Tag Archives: dancing

Being ALIVE!

Photo Credit: J. Kemper

I’ve seen the great heights,
Reminding me… that I’m alive,
I don’t wanna die,
I don’t wanna waste another day,
Or night,
I know there’s something more,
Than what we’re living for,
I see it in the stars,
I feel it on the shores,
I know there’s something,
I know there’s something more.

–Tyrone Wells, “More.”

Maybe it takes a walk on the beach, the feeling of the grainy muddy sand under your feet, and the cool salty ocean water splashing with every step you take in order to know you’re alive. Or maybe it takes a hiking trip with your best friends, getting to the peak and looking down at the vastness of the wilderness, the realization that you are small in comparison to know you’re alive. Or maybe it just takes sitting in a classroom, pondering the question that mankind has asked for thousands of years, only to conclude with Descartes’s Cogito ergo sum (“I think therefore I am”). Whatever it takes for you to realize it, you and me–we ARE alive in this moment…for now.

River just below Half Dome

As we’re in our sixth day in the year 2010, I can’t help but remember those #tenyearsago tags on Twitter during New Year’s Eve. Am I really a little more than two decades old? Has it really been a decade since I first entered high school? What have I done these last ten years? I began to think about some of my friends who didn’t make it to 2010, who lost their lives early on either through an accident or a suicide. I remembered the tragedy of discovering that my friends cut themselves because they didn’t look good enough to be on the cover of a magazine.

Oh youth, oh teenage years, where every thing was so dramatic that even an episode of 90210 looked accurate. We thought we were invincible, that nothing could touch us, not even death, so we participated in riskier things. No one has to take an adolescent psychology class to understand that we (my cohorts) were porcelain ten years ago, our egos sensitive and delicate. I fear for our youth and what they have to go through–all the pressure of living up to false images created by us. Even as the suicide rates have increased, I’m glad that it’s not as taboo to talk about it, to find help.

But this isn’t supposed to be a dark or emo post. This is a celebration in our identity of being ALIVE! You should be smiling, dancing even. We take that identity for granted sometimes. Instead, we focus our energies on death and our attention on what we don’t have. *Initiating inside joke now* Maybe that’s why the vampire life (or death, depending on how you look at it) is attractive.

We are ALIVE. Our beating heart pumping the warm blood throughout our bodies reminds us of the next step: doing something worthwhile. I’m learning to number my days, to celebrate what I do have. It can end in a second, I could breathe my last breath. So I choose to live a purposeful life, to help those who need help, to fight for those who cannot fight. Oh, and you’ll see me dancing soon enough, rejoicing this life I’ve been given.

And how about you? In your identity of being alive, you may find yourself asking the same questions I asked myself:

1. How am I wasting my days and night?

2. What can I do that is worthwhile?

3. How do I find meaning or purpose in my life?

4. How do I live a fulfilled life?

I want to leave you with an encouraging song called “More” by Tyrone Wells. I think he says it best:

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover Outer Space”

Storm Trooper. Photo credit: Halloween Costumes

Just a refresher: UCLA Dance Marathon is a 26-hour dance philanthropy that will benefit kids with or affected by AIDS. It will be held on February 13th at UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. There is only one rule: I am not allowed to sit–I must be on my feet for the full 26 hours.  There will also be costume changes every 3 hours and is based off a theme. I need your help to choose a costume so please VOTE! And keep in mind I’d actually like to build the costume–do-it-your-self costumes are a whole more fun.

You can also help by donating.
Click Here to Donate for the Fight Against AIDS

Star Trek. Photo credit: All Fancy Dress

By the way, I’m still about $70 short of meeting my goal. Please help me out by donating $1 or more.

This week’s theme is “Discover Outer Space.” Hmm…this is difficult. I’m at a loss with this because there’s so much I could do with it.  I could dress as an astronaut, an alien, a storm trooper, or a Star Trek commander. I could even do something more abstract like being a star or an asteroid or a planet. Any suggestions? Decisions, decisions…

I am currently dancing to “Please Don’t Stop” by Blake Lewis. What are you dancing to?

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover the Dinosaurs”

Go go Power Rangers! Photo Credit: Halloween Costumes

One of the fun things about the UCLA Dance Marathon (DM), which will be held on February 13th is all the costume changes every 3 hours. After all, if I’m going to be dancing for 26 hours, I’ll also going to be sweating for 26 hours. This is where you come in to help me out. Don’t worry, it’ll be no sweat.

Each Thursday, I’ll be announcing a theme from DM. I need your help to choose a costume that I will wear during those 3 hours. All you have to do is vote and/or suggest a costume. And maybe help me figure out how to make it, as do-it-yourself costumes are a lot more fun than store-bought ones.

This week’s theme is “Discover the Dinosaurs.” I’m sure the good folks of DM who chose this theme was watching Jurassic Park or something. So what should I wear?

I could be a dinosaur. Or a paleontologist. Or, I could think outside the box a bit and become what I’ve always wanted: a Power Ranger. If you choose “other,” suggest something else.

UPDATE: I have raised $155. Thanks to those who donated. It’s not too late to donate. Please help out.
Click Here to Donate to the Fight Against AIDS

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Dance Off Against AIDS, Part 1

In 68 days (about 10 weeks), I am about to embark on a journey I had undergone only once before. On that journey, I ended up suffering with a cramp on my right calf muscle near the end.  I won’t be trekking off through the mountains of the Himalayas, or go bicycling from coast-to-coast, or even running a marathon. I don’t think I have the stamina or endurance to do all those things yet, nor the mind-set. But what I will be doing, in my opinion, is something equally important. I will be on my feet dancing for 26 hours in UCLA’s Dance Marathon, a philanthropic event benefiting kids with or have been affected by AIDS.  And there is only one rule: no sitting! In addition to this one rule, I need to raise a minimum of $208. As of today, with the help of my friends and people as compassionate as you, I have raised $135. If I meet the minimum, I would like to raise more.

My "Wild Wild West" themed costume last year. I dig the moustache

How will the money I help raise affect the fight against AIDS? Every $8 raised buys a shot of a drug called Nevirapine. When given to mother and child (as well as with a c-section), the drug helps reduce the risk of HIV transmission to 2%. That’s a huge reduction! And every $1000 raised is donated to Camp Kindle or Camp Heartland to allow a child to come to camp during the summer. These camps allow a child to feel a sense of normalcy around his or her peers, as the ampers are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

So please join me on this journey! As dancing is a physical activity, I will be training for this event–you know, the standard routine: running, lifting, etc. God knows I need the training–an old guy like me (I’m 23y.o. by the way) needs to bring back my healthy body. And yes, I’m going to “discover” new dance moves along the way to show off by watching various music videos. Who knows, I may be posting my own videos of it. Of course, there’s also a mental and spiritual component to a physical activity. I’ll be writing down my thoughts and any doubts I have an being unable to complete this journey. So visit my blog once in a while and check back to see the latest thing I’m doing–it’ll be your job to keep me accountable. It’s currently raining today in Los Angeles, so the only physical thing I’ve done is doing push-ups via the Perfect Pushup and ab work via the Ab Slide. Oh, and one of the fun parts of Dance Marathon is all the costume changes every 3 hours: so I’ll be needing your help with that.

If you can, please donate to the cause–any amount can help. Click on the link. And pray for a cure and definitely pray for me.

And if you are interesting in being a part of Dance Marathon, it’s not too late to be a dancer, a moraler, or volunteer. Register before January 29, 2010.

Click Here to Donate

Below is a song I’m currently dancing too: “Warp 1.9” by the Bloody Beetroots ft. Steve Aoki.

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