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Life Is What You Make It – Unless…

You’re a young child.

I’m a big listener of business books and self-improvement/leadership books on One of the recurring themes of success stories and case studies is that successful people and organizations make the best of what they are given (or faced with).

The thought occurred to me Saturday morning as I was returning from my walk pushing Boy in the stroller – he was completely passed out for the previous 40 minutes so I had a lot of time to listen and ponder – when I realized that his life is what WE make it. He can’t, at this point in his young life, “make” anything of any situation. The best a toddler can do is figure out some way to cope with a bad situation and are oblivious to any sense of having a superb life.

Ellie May Carbon Fiber LegsIf you’re reading this, though, you can make things out of what you’re dealt with. There comes a point in everyone’s lives where they have the ability to look at the situation they are in and make a conscious decision to look for/at the bright side, overcome restrictions or constraints, and become a stronger, better person than they would be without such an experience.

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brands, is dyslexic. So severely so, he was discounted in school and had to learn from comic books and constantly use tutors in college. He’s not alone, as there are hundreds of success stories like his about people who have overcome, nay – harnessed, their problems, failures, and disabilities to become household names or hidden creatures who have shaped the world we live in today.

Unless you’re a child who can’t grasp what it is to look adversity in the face and slap it silly, slit its throat, or blow its brains out, you have a choice to make when adversity does its thing.

What kind of person are you? Are you going to let CF stand in your way of doing something great or are you going to lie down and give up?

I’d rather live a life worth having than a life spent wishing.

You Want to Eat Like Me?

You Want to Eat Like Me?

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If you’ve got cystic fibrosis, then you’ve heard this or something like it before:

“I wish I could eat like you without becoming a fat cow.”

As for me, I’ve heard it well over 100 times in my 33 years on this planet. I know people don’t mean anything disrespectful by it, but put it in perspective using another issue.

It’s like telling someone in a wheelchair that it must be nice to not have to stand in a long line.

Surround yourself with those who understand or educate those who do care about you that saying such things hurt your feelings. They’ll understand.

If they don’t, they’re not someone you want to have close enough to influence your thinking.

Turning Back the Clock

Turning back the clockYesterday was my hospitalization follow-up from my blockage at the beginning of March. We’ve been really looking forward to it to see how much impact Spiriva and my exercising has made on my PFTs.

If you’ve been following some of my posts on Facebook, I’ve walked and ran 60.9 miles in 60 days. I started by just walking 1/2 mile. Then I upped it to 1 mile and soon added running 100′ or so for a week. Then I upped to 200′ for a week. I’m now able to run (a good 8-minute mile pace) for 1/4 mile and several shorter jogs on my 1.5 mile route. Some days are just for walking and taking photos at an easy pace, just to get out and clear my mind.

I love my new routine, but how much does it like me?

I was really pumped to get my PFT results, so we made our guesses ahead of time. I said I felt like a 46% and Beautiful said 40%. She was saving 42% for me because those who know me know I’m a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, so 42 is my favorite number, so she changed her guess to 42% when I didn’t claim it.

I took my first blow somewhat relaxed so I didn’t tighten up and constrict my flow.

39% – my number twice in 2011 and my second to last result. Not bad, up from 35%.

Then I decided to give it a huge effort and blow as hard as I could.


For my last blow, I concentrated on keeping everything wide and open [Read more…]

American Idol Season 11 – Top 12 Predictions

Well, wasn’t that exciting?! Jermaine Jones has been booted from the competition due to multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest in New Jersey. I can just imagine how those cops were gnashing their teeth to see him living the high life on national TV in Los Angeles. We were both surprised that there weren’t cops waiting for him outside his hotel to extradite him. The judges say that one still has to go tonight in a field that is now down to 11. Neither of us are really sure that will be the case, since doing so would mean that their broadcast schedule will be out of whack if they don’t skip one week, but they may very well do that later in the season, if not tonight.

We also hotly debated the return of last week’s non-save of Jeremy Rosado. I’d love to see him come back because I wanted Jermaine to leave last week – such a shame! Shameful!

On to the performances in 2 categories: Hot and Not.

Hot (in order of hotness to “not-ness”)

Hollie Cavanaugh – Girl, did you just blow a Celine Dion song out of the box or what?! Utterly speechless. I just got full body goosebumps again as I watched the video I’m embedding below.

 Joshua Ledet – That was nearly as good as Hollie. The judges thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, but I think his motions are just a little out of control. Going solely on audio, though, they were neck and neck.

Erika Van Pelt – Her hair totally transformed her appearance and her voice was from another world from the last two weeks’ performances. She’s back in the race.

Colton Dixon – I loved this rendition of a song I’ve never heard of. It was done just the way it should be done: performance first. It was end of the season quality. I pulled the Dawg’s “what? what?” twice during the song.

Phillip Phillips – I think that he’s got a mild mutation of CF. First, he was born with 4″ of his small intestine dead. Then they showed that he nonchalantly told Jimmy and that he was going to surgery (that practice night) for kidney stones and then performed without a hitch. He’s gotta be a CFer… what a trooper.


Heejun Han – My season’s dude favorite fell on his face with this one. That’s one of my favorite 80s songs and it just wasn’t his style. I hope he sticks around, but he’s going to have to rely on fan votes, not popular votes.

Jessica Sanchez – The song was too fast and was totally not a good fit. When will people learn to pick songs that fit them? /sigh Such a fall from grace that she earned last week.

Elise Testone – I predict that the duet with Obama will be Elise’s death knell. Is it too much to ask to not have politics thrown in our face during our most treasured leisure activities? Apparently so.

Deandre Brackensick – He just makes me sick. When is he going to get out of his boy voice. I actually said something a lot meaner last night, but Beautiful said it was too mean for public consumption. I’ll just say that if he hits that falsetto again, I’ll give him a reason to sing that high, because he’s an embarrassment to men everywhere.

In trouble

Heejun, Elise, Jessica

Going home

Elise Testone