Bread Tanning

ToastersI love this meme. “Dude, toasters are like tanning beds for bread.” The thing that sometimes catches me a little off guard is that I laugh, but then follow that up with “but that is really kind of the truth.” Since writing my last blog, I have one more final exam and I will be finished with the spring semester of classes. I thoroughly enjoyed both classes, and I was able to spend a lot of time learning more about myself and what my core values are through participation in my Ethics and Society class. I am looking forward to public speaking class in the summer and a microbiology class in the fall to round out my general education classes for my RN degree. That will be when the stress kicks in; core classes.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it will be ok; I just have to focus and study and balance work and school and family life. Thousands of people do it every day. I don’t even feel extra special because I carry Parkinson’s to that table either; lots of people overcome adversity to pursue their dreams, and some of those adversities are way bigger than mine.  As a side note, people have told me that they are proud of me for going back to school while struggling through PD and that they admire my courage, but I am really not any more special than anyone else. I kindly thank them, but know that they are as special as I am because they took the time to encourage me. So what is stressing me so much?

First, it is this tremendous pressure I put on myself to not just be successful, but to be the best. My competitive nature pushes me to work harder, train harder, to keep looking for bigger competitive activities, and second best is not an acceptable effort for me. I often wear out the quote that Ricky Bobby’s dad used: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”  Now please don’t visit the later part in the movie where he said he was high when he said it and that the quote didn’t make any since because there is second place, third place, and so on.  In school, I strive for the A. The problem is that sacrifice comes with that, and at a point in my life when I am realizing that so many more things and people hold tremendous value in my life (yeah, those neuro disorder diagnoses with lifelong implications change your perspective), what am I willing to let be sacrificed for being the best in school? Is second place ok? How about third? I once heard a student remark that the “C” nurse gets paid the same as the “A” nurse; the only thing that matters is the license. But if I am the patient, the question I have to ask is “am I ok with the “C” nurse?”

But the other stress comes in when I consider second or third place being ok (and trust me, it really is). My other stress though is saying to myself that my PD gave me a different perspective and my PD also gives me specific challenges for school and my PD, has made me accept second or third, or may even be the reason I can’t be first. A lot of well-intending people would agree with me, and even tell me that I was courageous for even trying. Nope, sorry, PD is not going to get that satisfaction. Many of you know that I rode in a bike ride that was 30 miles for children’s cancer (at least if you have ever read my blog). Crazy thing is, I wasn’t the first or second or even the third finisher. But the great thing was that I was a finisher, a finisher without walking, a finisher without regret, and a finisher with PD. But the very best thing was that I rode a ride for children’s cancer, for a camp that gives hope to so many children, a camp named Smile-A-Mile, and for that, I gave my complete best and can accept that. The catch is now I want to ride more and ride longer distances and have started spending more money on a bike, jersey’s equipment, etc. Oh well, it’s all for a good cause, right? And not to mention the extensive studies done on biking and the benefits it has for PD.

So realizing that, my measurement for being the best really doesn’t rely on first or second or even 7th; my measurement for being the best is knowing that I put forth all of the effort and heart I had to accomplish something, regardless of excuses or diseases or reasons why I should not have been able to, and that I finished. Period. I finished, and left my heart in whatever I was trying to accomplish. So no matter what you set out to do, be sure you use the right measurement for being the top finisher. Don’t believe me? Check out folks like Christian Banda IG @bandabuilt and Allie Topperwein IG @litwithindotcom and scores of others who are doing just that. Impact your crazy little world with your touch of craziness, and give it your best! And definitely apply sunscreen to the sensitive areas of your bread slices before you subject them to the toaster. Tanning beds can damage the crust.

#noquit #justbe #bike2live  #fitforlife #50fit #gymlife #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons #cyclepaths #campsam #nevergiveup #keeppushing


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