The highest human act is to inspire, and we all have the capacity to inspire.
It has been some time since I’ve written, rarely finding the motivation to deliver. I battled with the never-ending issue of perfection as inspiration refused to make an appearance for my wandering mind. I was paralyzed in the unknown, something I know we all felt.
Though, 2020 could be to blamed, right?
In a time where the world could finally come together under the idea of unity, we chose to pick the selfish route, protecting ourselves to survive. The trivial act of hoarding toilet paper turned into a greater act of hoarding vaccines. Countries blamed one another instead of coming together, and in several instances, turned on each other in more hate.
The act of survival… an archaic, barbaric idea that seems to never leave us, no matter how advanced we believe to have come.
Nonetheless, this is not to talk of the chaos of this world, because I am sure I’ve added in one way or another. Yet, this is to speak on what happened within the chaos, or at least in my world. Perhaps this is to answer the question of why I chose to pick up and move to Switzerland in the middle of a pandemic.
Early 2020 most saw I went back through chemo for brain cysts and complications. Cysts revealed tumors, and after 10 rounds of Docetaxel, relief was found, or at least for the moment.
Life appeared to be gifted back to me, and it was my choice to choose what I would do with it. All paths led to pushing for one last Olympic Games. I had a new training group, improved in my neurofeedback sessions. I found new energy and joy. That is, until I lost it.
I began to have issues with my memory, oftentimes lost in my own city. Random rages of anger popped up as I lashed against loved ones. I was not myself, or the person I wanted to be, and that brought major concerns and fears.
Was it just the atmosphere of a world crisis? Possibly; but that would be the easy excuse.
Truth was, my body wasn't cooperating to treatment, and eventually the inevitable truth that my limited time was becoming evident, although you could say that is for everyone. The difference was that I knew what is limiting mine.
One of my best friends once told me a simple truth about life.
There are things that give you life and direction, purpose and reason. Those things will be your vehicle that can take you places you may never have dreamed with memories that will never be forgotten.
Athletics was that vehicle for me at the time.
She went on to explain that this vehicle gives you so much, and you will take from it happily, and abundantly. However, much like a rental car, after the adventure is to be had, make sure we fill it up before we depart.
She was 9 years old at the time, my side kick during chemotherapy in 2011-12. I made a promise to her that I would find a way to fill up whatever gives me life. She was my movie buddy, regularly bringing smiles and laughs, but the moment she spoke of that was the first time I've seen her so serious.
She died a week later from her own chemo treatment.
Moving across the ocean to work for an organization that inspires dreams is my way to give back. Aside from the politics and corporate hassles, I choose to find the good and follow the positive change it has given for many around the world. I have always spoke on making a change or creating an impression that would lead to change, but whenever we do that, we tend to keep it in the distant and never bring it to the present.
However, with the little signs from my body that increase as each day passes, I could tell that I needed to make that distant idea into a present opportunity.
I have also had living in Switzerland part of my life bucket list, so I assumed it was time to start checking off some items, before life says otherwise.
“I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” -Paulo Coehlo
Jeremy Dodson is a Track & Field Olympian who struggles with the idea of perfection, hoping to break the barrier we place on ourselves so that genuine living can take place for everyone.