Thanks to LymeeLizi at YouTube for this.
In just a few weeks I’ll be headed to sunny central Florida to perform my act at the 2012 Lake County Fair. (Check them out at lakecofair.com) This will be my second year in a row performing my Street Magic LIVE! act with them.
Last year when I performed for them, I was a new father. My son, Nathan was just turning 5 months old. When Nathan arrived, Sara and I, were so grateful that he was healthy. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Arms. Legs. Etc. Check. All accounted for. In fact we were so grateful that we felt called to give back and remember those children who are in the fight of their lives every day.
So I got in contact with the great people at the Florida Hospital for Children to offer to come perform a show for the kids who are patients in the hospital. They were thrilled.
When it came time to perform the show I was nervous. I’ve performed in front VIPs of Fortune 500 companies and in front of thousands of people. Yet I was never as nervous as I was for the dozen or so kids in that room. These were special kids and they needed an amazing show.
I’ll never forget that show. The kids laughed. They smiled. And for 30 minutes, they weren’t sick. They didn’t have cancer or any other disease. They were hooked up to an IV drip. Their conditions weren’t terminal.
As I drove back to my hotel that morning I was a bit choked up. Those little warriors gave a new definition to what it was to find your win. Some were battling to get better. Some were battling to the end. All of them were still kids. They still wanted to smile. To laugh and to be happy.
If you want to see true courage, look into the eyes of children like these and ask yourself, “What can we learn from them?”
What started initially as a one time event is expanding. My goal is to perform for the kids at local children’s hospitals across America. Anywhere on my tour if they have a children’s hospital, I’ll be in touch with them. It’s not that it’s my gift to them. No, not at all. After the first time performing I realized that just being in the presence of this children is a gift.
In just a few weeks I’ll be back in sunny central Florida and I’m looking forward to returning to see the kids at the Florida Hospital for Children.
“It’s not lack of resources. It’s lack of resourcefulness.” – Tony Robbins
In talking to their coordinator, Meagan, I was shocked to find out that she struggles to get programs in the hospital for the kids. Because of the economic downturn many organizations have cut back visiting the hospital. That was devastating for me to hear.
Knowing that I couldn’t be a regular at the hospital from across the country I called on my resources in the central Florida area. I called up my friend, Tony Brent, and explained the situation. He was absolutely adamant about getting in touch with the hospital.
In the last year, Tony has been able to visit the hospital every month and perform his wild and zany magic and silly antics. (Sidenote: You too can see Tony’s antics at his Outta Control Magic Show at Wonderworks on I-Drive in Orlando.)
What can we do?
All of us have an opportunity to make life better for these amazing children. Please contact your local children’s hospital and discuss donations and volunteer activities. Even if you’re not able to do a program for the children, someone you know might be able to. That’s being resourceful and that will make a difference in their lives.
For more information on the Florida Hospital for Children Walt Disney Pavilion, please visit their website at FloridaHospitalforChildren.com or call (407) 303-KIDS.
When I was first diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis I had already been living with pain for almost two years. Initially I kept telling myself the searing pain in my foot was from an injury I had when I landed badly on my foot two years earlier.
I couldn’t tell you why I was in denial. My mother has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was young so it stands to reason that my pain would also be arthritis.
I hurt so bad that most days I couldn’t get out of bed until noon or later.
I was becoming depressed.
I laid in bed gently trying to stretch my feet out so I could put weight on them and stand up. I hated what I had become.
This sequence of events isn’t unique to people facing chronic pain. This is the same sequence of events that faces people with financial troubles, marital problems, job problems and more. It’s very normal to become depressed when we face very difficult challenges.
For me, I knew deep down that I could not live my life like this. Then came one moment. One instant flash of time in which I made a decision that would change my life.
I accepted responsibility for my disease management.
That doesn’t mean that I accepted that having arthritis was my fault. What it means is that I accepted that whether I liked it or not the arthritis was not going away and only I could do what was necessary to fight it. My friends and family could help me all the wanted. But the decision to responsibly fight this disease was all up to me.
The decision came without pomp and circumstance. There were no fireworks. No marching band. No parade. Once I made the decision, my feet still hurt. The pain still shot jolts of fire into my brain.
Yet I stopped digging the hole and for the first time in two years, looked up and knew I would climb out.
It was an empowering, comforting and reassuring moment for me. It was the first time in two years that I felt some level of confidence and peace in my life.
We must all take responsibility for our own care. No one is going to just show up one day, snap their fingers, and bingo, you’re better. It just doesn’t work out that way.
What we can do is rebuild our dignity by standing up and accepting that it is our own responsibility to find a solution to whatever our situation is. Only then can we wake up every morning prepared to win.
In the #FindYourWin segment tonight I want to give a shout out to my friend Barb from the UK (@RASucks on Twitter). On March 13 she posted a blog about the anxiety we all seem to face when self-injecting medications. She bravely took an idea I’d previously mentioned and video taped an injection for all to see. (Note: It’s safe for all eyes).
Check out her PSA butt kicking blog right here: http://www.walkinginmyshadow.blogspot.com/2012_03_01_archive.html
Want to be mentioned in the Find Your Win Blog? Simply post your win on Twitter and tag it with #FindYourWin. We’ll select submission to mention here.
Hello. I’m Robert Smith.
I want to welcome you to the blog for Find Your Win. The goal for this blog is to share ideas, information and hopefully a bit of inspiration.
As the blog gets going I’ll be sharing interviews, personal stories and videos of the challenges of finding a win everyday.
In my case it can be especially challenging as I’m balancing (like many of you), a career, a family and fighting psoriatic arthritis (PSA).
Perhaps the biggest challenge is fighting a crippling joint disease with my chosen career – being a magician.
Listen, whether you have a chronic auto-immune condition such as PSA, lupus, juvenile arthritis (JLA), or whether you’re facing any given challenge in life, there will be something for you on this blog.
We all face our given challenges everyday. I’m hoping this blog will help you find your win.