I have caved in to the peer pressure. My left wrist is now decorated with a yellow Livestrong bracelet so I thought I would take a second to tell you why. Over the weekend – as many of you already know – I participated in a charity road bike ride to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The $50.00 entry fee went straight to the foundation and other teams and individual riders raised even more money for the cause. It was a great chance to raise money for cancer research and ride the pro course before the guys who can really lay down the speed raced later that after noon.

Now…set aside the fact that raising awareness for cancer research is a great thing in itself. Also set aside that Lance has successfully made the yellow bracelet that features the Livestrong logo a fashion statement that has spread like crazy and some people just like to ride the trendy atmosphere that seems to surround the idea. I wear my Livestrong bracelet for a different reason. I wear my Livestrong bracelet for me.

Why I Wear A Livestrong Bracelet

You are probably thinking…”wow…what a conceded bastard. You wear a Livestrong bracelet for you? Where the hell do you get off making a cancer awareness symbol about you?” or you are just thinking…”ok…whatever”. Either way…let me explain.

I use the memory of cancer survivors and those that fought long and hard with the disease but lost the struggle in the end as motivation to make my life better. We are put at decisions on a daily basis where we can ‘put up or shut up’ and unfortunately for most people in this world…they decide to take the easy road (and most of the time they still don’t shut up). For those that are fighting cancer, they do not have the luxury of picking and choosing. They are fighting a very hard battle that can be won or lost in the matter of days. These fighters also happen to be some of the most giving and honest people I have ever met.

Over the course of my adult life, I have not made things easy on myself. There are many times that I took the the easy road and for a number of years…I chose the destructive road that leads to no where but bad. Coming out of that destructive behavior gives me a look at life that many never get to see. Life…every second of it…is precious and we take that for granted constantly.

Whenever I feel things getting difficult or I find myself whining about things that don’t really matter, I now have an in my face reminder to be happy for what I have and the life I live. There are many people in this world that do not have the same luxuries or ability to just get out and do what they love. I also find myself looking back on past events and being grateful for coming out of the darkness I was living in to find a new life that is rewarding.

I also use the Livestong bracelet as a motivational tool to further expand my ideas and push through the hard times to see success. When others will try to pull you down, you can constantly work harder to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. When you are reminded that this is your one and only life, you are able to compartmentalize the road blocks and push through with the steps it takes to be successful in whatever venture you are pursuing.

There are cancer survivers that have overcome extreme diversity and proved doctors wrong by beating the disease. If they can do something that heroic in life, we have no excuse. We have the ability to come up with a thousand lame excuses that do not hold water, but – when it boils down to it – it is up to us to make the things happen in life that we want and desire. No one is going to hand you a end all cure…you have to work your ass off and go against what is considered normal. You have to be a survivor.

I have been a survivor once in my life already from self inflicted problems. Now…it is time to use the memory of true hero’s as the motivation to make every day of my life better and to truly enjoy the time I have. I wear my Livestrong bracelet as a constant reminder to be a better person and to achieve my goals through the memory of cancer patients that define the word heroic…