Monday, April 07, 2008

Dare to Dream Big

Did anyone see the latest issue of Parade Magazine in their Sunday paper?

Usually the most useful thing to me in the Sunday paper are the coupons but this week's Parade front page story caught my eye. It was about Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch's last lecture. He'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told he only had months to live.

Why'd it draw my attention? Because Randy, Dave and I used to all work in the same field of computer graphics and virtual reality research many years ago. I'd read a number of papers he wrote, attended conferences he was at and I think he was one of the referees on a journal paper Dave and I co-authored. I remember him being one of the good guys, brilliant but very approachable. He is also our age (late 40's) and there's nothing like seeing it happen to one of your own to make yourself feel mortal ...

I loved many of Randy's last lecture points because they were nearly the same as those I adopted after my dad died of kidney cancer back in 1992:

Always Have Fun ... Dream Big ... Ask For What You Want ... Dare To Take a Risk ... Look for the Best in Everybody ... Make Time for What Matters ... Let Kids Be Themselves

Before then, I was a stubborn workaholic and a control freak who was destined to be miserable and probably dead from stress by age 40. It took seeing someone like myself (my dad) taken away by cancer for me to realize how short life was and that I needed to make some changes to mine. I used running to deal with my grief and have used endurance sports over and over again to build a new, much healthier and happier me.

And so I hope to pass on torch by creating a new website that will feature everyday athletes and their stories to provide daily inspiration and motivation for others:


The bar's vault is now OPEN and accepting contributions from YOU, the community. To add a link to it in your side bar, just copy and paste the following HTML code:

<a href="http://www.endurancesportsbar.com/" target="_blank">
<img width="180"
src="http://lh6.google.com/prattshirley/R_pSSdnODaI/AAAAAAAAAF8/w8bcqqeV6cQ/s288/esb_logo.jpg">
</a>
Bar operations will begin on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2008. I hope all of you will be a part of it. Mostly, I hope all of you will dream big and not let anything stop you from achieving them.

BTW, Randy is still with us and still fighting for his life. His latest entry in his journal, dated April 2, 2008, said "I hope to be back on the bike in a week or so." Way to go, Randy.

19 comments:

DaveP said...

I would like to think I helped your transformation.
Love,
Dave

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, but I'm not sharing you with others ;-)

akshaye said...

I had watched Randy's original time management lecture and it helped me a lot as a grad student who was just starting out. I heard about him in the media some time back and then saw his last lecture video. He has an incredible way of putting things across.

Were you a CS major too? You mentioned you worked in VR.

akshaye said...

p.s. the bar looks great!

Comm's said...

I read his remarks on another blog. Your trajectory with him gives me great appreciation.

I learned a long time ago to Have Fun and end many of my blogs with that tag line. You never know when its going to end, with me it could be one more knock to the head.

Let kids be kids. Before having a child I was very much removed from kids. But when Mo and I are in stores we scream out each others names when catching up to each other, like Marco Polo. I let him run down aisles. As long as he is isn't interfering or bothering, let a boy be a boy.

Jim said...

Whoever, whatever, transformed you, we are all better off for it! It is always sad when we see a friend in a battle for their life. As for the have fun now, act like a kid, I say this when asked, "where did you grow up?" My response is "I haven't yet!"

Jade Lady said...

It's funny - I was just about to tell u about the Parade article, since i didn't think u got the paper - wish I had a professor like him when I went to college! Sounds like there might be some other lectures available somewhere!

New website looks great - looking forward to its opening!

Iron Eric said...

The bar seems like such a great idea. It's really taking shape. It will be really neat to see this grow. I hope it serves good drinks. Yum....

Susan said...

I am headed to the bar -- and I am ON THE JOB. Ha ha ha!

Calyx Meredith said...

Thanks for the heads up about the article. I only get the Sunday paper for the coupons and had to dig it out of the recycle bin! The bar looks GREAT!

Smithposts said...

I had not previously heard about Randy but went to his website and read his "Last Lecture." His attitude humbles me. His on-line blog is also very interesting and while it appears he has recently been through a rough spot, he is doing okay.

The Bar looks good!

IrishBlue said...

Shirley,
I just saw him on Oprah a few weeks ago. He gave his last lecture for her audience, the one he gave his students. It was so heart warming and heart breaking.

Steve Stenzel said...

Yeah, I read that story too. It's a good one!

BreeWee said...

Oh! A buddy of mine emailed me his last lecture from You Tube! So good... Life is so good...

Petraruns said...

It's all just been in the press here as well - what an inspirational tale and a good one to really hear.. Again and again.

Can't wait to take a seat at the bar either - you remain amazing. You're an incredible athlete but you don't just perform, you really share! Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Oh - and just received my t-shirt - will send you a photo of me wearing it..

RBR said...

Thank you so much! I tried your swimming suggestions and I actually think I was a little better last night! Still ridiculously lame on the kick board drills, but I will take any improvement I can get!

Excellent advice from your friend. Definitely words to live by.

lizzie lee said...

I saw Randy's lecture on youtube a while ago... It was really inspiring... We never know. Today, the present, is a gift. Past is gone, tomorrow never comes because when it comes is already present.

Dream & Love big, yes indeed, and dream of today and of course don't share Dave...

sincere-lee
lizzie lee

skoshi said...

Very inspiration blog entry. Thanks for posting the link to the last lecture.
How very creative to come up with the bar. I'll check it out!
:)

Go Mom Go said...

Shirley,
Great idea on the bar!
Looking forward to seeing all the inspiration...:)