3 Silver edition camera to Team Zoë Athletics. You have made a good lot of people very happy!
What is Team Zoë Athletics? Originally Team Zoë Cancer Sucks dot com was started to keep the family and friends abreast of Zoë's health and progress. After Zoë passed away, we decided to start the Zoë Faye Foundation to continue to honor my baby girl by striking back at MRT and pediatric cancer anyway possible, and as a remembrance to the little girl who touched so many lives.
As time continues to pass, I want to encourage people that time is precious. The gift of time is in the present. Right now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. What we do now in the moment, as the seconds and minutes move along, will determine the whole shape of our lives. I also want to remind everyone, myself included, that there are factors in the quality of our lives that are within our control and some that are out of our control. Team Zoë Athletics is an amateur athletic team designed to get people moving literally off the couch and towards a healthier, higher quality life. Some health conditions are unavoidable, and others such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers can be prevented by eating well and exercise. I chose to fight for my beautiful daughters, Zoë and Esmée, and for the health of my friends and family, and friends who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting . In the process, with our new GoPro Hero3 Silver edition, I look forward to capturing good people moving towards healthier, happier lives.
This YouTube video must have been somewhere over the rainbow. That must be the explanation for why I have not seen it before tonight--more than a year after it was published online! It is very beautiful and I cannot thank the author enough for taking the time to create it and for sharing it with the world. It seems so long long ago that Zoë left us, but each day I can't help but be reminded of her courage and strength. I know that Esmée is not Zoë, but they are sisters and Esmée just started to smile on her own this week. I am so happy to see that she has Zoë's smile. It's a beautiful thing! Thank you again, 30Jenny, for the video. I love your selection of pictures--well done!
When Dr. Repassy of Repassy Medical in Natick, MA started a "kindness tree" in her office, people would write a little blurb on a piece of paper about how one's kindness affected them, or how they were kind to another and pin it on the branches. Each piece of paper with the different sentiments now fill the tree with leaves of kindness. The following is something I wrote a month or two ago but pinned on the tree today. I'll post pictures soon to show how the quotes and stories give life and leaves to the tree.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes Kindness this way: the quality or state of being kind.
Kindness is synonymous with benevolence, grace, and service.
No behavior is greater or superior than a life of service to others. We do not have to give a lot in order to be kind to another or to serve. Sometimes the little things have the most impact. A couple words spoken with sincerity over a moment’s time can really improve another’s mental and physical health. A few well-chosen words can remove all doubt. They have the power turn stress into a vapor. They can lift us up and encourage us to achieve great success.
A few years ago I was just having a terrible day. It seemed that nothing was going to make me happy. I felt that at any moment I would spit acid and breathe fire on anyone who looked at me the wrong. That was before I walked through the front door of 7-11 to pay for my gas. A man, around my own age, stopped me for a second on his way out, “Hey, nice tee shirt!” I was wearing one of my favorite tee shirts that day, and for a brief moment I wanted to yell at him, to tell him to get out of my way, but his nice comment was genuine and it distracted me from my rotten mood long enough that a smile broke across my face. “Thanks!” The day ended a hundred times better than it had started. He had no idea what a great thing he did for me. His kind gesture made me feel really good. It is now eight years later and the story continues to make me smile. The lesson I learned was that that my words and actions no matter how large or small can make someone’s day.
My friend, Brad, jumped at the opportunity to design the Team Zoë Tough Mudder tee shirt. I originally approached him to complete this task, because I recognize Brad as a kindred warrior spirit, battling for honor and integrity in a tough world. He also has a strong understanding of Japanese culture and the historical Japanese warrior clans, which I personally find appealing and exciting. While Team Zoë continues to grow, seven ambitious members are raising awareness of Malignant Rhabdoid Tumors and improving their health by training for the Tough Mudder and other "mud" races. We need a powerful mascot to guide us through the obstacles and challenges of the Tough Mudder and through life. These two warrior owls are our candidates for a limited edition Team Zoë Tough Mudder tee shirt. Your vote will help us determine the 2013 Boston Tough Mudder Champion! Please vote and share with your friends!
I read once that if you woke up today, you are having a good day. No matter what--if you have a flat tire, or your team didn't win the big game, or anything. If you woke up, you are alive! Yet, so many people are stuck in the past, or a prisoner to fantasies of the future. You cannot unlock days gone by, and the future holds unfulfilled promises. Are you living in the moment? I am not talking about going off the handle and quitting your job or quitting life and doing every fancy you have at any given second, or changing mental directions as quickly as the wind turns. I mean, are you aware of yourself in the moment. Do you know what makes you happy and actively pursue that happiness? If you are in a place in life where you do not feel happiness or appreciation, get out of there right now! Life is too short and too precious!! Life is too short and too precious!! I am repeating myself with a good reason. If you didn't catch my message, let me repeat it again. Life is too short and too precious!! Start living. Right now! Carpe Diem! Every day you wake up. You don't live once! You live every second of your life. Every moment offers you a choice. Which one are you making?
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” John Lennon
18 Months ago, my wife taught me how joy and fulfillment felt when she delivered my first daughter, Zoë. Three days ago, Laura delivered my second daughter, Esmée Skye Young, and let me tell you, she is beautiful!! How is it possible to set eyes on another human and know with all your heart that you love that person with every fiber with your being!
Well, I will always remember driving Zoë home in my car that first time, listening to Jack Johnson cover The White Stripes, "We are going to be friends." Moments ago I wiped down the car seat mount with Lysol wipes and am getting ready to chauffeur my wife and daughter home from UMass Memorial. How good it feels to know that once again my home will be filled with the sounds and love of a child. Two times now, my wife has shown me the beauty and wonder having a family. My heart is truly full of joy and fulfillment. I love you, Laura! Thank you for being my counter part, my better half!
Three months ago, I felt extremely unhappy about my weight. I used to be able to eat anything I want and burn it off before the extra calories had the opportunity to register on the scale. Those days passed when I turned thirty. Each year, I added on extra pounds. It bothered me and I would try to eat smarter, and workout a little harder. I didn't receive the results I wanted because in my twenties I conditioned myself to eat massive plates of food, and of course seconds. I just can't out train my diet anymore. When I weighed in at 220, I thought, "hey,look at me, I CAN gain weight." and I liked that I had a pudgy stomach. I thought of myself affectionately as the "Fat Elvis." But then I weighed 230 and I thought, oh, any day now, I'll walk this weight right off. At 240, I felt concerned, but didn't take the necessary steps to getting back on track. 250, I felt like my weight and my eating habits were in a crisis. I felt out of control. 260 came and I surrendered to complacency and accepted that my weight was just a part of my daily life. But when I weighed 267 three months ago, I decided to make changes and commit to my decision. I started P90X. In 90 days, I slimmed down noticeably, I can fit in clothes that i bought brand new in 2009 and quickly outgrew. Unfortunately I didn't take the before pictures of my body, but I know from looking at myself and the comments I get from people that I have lost a lot of body fat, and gained muscle. I can do more push ups now then I ever could in "the best shape of my life." I lost 24 pounds in three months. I am not finished yet. this personal victory empowers me, and I'm glad that I can announce it on the year anniversary of my daughter killing her cancer. I am not going to stop here. Today is my first day of P90X round two!!! Bring It!!!