Can-Sur-Thrive No. 2

Welcome to a segment in my blog where I’ll share podcasts, books, videos, products, etc. that (I feel) help me not just survive, but thrive along this crazy road called life.

Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story
Feeling sorry for yourself or having a bad day, week month or year? Then you need to watch this documentary (available on iTunes, Google Play, YouTube or Amazon). ‘Charged’ tells the story of Eduardo Garcia who was electrocuted while hiking in 2011. I don’t want to spoil the film, but what the trailer below doesn’t reveal is that while recovering from being electrocuted, he was also diagnosed with cancer. So, yeah, talk about a rough go of it. Instead of wallowing and playing the victim (which no one would’ve blamed him for), he chose to do the opposite and live his best life. After watching this, it made me wanna get up and go do something. I’m also proud to share that he’s a fellow First Descents surfing alumni. And if you’re like me and can’t get enough of Eduardo, listen to him on Lance Armstrong’s Forward podcast here.

Emily McDowell cards and gifts
The perfect gift or card for someone who needs some love, but who rolls their eyes at Shakespearean sonnets, Bible passages or cliche-y-isms. I am putting several stamps of approval on Emily McDowell cards. Here is a sampling of my favorites:

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10 Regrets Too Many People Will Have in 10 Years by Marc Chernoff
I don’t know where I came across this listicle, but I saved it because it was too good not to share. You should definitely read it all, but here are the highlights:

  1. Not spending enough quality time with the right people.
  2. Not expressing your love openly and honestly with those you love.
  3. Basing a significant portion of your self-worth on other people’s opinions of you.
  4. Being too busy impressing others and forgetting about what matters to YOU.
  5. Letting uncertainty paralyse you.
  6. Focusing on failures instead of opportunities.
  7. Holding on too tight to every ideal, and then missing out on real opportunities.
  8. Playing the victim for far too long.
  9. Waiting, over analyzing, and never taking the necessary steps.
  10. Being too busy to appreciate your life.

‘Friends From College’ on Netflix
If laughter is good medicine, then ‘Friends From College’ must be the cure to cancer. It has been so long since I laughed this hard at a TV show. And just when I thought my love of Fred Savage couldn’t possibly be greater than seeing him in ‘The Wonder Years’, Friends From College made him a gay, literary agent. Swoon! There was one episode in particular (No. 5, Party Bus) that reminds me of my friends and I so much that I wondering if one of them is ghost writing the show. Anyway, if you are a 30- or 40-something, I must insist that you watch this show. I’ll wait…

89446bfb227738793bc03c7488a21fac--headspace-app-appsHeadspace App
I seriously struggle with my meditation practice. I know I should do it and that it’s good for me, but still, I always find a way to talk myself out of it. Headspace has given me some consistency. The app gives ten days of ten minute meditations for free and offers a paid upgrade to access packs addressing anxiety, stress, sleep and cancer. You may even want to check with your hospital’s patient services department, support group or a non-profit you support since they may provide a free one year subscription. I got mine through First Descents.

Previous Can-Sur-Thrives:
No. 1
Mitch Albom: The Dying Know the Secrets to a Good Life, Super Soul Podcast
Tony Robbins: Overcome Suffering and Live in a Beautiful State, Super Soul Podcast
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Soul Analyse
What Really Matters at the End of Life, TED Talk by BJ Miller

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Review: The Forward Podcast

the forward podcast lance ArmstrongChances are, you already have an opinion of Lance Armstrong.

I was familiar with him when I pick up his book, “It’s Not About the Bike” in a Singapore hostel library in 2010.  It was a hot, rainy day, so I spent the afternoon devouring the book and found his story incredible and inspiring.

The subject of Lance Armstrong created a household divided. My husband, a french national, grew up watching and spectating Le Tour de France and concluded he was doping, because no one could achieve what he did without performance enhancing drugs. I, a proud American, and lover of an inspirational comeback story, defended Armstrong and concluded my husband was just jealous, that an American was superior. So, when the scandal broke in 2012, I had to eat some of my words. I wanted to believe this incredible athlete clawed and scraped his way from rock bottom (a serious cancer diagnosis) to sky high (winning Le Tour de France multiple times). After much thought, I decided was still a fan, he’s still inspiring and his comeback is still incredible. Sure, he lied, but raise your right hand if you’ve ever lied. Next, raise your left hand if you’ve ever made a mistake. Yup, everyone in the room just raised both their hands. As Bill Burr says, “Lance Armstrong raised $500 million dollars for cancer research. That’s what that lie did.”

However, in 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer. I would occasionally think about Lance Armstrong and was baffled that someone with metastatic cancer would take such a risk by taking performance enhancing drugs that could potentially fuel cancer cells in his body. It all seemed irrational to me. Even so, as a (former) endurance athelete and cancer surivivor, I can’t help but look at Armstrong as a role model. While he’s no longer associated with Livestrong, he is the embodiment and icon for what it means to continue to persevere through tremendous adversity.

Recently, I have become reacquainted with Lance through his podcast, The Forward. I was surprised to find him a great interviewer.  I look “forward” to his podcast every week. The name, The Forward, came from his cycling buddy. When he and his friend were out on a ride and would come to an intersection, instead of saying, “Lance, go straight.”, his friend would say, “Lance, go forward,” And this has stuck with him because that’s the way he wants his life to go. Isn’t that what we all want – to keep moving forward?

On his podcast, he has also talks about the word, suffering and how he believes it is the most interesting, definitive word in the English language. I think I agree. Suffering is a word that scares me, but has also taught me more than I can begin to describe.

Now, if you’re a cancer survivor, athlete and/or a lover of podcasts, you should check out The Forward. Here are a few good interviews to start with: Simon Illa, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rahm Emanuel, Bo Jackson, Michael FrantiEduardo Garcia (shout out to First Descents) and Dave McGillivray.

So Many Activities

One of my goals this year was to post weekly blogs. Like many people, by mid-February, my New Year’s resolutions began to lag. While my good intentions were there, the mental space and energy was not.

So, if I haven’t been posting, what the heck have I been doing?

The answer – so many activities!

First and most important – I’ve devoted countless hours to an essay I started nine months ago. I’m happy to share it has (finally) been submitted for consideration to the New York Times, Modern Love column. I put a lot of time and energy into the piece.  I’ve never been more proud and more sick of something. The column has a one percent acceptance rate. Yeah, the chances are slim.  However, the Editor reads every single essay and I think it’s pretty darn cool a New York Times Editor will be reading my work within the next 2-3 months. Yes, it takes a long time.  Please say a little prayer on my behalf to the Editor Gods. Accepted or not, I will share it on my blog as soon as the Times gives me the green or red light.

If you haven’t heard of the column, it’s guaranteed to warm even the coldest of hearts. Here are the most popular essays and a few of my favorite podcasts:

I’ve also continued my quest toward minimalism. The Minimalists even shared my post about Cancer and Minimalism on their Facebook page, which was pretty sweet. Otherwise, our entire house has been cleaned out and organized. We made over six trips to Goodwill where we donated fifteen boxes and bags. I’ve since moved on to tackling digital clutter. The biggest achievement has been reducing 25,000 photos down to 2,500. My goal was also to do “Internet Free Sundays”. It failed miserably and Fabien is grateful. In April, I’m looking for someone to play the Minimalist Game with me. If you’re interested, send me a message.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on a few more cancer related blogs, which I’ll share here in the coming weeks.  And the biggest news of all – next week, I’m starting research on a subject which I hope will turn into my first book. I am excited and terrified. Stay tuned for more.

Otherwise, I want to share a few things that are rocking my world:

  • Podcast: Missing Richard Simmons. Filmmaker, Dan Taberski, is on a quest to find out what happened to Richard Simmons and why he all a sudden fell of the face of the earth. It’s fascinating and strange.
  • Podcast: The Forward. Much to my suprise, Lance Armstrong is actually a pretty great interviewer and interesting subject himself.  In The Forward Podcast he talks with everyone from Malcolm Gladwell to Rahm Emmanuel to Neil deGrasse Tyson to Bo Jackson. It’s quite entertaining.  Love him or hate him – you have to tip your hat to a guy who raised millions for cancer research.
  • Podcast: The Minimalists. Are you seeing a theme? The podcast is almost better than the Netflix documentary.
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I’m late to this party since the book was published in 2000. If you ever write anything (ever), you should check out this book. It’s a master’s degree in itself. Plus, King is an impressive guy and the stories behind his stories are captivating.
  • Die Young With Me. I’ve read a lot of cancer memoirs, but this one is by far the best because of it’s raw honesty. By pure coincidence, the author, Rob Rufus, lives in Nashville.

Lastly, someone, somewhere shared my blog and my readership has gone through the roof. Whoever you are – THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND READING!  I’m also on Twitter at @staciechevrier.

I hope everyone is off to a great 2017, living large and doing so many fun activities:

Bonus cool points if you knew “so many activities” came from the movie ‘Step Brothers’: