Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do was listen to the radio on our drive into Chicago. Not only did the eclectic mix of classic oldies and late ’80s/early ’90s soft rock distract my worried mind, but it also introduced me to some of my favorite songs of my childhood. Yup! No Raffi for me; I needed the hard stuff — those sorts of songs that taught you about life and the power of determination and perseverance.
Corey Hart’s “Never Surrender”
From Boy In The Box
I don’t remember when I heard Hart’s melodic and captivating voice for the first time, but I still get flashbacks of skyscrapers, city traffic and Lake Michigan every time I hear this song. It’s my childhood in a bottle, basically, and as a child, the words meant something big to me.
Just a little more time
Is all we’re asking for
‘Cause just a little more time
Could open closing doors
Just a little uncertainty
Can bring you down
And nobody wants to know you now
And nobody wants to show you how
They evoked the scenes of story books in my head, of a Rocky-type underdog fighting to come out on top. He’s trying desperately to beat the odds that are stacked against him. People might not believe in him, but he’s got this unflinching innate drive and a strength so formidable that it sends even the fiercest competitor running the other direction.
So if you’re lost and on your own
You can never surrender
And if your path won’t lead you home
You can never surrender
I’d be lying if I said that my medical years were perfect because they most certainly weren’t. There were times I’d get incredibly frustrated. There were times I hated all the physical pain. There were times when, quite frankly, it all just seemed to much, especially as I approached my teen years and just wanted to be like everyone else my age. During those times, I could easily have just stayed in my bed and refused to do anything — and if you know me, you know that my sheer stubbornness could have made that a very real and distinct possibility. But I didn’t. I know my parents had something to do with it. They wouldn’t let me surrender. Ever. And honestly, I think I’m a better — and stronger — person for it.
And when the night is cold and dark
You can see, you can see light
‘Cause no one can take away your right
To fight and to never surrender
Really, though, isn’t this song applicable to life in general? There are going to be dark times — that’s pretty much a guarantee. But maybe half of the big battle is learning how to get through those times with minimal scars. It’s tough, trust me, to know which way you’re going or who to turn to when you feel like you have zero answers and zero strength left, but those times are when you need to summon that inner Rocky the most.
He’s in there somewhere, even if he’s buried deep down, and once you find him, you can suit up, put on those metaphorical boxing gloves and tackle the world. Head on! xoxo