Lunatic Fringe (or the Importance of Finding Your Passion)

Dr. Cindy Haines Health Guide
  • A song can hit me and start a whole thought process about life, and how to get more of what we want out of it. And so it happened today as I was driving down to teach the medical students about family medicine.


    The song was Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider. You may remember it from the 1980s - it was on the Vision Quest soundtrack. Perhaps you also remember the movie Vision Quest - a movie about a high school kid who is a passionate wrestler who becomes involved in a passionate love affair. What to do, what to do - oh, the teenage angst!


    The movie was somewhat forgettable, although I always did like that Matthew Modine guy (the wrestler and lead character). What stuck with me about it, though, were the scenes of Modine prepping for his wrestling matches - doing what it took to make his preferred weight class - giving it his all. One scene in particular always stayed with me - he goes on a long run as part of his training to be the best (set to Lunatic Fringe, of course).

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    I had the soundtrack and would often listen to it when I did my own workouts, envisioning the long runs and extreme commitment it took for that character to be a player. I'd think, if he could do such serious exercise and stay with it through thick and thin, I could do whatever it was I was doing too. And it never failed to inspire me.


    As I listened to the song today, I was transported back to the 1980s when I would watch the movie and I would work out to the soundtrack, thinking about that movie character, his passion and commitment to doing what it took to get where he wanted to be physically. What I realized today is that it was always the passionate pursuit of something - anything - that attracted me to the energy of the scenes (and the song). How this is what we all crave, at the very heart of who we are: Something that wakes us up, makes us feel alive. That life is worth really living - in the pursuit of what you love.


    For that guy, the Vision Quest guy, it was wrestling (and I guess the girl got some of his passion, too). For me? Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I think I know. What I can tell you for sure is that seeing it in others inspires me. Makes me want to run hard for it, too.


    For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms. More medical care doesn’t mean better health. Dr. Haines and Metcalf reveal some of the most egregious problems with a medical system gone awry, opening readers’ eyes to how to better navigate the changes underway. Using solid research, insiders’ insights, and patient anecdotes, they offer cost-effective and potentially life-saving ways to get more out of health care while using less of it.


Published On: October 22, 2013

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