Written By: Alyssa Pelfresne
What would you say if years from now you came face to face with your college-aged self at the big event? Would you advice yourself to pull out your craziest dance moves and be sure to bring them all to the event? (maybe not twerking). Would you remind yourself to think of the bigger picture at why you are dancing and to stick it out because you’re creating history? Well below is a letter to myself for hour 10 of Dance Marathon and everything I would say to myself:
Dear (Hour 10 of DM) Me,
Congratulations, you finally did it, you made it to The Big Event. How does it feel? I guarantee that the feelings of soreness, tired, and crabby running through your body at 5am don’t even compare to the excitement, gratitude, and love when you finish power hour tonight. I know you’re standing there sweaty from running around but go wash your face, grab a cup of water and clear your head from those negative thoughts you’re thinking about.
When you think about it, 24 hours sounds like a very long time to be on your feet, yet it is not that long. The kiddos you’re dancing for spend weeks at a time in the hospital receiving chemotherapy, their parents spend hours awake EVERY night fearing for their child’s life, and each nurse that treats the child is on their feet for 12+ hours EACH shift. Talk about something to actually complain about. Yet most of the time, you won’t see the kids, parents, or nurses complaining. You’ll see them trying to make the best out of the situation and creating hope for their future. Every time you see a kid standing around the IMU in the next 14 hours, grab them and dance with them. Give them the hope and distraction that they need in their lives. Show each kid that maybe just for these 24 hours, they have a chance to be normal and hang out with us “cool older kids”. Believe me, the experiences you will have with the kids will be just as rewarding for you as it will be for the kids.
So, these next couple of hours are going to be tough. There will be times when you may think that it is easier to just go home rather than staying and finishing this out. But You. Cannot. Give. Up. When things start to get tough, think of all of the kids and their families that are living through the battle that you’re fighting for. Think of everyone who ran 26.2 miles FTK. All of this does not even compare to these 24 hours on your feet. Go do something that you haven’t in the next few hours. Did you check out the activities rooms? Did you play Wii in the Best Buy room? Have you had a snack? Because we all know how crabby you can be without one- and there are plenty of great ones at the Snack Shack. ENJOY THE NEXT FEW HOURS because you are making history. This is the 20th Dance Marathon at Iowa and you are a part of it. Live it up because it will be an experience you will never forget.
Dance it out for the next few hours, and don’t forget, everything you’re doing is FTK!!