Tagged: Michael J Fox Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • midlifelove 12:43 am on January 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: incurable optimist, Michael J Fox, , successful Hollywood marriage, Tracy Pollan   

    Incurable Optimist: Michael J Fox 

    Family Ties and Spin City star Michael J. Fox is the first to acknowledge his diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 29 could have been the undoing of his life in many ways.

    He’d been married to fellow actor Tracy Pollan for just two years. The first of their four children, Sam, was just a baby.

    “It could have left us undone,” the Back to the Future megastar says in his latest book Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

    And if there was ever evidence needed that he is indeed, an optimist, you only need to look at how he has handled the challenge of living with illness.

    He and Tracy went on to have three more children (twins Schulyer and Aquinnah, and six years later, Esme) and build one of the most enduring marriages in Hollywood.

    An Amazing Life

    Michael was faced with a choice, he says. ”I could concentrate on the loss – or I could just get on with my life and see if maybe those holes started filling in themselves.  Over the last ten years they have, in the most amazing ways.

    “For everything the disease has taken something of greater value has been given. It may be one step forward two steps back but I’ve learned what is important is making that one step count.

    “Parkinson’s Disease has taken physical strength, spontaneity, physical balance, manual dexterity, the freedom to do the work I want to do when I want to do it, and the confidence that I can always be there for my family when they need me.”

    Happy Marriage

    In a chapter on family life titled ‘Why I’m still with Tracy and Shaky When I’m Not’ Michael says “Some people ask me the secret of a long and happy marriage, just as they ask me about the key to raising children. My flip answer in the kid department is “love ‘em, feed ‘em and keep ‘em out of traffic.” As for marriage, I often reply with equal brevity “Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”

    “Parkinson’s is always putting me in a box, and Tracy has become expert at folding back the flaps, tipping it over and easing me out.

    “She’d tell you probably with a laugh, that the greatest challenge she faces isn’t having a Parkinson’s patient for a husband, it’s having me for a husband. And by the way, I am a Parkinson’s patient.”

    Gains Greater Than Losses

    “The more complicated our marriage has got, the more it seems to bring out the best in us.

    “I was a big believer in my own PR: a happy-go-lucky lottery winner who had it all, a great career, a beautiful wife, a healthy son. I was struggling, though, with figuring out how to keep it all going. I was working more than I needed to, worrying more than I liked to admit, and drinking more than anyone should. I was, to put it mildly, not well positioned to deal with what was coming.

    “The change that Parkinson’s has forced up me and Tracy and the family, pales in comparison with the changes we have brought upon ourselves. We give more to each other than Parkinson’s could ever take away“.

     
  • midlifelove 12:23 am on January 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bill Gates, Dr Hilary Tindle, fewer heart attacks, , live longer, lower heart risk, Michael J Fox, optimist, University of Pittsburgh research study.research study on optimists   

    Optimists Enjoy Better Health 

    It seems life’s most public optimists – “Can Do” power houses like Lance Armstrong, Bill Gates and Michael J Fox – are onto something.

    New research indicates being an optimist significantly cuts your chances of suffering a heart attack, and even helps you live longer.

    In the largest study done on the effect of positive thinking on health, University of Pittsburgh researchers found that compared to pessimists, optimists had a nine per cent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause.

    Bad Times Bring Good

    Seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong credits much of his own success on the bike to his battle with testicular cancer.

    “I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that none of, none of my success on the bike would have been possible without that disease,” he said. “Life wouldn’t have been necessarily empty, but it would not have looked like this.” Armstrong also said his optimism is inspired by his mother, who overcame her own set of challenges as a teen mom.

    “I give all the credit to my mom,” he said. “She’s really a survivor. She’s as strong and tough as they come and she never looks at anything in a negative light.”

    Incurable Optimist Michael J Fox

    Armstrong’s personal example, and the LiveStrong foundation he set up to support cancer survivors, inspired actor Michael J Fox to start his own Fox Team foundation for research into Parkinson’s Disease.

    In his most recent book Always Looking Up – the Adventures of an Incurable Optimist Fox says that “for everything the disease has taken something of greater value has been given. It may be one step forward two steps, back but I’ve learned what is important is making that one step count.”

    Bill Gates – Impatient Optimist

    He’s in good company. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has characterized himself as an “impatient optimist.”  And for those that know him, both terms describe him well.

    Gates has focused on his philanthropic efforts–which focus on areas where there is great suffering as well as the means to alleviate that suffering through attention and increased resources. But, too often, he says change is not coming quickly enough.

    The University of Pittsburgh study – on post-menopausal women – found the positive benefits of being optimistic were independent of income, education, or “health behaviors like [controlling] blood pressure and whether or not you are physically active, or whether or not you drink or smoke,” says Dr. Hilary Tindle, lead author of the study. “I was surprised that the relationship was independent of all of these factors.”

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel