WARRIOR: the Life and Lessons of a Man Who Beat Cancer for 57 Years
To sum up in one word who exercise physiologist and sports psychologist Dr. Mark Crooks was, it would, without a shadow of doubt, be warrior. As Green states, “during the last few weeks of his life, he [Crooks] shared with me his last iteration of the book title Battles with Cancer: Evolution of a Warrior, an autobiographical, how-to guide about surviving terminal diseases that he had hoped to write before his demise. Indebted to fulfill his friend’s wish, but lacking in the fine points of Crooks’ background, Green found it apropos to create a biographical novel that is a biomythography (a weaving together of myth, history, and biography in epic narrative form).
Beginning with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (better known by its acronym MPNST) — a form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves — at seven years of age, and a forty-year remission before new forms of cancer appeared (thyroid, lung, and prostate), Crooks faced his arch-nemesis, until his death in 2010, with relentless and unparalleled tenacity during a non-health conscious time period in American history – “ten to fifteen years ahead of higher-profile fitness advocates at that time.” His approach to living life to its fullest was a mix of exercise (mostly running for long periods), eating a well-balanced diet — heavy on vegetables, but not exclusively, and his concept of postoperative tumor-removal therapy, a combination of subcutaneous dosages of vitamin C and rigorous running.
Though Crooks’ modus operandi wasn’t that unusual, barring the high dosages of vitamin C, what really set him apart from the norm was his daredevil stunts, which he called “a carefully planned demonstration of our innate capabilities to achieve more than we believe possible.” They included jumping off high bridges into rivers, staying submerged in water for long periods, and climbing tall buildings – his way of facing his fears and dealing with boredom.
A deeply spiritual man, but noncommittal to any one religion until his last days, Crooks believed in a divine creator that was looking out for him. His teaching and practices inspired many people, including Green, who went through his own life-altering experience after encountering and befriending the iconic warrior back in the 1970s. As a profound tribute to the man who changed Green’s life forever, Warrior is not only a work of love that eloquently captures the essence of one man’s battle with cancer, but also a stark reminder to all of us that leading a healthy-conscious lifestyle carries tremendous benefits – even dealing with the toughest of diseases. Definitely, a must read to all who desire to live life to the fullest!
|Brent Green & Associates, Inc.
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