I don’t know where I stumbled on her, but Kris Carr’s story resonates with me. She has written some books about health and about the care and feeding of her cancer. She found out she had/has cancer about 10 years ago and that it was terminal and non-operable. And then she seemed to have been struck by a bolt of lightening which transformed her into what she now calls the CEO of her own health. Her books all seem to have the words “Crazy Sexy” in their titles – exactly how she looks in her photos. She is crazy sexy, but she uses these words to describe all of the actions she is taking to be fully, wholly, healthfully herself.
I ordered her book “Crazy Sexy Diet.” I don’t even know why. From what I’d read about it it’s the bible on how to have incredible health by being a vegetarian (or vegan) and eating lots of raw food. I’ve been a vegetarian all of my life so I don’t know what I was looking for when I ordered the book. There was actually very little in the book that I didn’t already know having been a health food aficionado since I was about 10. But the book is amazing. Not only is it filled with great quirky photos, slogans, goofy typefaces, tons of information delivered in totally digestible language, but it is filled with passion, authenticity and a determination to live. What I learned about Kris Carr, who I’ve never met, is that she has totally accepted where she is in life and is living it in full living color.
The parallels between her life and mine are not obvious. But I’m always looking for heroes, for people who model a life that looks worth living when they have been dealt a difficult hand. Kris seems to have done this. I have no idea whether she has succeeded in stopping or slowing down her cancer, but as she says, that is not really the point. She decided to go for it, to learn everything she could about health, to practice it, to talk about it with others and to write about it in a way that people could relate to. I don’t have cancer, but a loss of the magnitude I’ve experienced may very well be akin to cancer. There is something going on inside me that could very well kill me if it does not make me stronger. Major grief has a whole pile of symptoms, including the lack of a will to live (not always but often enough to seem like it’s a permanent feeling), and difficulty in seeing a future. Well, someone with stage 4 terminal cancer might very well have these or similar symptoms.
So, I’ve chosen to read Kris Carr’s story to try to find the parallels. I don’t know if eating even more green food than I eat or cutting out the very few bad habits I have regarding health are going to change my life. But I know there is something for me to learn here.
I read Mark Pollack’s blog too, for the very same reason. He lost his site at 22 and then became a professional adventure athlete. And then nearly two years ago he fell from a window and became paralyzed from the waist down, as if he didn’t already have enough of a physical challenge to overcome. He is another one of my heroes as I watch him redefining himself with yet another challenge that most of us would find totally daunting. I don’t know if I will ever become particularly adventurous in the physical sense, but I do find his refusal to give up inspiring. And it makes me want to look for greater and greater adventure!
I need to redefine myself just as these two role models have done. I want to think of my loss and new self as beauty marks, as Kris refers to her tumors. I want to see myself as fit and whole, as Mark does, even if I am handicapped by my missing piece, my lost child. We all have different challenges, missing things or too much of something. But all we know is our own. I’ve found a few people who have illuminated my darkness by their commitment to life. I guess that I hope that in some way I might brighten up someone else’s dark moments by demonstrating what it is possible to survive… and how each of us are somehow able to thrive, in spite of the how things seem. But most of all I don’t want to be crazy and I do want to be sexy. That would be a wonderful and unexpected outcome of this mysterious journey.