Since I started doing this, people have been asking me how long I plan to continue my strike. I tell them my goal is at least one year, but I really want to make it three. It pales in comparison to being force fed for 16 years, but to me it represents the amount of time Viktor Frankl was in Nazi concentration camps.
These 75 days have been tough at times. Last weekend, at my Father's 70th/Brother's 40th/Surprise Birthday Party, there was food in every nook and cranny of my Aunt's place. It all looked and smelled really good, and my aunt asked me if I was going to "cheat" just for the party, or put some of the vegan cake in a blender. She laughed as I assured her I was going to stay on my liquid diet. I came with a Naked juice and two Vitamin Waters, but ended up really partying it up and drinking two Cokes. My uncle said he could tell I had lost weight, and I told him I agreed but didn't know how much because I stupidly didn't weigh myself before I started.
Just as challenging as being around all that delicious food, playing hockey is getting more difficult each week. I've noticed my stamina during play has declined and when I get back to my apartment after I am crashing harder and longer. I'm still enjoying playing though, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon. I have an appointment with my Crohn's doctor coming up (also something I should have planned earlier), and I'm hoping blood work will help us figure out how I can get more energy for hockey.
Even before I started this strike in late July, I began an experiment to be more peaceful this summer. I've been vegetarian for over five years now, but never thought twice about killing a fly, mosquito, bee, or any "pest" flying in my general area. I wanted to see if changing my behavior towards insects impacted how they reacted to me, and I think it worked. I know I've probably involuntarily killed some insects by driving in my car, but all summer long I didn't purposely kill any insects. Believe it or not, they left me alone too. It makes sense to me, though, because if I am projecting a peaceful energy towards a living thing, regardless of their intellect, I think they can pick up on it. When I told my uncle about this, he thought I was crazy and should "keep it to myself", but I had only one mosquito bite all summer and it made me a believer.
I do think everything in the universe is connected, no matter how massive or insignificant. People think that the earth is huge and so important, but in the grand scheme of the universe, it is nothing but a pale blue dot (see Carl Sagan video). The idea of everything being connected first came to me through Star Wars and The Force, and people think I'm nuts to tell them (aside from moving things with your mind) The Force is real. Everything on earth, and everything in the universe is connected. There are forces of good and forces of evil, acts of love and acts of hate, and everything in between.
I love Star Wars, and over the years had amassed quite a collection of figures, t-shirts, and other collectibles. To me, it was proof of my love.
When I started my t-shirt blog, I realized that it wasn't all these Star Wars "things" that made me happy. What made me happy was watching, quoting, and talking about Star Wars with my friends and family. So, I sold my just about all of my Star Wars things to raise money for the first Skating for Hope. Now, my collection is down to 3 figures: Lando, Vader, and The Emperor. Soon it will be down to two because I am giving one away tonight. I've never met this person, but she is a huge Star Wars fan and I want to make sure it goes to someone who will appreciate it. May The Force be with you...always.