My professional goal is to share my messages – all derived from my life with kidney failure and cardiac failure.
I believe that my second chance at life – to survive the cardiac arrest in 2011 – was the definitive sign that I have something to share. I see this goal – using writing, public speaking and advocacy – being the reason I am lucky enough to be alive.
I was blessed to come back (to life) because I had more work to do. This personal philosophy gives me a lot of peace . . . but pressure too.
Recently there have been other patient advocates on my radar. A few in particular doing amazing physical things to further prove their points and draw a lot of media attention to themselves. (Not to mention, to give them amazing, fulfilling lives too.)
I love them. I am inspired personally but professionally too.
They know that the bigger the challenge they set for themselves the more they will attract positive attention. With the attention they will be able to get the exposure that helps them to raise aware on their causes and to fundraise. Even informally taking their places as spokespeople.
One example, Shad Ireland, completed the Ironman triathlon despite doing dialysis!!
Another advocate, Aurora Colello, overcame Multiple Sclerosis by becoming a marathon runner – amongst other things.
Amazing examples!! Very inspiring.
But . . . is that my path as an advocate?
Can I complete something that physically outstanding to add further validity to my “sick to fit” story?
I’m not sure??
For starters, I don’t think my body is capable of the level of physical stress necessary to be a professional or extreme athlete.
Yes, it’s important to draw positive attention to myself to create a more powerful professional platform but certainly not at the expense of my life!!
Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to work hard in the gym and keep myself in great shape. My goal ultimately is to be in fitness model shape. Unfortunately that does not tie in well with having a major operation (looming in the future) – so this goal has to wait until I’m cleared to go back to the gym, post-new kidney.
I do feel fit enough to do photos now – especially if I could get in two solids weeks of hitting the gym in before the cameras came out.
And I’ve share some fitness progress photos on here in the past. (Thanks for the positive feedback on that, btw.)
So I can say I am extremely proud of the progress I’ve made so far in proving my exceptional level of fitness from a physical standpoint.
In my case, however, I have to trust that my story . . . (and how deep I dig to tell my story) will have to suffice for me to get my point across.
It puts almost ALL of the onus on me.
On the other hand, I will be forced to learn how to tell my story best.
To find out what resonates with people? What are the most important points?
And learn how can I best share my story to have the biggest impact.
Definitely a challenge but worth the work.