You're Having A Laugh... I Hope

Sometimes in life, my dear chums, you just have to say to yourself: "I know that this challenge is outside of my comfort zone, but what the hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Not unlike that very first time that you step out onto the mat at your first competition. Or that moment when your name gets called out for your first, or indeed last, grading. It is all about how you manage pressure, and how you overcome the obstacle that lies before you.

Before I got cancer, I think that I was one of those people who took life on the chin and never really questioned anything. I just dealt with it. Since having cancer and not dying, which was pretty darned close (not that I really realised at the time), I have come to reevaluate what is important and quite frankly what is not important.

What is not important, is the greed for money and material possessions. They count for nothing really. Yes, you need money for basic needs but beyond that, as the old saying goes, you cannot take it with you.

What actually matters is spending time with those you love and care for, as I have come to realise that the most special commodity is time. Simple really, if you squander that gift, then you lose that time to spend with those you care for, while you and they are still around.

Similarly, I have gone out of my way to train whenever I can.

Karate for me is the gift that keeps giving. I am enjoying it now more than ever, after all these decades, because my health has allowed me to do what I love doing. Putting on a gi, and either teaching or training, either way giving 100%, and leaving sweat on the dojo floor.

So, when I had the chance to do something completely different, to raise money for Cancer Research UK, I was on it. The fact that the challenge was to walk onto the stage at the iconic Glee Club, and stand up in front of 450 members of the audience, who have spent twenty quid each on a ticket, and deliver a stand up comedy routine and try and make them laugh, or not, is my personal quest. Will I deliver on it, I do not know. I will tell you at about 20 hours on Sunday July 7th, when it will all be over, one way or the other.

Am I dreading it? No. Am I apprehensive? Yes, of course. Nobody wants to crash and burn, but as with everything in life, it all comes down to one simple strategy, be it attempting a grading or entering a kata or kumite competition. You have to make the effort. The more you prepare, the better your chances of success. That is why I have been attending the comedy workshops along with the other willing volunteers, and learning what is actually a real craft, making people laugh.

So, if you fancy an entertaining afternoon of some 25 to 30 amateur comedians having a go and doing what, let’s face it, 99% of the adult population would never do, then get yourself a ticket and help raise money for cancer research. After all, it can affect anyone of us, at any time.

As they say with the national lottery: it could be you. As it happens, it is the same with cancer; a lottery some will win and some will not. But the more money that we can raise to research and cure this terrible illness, then the better for us all.

Oss,

Austin

P.S.: You can buy your ticket for the event here and help me raise money for Cancer Research UK here.

Many thanks for your support!