Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye Farrah

Celebrities pass away all the time. It's sad, we remember their movies, their scandals, their awards, but since I don't know these people except through the characters they play on screen, I usually don't cry. But I find myself very, very saddened by the passing of Farrah Fawcett a few hours ago (though inevitable), and was even surprised at the tears I shed.

I wanted so much for her to win this battle with cancer; not only for herself, that she recover from the pain and misery of this insidious disease, but I was hoping that through a full - though doubtful - recovery, she'd become the Lance Armstrong of celebrities, a symbol of hope and strength for others out there suffering.

Farrah put up such a valiant fight. I didn't watch her documentary about her struggles last month but I heard a lot about it. We don't have TV but I plan to try to watch it online the first opportunity I get. I have never been star-struck. I hate celebrity magazines, I barely know the names of many actors and actresses people talk about all the time. I just don't get what the fascination is with celebrities and their every move, divorce, birth, new fashion, latest faux pas, whatever.

But when I was in my teens, I loved Farrah Fawcett. I had the "doo" in high school and carefully flipped back my hair with my curling iron every day. (I think Farrah was responsible for more curling iron sales than any other model!) I loved Charlie's Angels that first year (didn't care as much for Cheryl Ladd). My brothers had that famous Farrah poster with her big hair and big toothy smile up on their walls for most of my high-school years. Even back then I was wondering what she was doing with that Lee Majors guy.

So when I heard the news this morning that she lost her fight, I couldn't stop the flow of tears. Me? I don't cry when celebrities die!

I follow the Fat Cyclist blog, a very funny blogger (when he's writing about cycling, that is) whose wife Susan is in the midst of a painful battle with cancer. When he talks about their travails with the cancer, he holds nothing back when he describes her pain, her doctor's visits, her ups and downs, the impact on their lives. As a result of his posts and willingness to bare his life and soul, I (and tens of thousands of other readers) know more about the horrors of cancer than I ever thought possible (without having a close loved one go through it). My grandmother recovered from breast cancer surgery in the late 50's before I was born (back when they took out ALL the lymph nodes when doing mastectomies), and suffered pain all her life. I've known others, but not people very close to me.

So until it hits someone close, or *gasp* us, we often fall into the "it'll never happen to me" syndrome. Don't get me wrong, I don't condone worrying about cancer, or focusing on it, because I believe in the Law of Attraction. What you focus on you attract. But that doesn't mean we can or should remain ignorant or indifferent, or that we can eat willy-nilly anything we want or put products on our skin that might be carcinogenic. But we can all participate in the efforts to find a cure for cancer, by using the Law of Attraction, your prayers (however you personally define them and utilize them), as well as our wallets.

Give, give, give to organizations that are working towards finding a cure. Support legislation to fund cancer research and care for patients and families. My efforts in the Giretto were for the Lance Armstrong foundation (3 of us raised over $10K using grass roots efforts!), and I'll be doing more rides and events in the future if you're looking for a place to donate! ;-)

Better yet, sign up to ride or run in one of the Livestrong Challenge events, or create a Spinning event around finding a cure for cancer.

When we all continue to work together, I know finding a cure will happen in our generation!

EDIT 5:00 pm
I guess I need to add a goodbye to Michel Jackson. It wasn't cancer, but an alleged cardiac arrest. Now, at the risk of dating myself even more here, those of you who have been involved fitness since the 80's like me (and if so, you either had the same Farrah haircut or had a sister/friend who did) will also fondly remember how Michael Jackson's music influenced not only the world's dance floors, but the aerobics industry as well. Ah! I wish I had photos of me in the teal unitard with the fuscia thong, and the legwarmers and headband, high kicking and grapevining to Michael Jackson's Thriller or Beat It!

Although you won't find much MJ in my Spinning playlists these days, it's safe to say that there's not a generation out there that won't start taping their fingers when a classic MJ song comes on. If I were teaching tomorrow (I've got a sub since I'm flying to Philly for a Spinning training weekend) I'd certainly do an MJ dedication. Maybe I will in next Wednesday's class. Stay tuned...

EDIT again...
Just read the following on my nephew's Facebook page:
Michael Jackson's not dead. He's just preparing for his last concert. He's gonna perform Thriller as an ACTUAL ZOMBIE!


Shannon said...

An honorable post about a disease we've all known someone has suffered from.

Anonymous said...

Going to pay tribute to MJ tomorrow:

SETUP - Human Nature
WU - Come Together
J - Rockin Robin
SF/STF/RECOVERY - Will You Be There
SC/STC - The Way You Make Me Feel
RECOVER/SF - Shake Your Body
SC/STC - Thriller
SC/SURGEs - Beat It
CD - Man In The Mirror
STRETCH - Got To Be There