Perspective, Fireworks, Ingenuity, and a little Fibro

The Following is an excerpt I sent in a message to a member earlier, but feel it is a great thing to share to inspire others too :)

In March, I got my letter to Hogwarts, so to speak from Young Explosives, a pyrotechnics company here in Upstate NY. It is my dream to be a pyrotechnician. I was ready for this to be my big break and start as I had talked to the owner of the company before my disability became an issue as much as it is now. I was ready to go and all of a sudden the fibro picked up and hasn't let up since.

Unfortunately, I am unable to join the team until after the disability period has ended. I mean it is understandable. Who wants a shaking, trembling, foggy brained guy handling major explosives? :P Something to be said about that hahah. Needless to say though I was devastated. It is kind of like the whole Langston Hughes poem, a dream deferred, instead it was more of a dream smacked in the face. Not sure if I ever said, but on the side as a hobby I work with professional software and create firework shows in the CGI world. I basically make the blueprint for the show, chose the effects and design new effects to be manufactured, choreograph everything to the correct timing, use various angles for launches, security clearances, and lots of math and tons of other specs that go into creating what the audience finally sees as a full fireworks show. My finished show actually serves as the launch command station in which the computerized firing system runs. As the show plays in CGI on my computer, in theory it would also be firing live for the audience in real time.

While I was looking at design ideas to create a show design for a fireworks display, I stumbled across a competition for people like me who create these show concepts and designs. It was an international fireworks competition for pyrotechnic show choreographers. I had a large list of rules and regulations to follow. It was all part of the WWF-C, the World Web Fireworks Competition out of Maebashi, Japan. I got right to work on my show concept. I edited the music, prepared my effects, and let my creative juices flow. It was really challenging as far as my energy levels go to complete this as I have not been in the best condition lately. But I made it through. I ended up creating a show and entering it into the competition. Being my first competition, namely an International Competition at that, I was so excited when they announced my design was in the final top 5 shows submitted. Then came the popular vote to determine the winner. The grand prize was to have your show design shot live at the fireworks festival in Japan. They would create it using your design and launch it using the file you send.

I, unfortunately, was really crushed when I came in second place. It kind of really stung for a while. I wanted that more than anything in the world. I couldn't stop feeling down about the loss, but then something hit me. I accomplished something that many people never do. I was able to take what the fibro attempted to take away, namely the position on the pyrotechnics team at Young Explosives, and use it for good and for my betterment. I used ingenuity and entered the competition. Not only was it my first competition, but an international competition in which I was among the top 5 show designs and in the end came in second. It was the first ever competition I have ever done. If that doesn't say alot about what I can do despite the fibro, I don't know what does. Once I changed my perspective, the zeal, happiness, and passion returned to me that I had in the beginning. The passion was reignited and I was back on top again.

The more I learn about fibro, the more I see perspective as a big helper. Alot of people tend to look at the glass half full or half empty, but what they fail to realize is that it's not about that. It's more about the perspective you use to view the glass. On the left it may seem empty, but the right, it could be overflowing and vis versa. Ingenuity and finding new ways to do things we love as Fibro patients is key. Some people are bikers or Marathon runners. Using a treadmill or an exercise bike now with the virtual reality functions of cell phones, you can still do the marathons at your own pace right at home!

Hell, if you want to smell the great outdoor scent of the pine trees as you run on the winding road ahead, grab the pine sol and spray a little in the air (Just kidding, use a room spray for that preferably...I think you know why haha) There's just so many ways with the modern world we live in, to do what we love despite the confines that we experience everyday. All it takes in ingenuity, passion for life, some unconditional love for your own self, and the zeal we all knew before this disease entered our life. We may have it, but we are not Fibro. I'm not sure about anyone else, but when I introduce myself, it's generally as Ian or "that guy", not, "Hello my name is Fibromyalgia."

Here is the finished show:

What a brilliant and positive attiude! Thanks for sharing.
Nice to meet you, Ian.

I was very intrigued as I read your post(first looking up what a pyrotechnician does) . I am glad you were able to change your perspective and use your passion, creativity and expertise.I was happy to read that your passion was ‘reignited’(good word choice! Lol).I am glad you were honored coming in second place. Well done! I read this post several times as each time I got to know more about you and your vibes are very inspiring and thank you for that. Funny thing , when I got to the end I was thinking that which you had already written about how you introduce yourself and not label yourself nor attatch adjectives that define you as an illness but simply say your name. I prefer to do the same. Yes, I am challenged with illness that must be dealt with but not everything about me is illnesses. I don’t call myself a ‘fibromite’. I am merely a woman challenged with illness. And if I do some fun stuff I dont project ’ paying’ for it as it sounds like a punishment to me. I like to cherish and savor all the good moments and hope that I have more. I like to say that I will do as much as I can, and when I can’t , I won’t. Meaning to stop and rest( just to be clear-i wasn’t speaking of something else).

I still love life and I am not bitter for having landed on this rough journey. I am not 'jumping up and down '(punny)being ill but I still find peace and enjoyment in other things about me that have nothing to do with illness. My passion and creativity has been for the arts, writing poetry, ballet,piano and photography. I can still write and can partake of the music and dance listening and watching. I take picture’s whenever I am out and I am very partial to the scenes of nature. Thank you for sharing your vibes, attitude, passion and perception and your joy for life. 'Keep on trucking.!!! So to speak. Just seemed like a fitting statement as those are all the words I know to that song!!

Hello Ian,

What an inspiration you are, an amazing post, thanks. Have just watched your show, and wow! I see a lot of firework shows where I live, on a hill in the south of England, and yours was amazing! You are right, Fibro doesn't define us Fibro warriors, and we have to find a new way to live, the 'new normal', I call it. keep on doing what you doing, I am sure you will go far, you have a great talent.

Take care, Anne


I watched your presentation several times on my large screen imack with the stero speakers blairing.
You truly are an artist, you have such a gift and I have no idea how you created the presentation but, you would of Won in my book and your still a winner.

Keep up working on your God given talent, you are an inspiration to all of us on here.

Take each day and do your best to cope with your condition, you might just want to watch your video, sit back and say “I made that video” then smile, pat yourself on your back and go on with having a great day.