Sunday, August 01, 2010

The day the music died

I randomly came across Michael Jackson's "This is it" last night on Netflix instant view, so I gave it a try.  The one hour, 51 minute documentary on Jackson's prep, for what was to be his 50 sold out shows in London, was an eye opener.

Most important was the lesson I learned.  I was judgmental regarding Jackson's ability to perform and I was wrong. Instead of a washed-up star from yesteryear, Jackson was motivated, in shape, perfectionistic, and completely on top of his game when it came to dance, vocals and entertainment. The supporting cast and crew adored him and were living out their dreams by being on stage with one who inspired them.

How can we isolate this performer on stage, from the one who met a shady demise only weeks later?  Jackson is a lightning rod when it comes to opinions on his lifestyle and accusations from his past.  But in this captured moment, he was ready to set the world on fire on more time.

What does this have to do with the master competitor lifestyle?  Maybe I'm making a weak association, but when Jackson performed his big hits in the documentary, it took my mind back to the roaring 1980's when I was emerging in the local triathlon scene in Greensboro, North Carolina.  I'm sure we all have music associations with events in our life; tunes such as "Thriller" were big on the charts while I was pedaling my Bianchi in pacelines.

So from then until now, Jackson was ready to step back into the limelight and become a global newsmaker.  Sad to report that the news wasn't about his ability to entertain, but instead to die.  I'll choose to remember the Michael Jackson who brought song and dance to millions.

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