Cheeseburger in paradise
Medium-rare with mustard’d be nice
Heaven on Earth with an onion slice
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise
Like any beach music fanatic, Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is a staple for sitting on the beach, surrounded by crashing waves and salty air. For Special Olympics Forsyth County athlete Noah Drum, it is an everyday song for transforming anywhere into paradise, an ingenious device for bringing the euphoria of the beach to his home amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In his homemade paradise, Drum continues his sports training through SONC’s at-home fitness program, Partner Up Power Up.
If it is not obvious by now, Drum is an avid Jimmy Buffett listener. A devoted Alan Jackson fan as well, it comes as no surprise that one of his favorite songs is “Margaritaville,” by the Jackson and Buffett duo. “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” are always queued on his playlist. Once it is five o’clock in Forsyth County, Drum spends his evenings participating in Partner Up Power Up virtual training sessions, held via Zoom.
The program, which runs for 10 weeks beginning in March, hosts optional, online sessions throughout the week. While the program can be completed without internet access, Drum is one of the many logging on to connect with other participants around the state during these sessions. Drum participates in the Tuesday night training session, or Training Tuesday, where athletes and volunteers engage in a workout routine, varying weekly.
Drum anticipates Tuesday evenings, as he feels his best being surrounded by others. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he attended Lindley College/Lindley Habilitation Services daily, an organization working to aid individuals with intellectual disabilities reach their fullest potential. He also takes great pride in giving back, an activity he hopes to return to soon. Drum volunteered at a local theater, a local Habitat For Humanity ReStore, where he cleaned and moved furniture, and an animal shelter, where he assisted with walking dogs, cleaning cages and feeding the animals.
A significant part of his life, Special Olympics North Carolina has allowed Drum to train and compete in his favorite sports, including basketball and softball. From school, to volunteering, to training, he keeps his energy levels high with his three favorite foods: pizza, tacos and, of course, hamburgers.
At home, he enjoys taking walks and riding bikes. He is also a triplet, making for a sometimes-hectic household. Thankfully, a peaceful paradise is just one song and a cheeseburger away.