I love having the privilege of having a 2nd chance at life and being able to share my story with all of you. I’m also happy that the story got to continue because this story is far from over. So far I’ve been able to reach out to people in countries such as Japan, Italy, Guatemala, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. There are people suffering from spinal cord injuries all over the world and my goal is to be the voice of these people. So many people do not understand what we go through and I just want to lay it all out there.
So far what I have written for you is not even a part of my book. I’m leaving most of the details. This entry is one of the possible introductions that I will use for my book. I may change it up a little bit but this is what I have for now. Thank you once again for visiting and please tell your friends!
by Adam Helbling on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 10:18pm ·
Sometimes your life does not always turn out as planned. You will hear people say that everything happens for a reason. When you think that you determine your own destiny God may have a different plan for you. Life can change in a second which is what happened to me. I was always the type of person to think one step ahead. I’d set a goal and achieve it and then move on to the next. I laid out my life and worked towards my dream by achieving one goal at a time. I could see myself 5, 10, even 20 years down the road. I knew what I wanted and I went after it relentlessly until it was mine. But now those dreams and goals have all changed because of a life-changing event.
Now I’m living a different life. Following a different dream and paving a different path. Let’s just say that if my life was a game of poker my first-hand was a royal flush but now I’m left with a pair of twos. I can’t dwell on how little I can do with this new hand but in some games it’s still enough to win. Right now I’m playing that game and I will be for the rest of my life.
My life had been absolutely incredible up until about a year ago. I was on top of world but I fell off and now it’s a slow crawl up to the top. For the first 24 years of my life I was incredibly active. I had my hand in a little bit of everything. I once was asked to write my epitaph. On my tombstone I wanted it to read, “Here lies a man who truly found happiness. He tried what he thought he’d like and pursued only what he knew he loved.” I tried a lot in my first 24 years of life. Through my trials I found several different passions but I found no greater passion than waterskiing. Today I am limited to what I can try so I am limited to what I can love but I can keep searching.
When I was three years old I started waterskiing on the front of my dad’s skis. By six I was skiing on one ski. Every spring break my family would take a vacation down to Winter Haven, Florida to start the season off early. Being from Ohio I did not have the luxury of skiing year-round. But once it got the slightest bit warm I would be on the water. Growing up I spent every weekend of every summer on the water. I spent most of my time camping and skiing on the Clarion River in Pennsylvania. My first girlfriend I started dating in the second grade and what kept us together until 6th Grade was waterskiing. At the Clarion I was the king of the slalom course. Boats would park close to the course just to watch me ski. To me this was the greatest feeling in the world. I loved everything about the water. I spent countless hours behind the wheel of the boat.
I always dreamed of skiing for Sea World which was only 30 minutes from my house. Once I got old enough the park shut down and the water ski shows were dead and gone. But I found the next best thing. When I was 16 I joined a water ski show team that was in Akron, Ohio. We put on an hour-long show every Wednesday in the summer for the public. The show consisted of acting and all types of skiing stunts from jumping to barefooting to 4-tier pyramids. In my second year with the team in 2004 we won the Division II National Championship.
I spent three years with the team before going on to solely focus on my real passion which was slalom skiing. In 2007 I spent the entire summer in Maine teaching kids how to water ski. Back home in Ohio I found an open invitation to several private waterski lakes. This gave me a great deal of time to practice the sport. In the summer of 2008 I won the Men’s I State Slalom Championship. My father had won states nearly 30 years before and it was always something that I dreamed of achieving.
I graduated high school in 2005 and went on to attend Ohio State on a full scholarship. My involvement and high GPA in high school paid off. I received a scholarship from the Office of Minority Affairs. Not because I’m a minority but because I’m a first-generation college student. Let’s be honest, waterskiing is the whitest sport in the world. I joined the waterski team during my first week of school. When I first joined our team was more interested in going to football games than attending tournaments. My goal was to turn all this around. In my final ski season at Ohio State I recruited for our men’s team at summer tournaments. Our men’s team was stacked but our women’s team still needed some work. I spent the entire spring, summer, and fall training our women’s team to get ready for competition. That fall we qualified for nationals for the 1st time in 23 years and traveled to Austin, Texas where he won the Division II National Championship.
As I said before I had my hands in a little bit of everything. In college I was involved with:
The Sphinx Senior Class Honorary, Texnikoi Engineering Honorary, Honors Program, Mount Leadership Society (OSU Scholars Program), Mount Member Development Committee, Mount Recruitment Committee, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Kappa Psi Scholarship Committee, Ohio State Water Ski Team Captain (2010 Div. II National Champions),Ohio State Water Ski Team Treasurer (2006), 2008 Ohio State Slalom Champion, Ohio State Water Ski Club, Scholars Ambassador, Overnight Host, Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team, Morrill Scholar’s Program (Office of Minority Affairs) Prestige Scholarship (full scholarship), Freshman Excellence Scholarship, Vice President of Phi Kappa Psi Spring Pledge Class 2006
For high school I was involved with:
The Freshman Executive Committee, Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, Student Council (9th-10th), Sophomore Executive Committee, Junior Leadership Akron Graduate, Junior Executive Committee, Project Understanding, National Honors Society, Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team (2004 Div. II National Champions), Chippewa Leadership Committee, Post-Secondary Program, Who’s Who 01-02, 02-03, 03-04, 04-05, Confirmed at Holy Family Catholic Church in Stow, OH
I include these things not to boast or brag but rather to make you realize that I’m not crazy after you read my story. Everyone makes mistakes and accidents happen. Some people do not learn from their mistakes because there was no penalty. For me I paid the ultimate price for my mistake. I’ve succeeded in many different areas in my life but with success also comes failure. I’ve scared my family and friends to death. I was given a second chance on life not once, but twice. I’m afraid the third time around that I won’t be so lucky.
I’m writing this in hopes of reaching the lost and the scared, the depressed and the anxious. I want to help people realize just how much they have and to help them live life to the fullest. Because once it’s all gone you truly realize how much you really had. My goal is to make you smile. To make you laugh at yourself and to forget about your flaws and to just live life. To make you try something new and to not be scared that others may be watching you fail. Because to achieve success you must fail along the way.
Throughout my life I’ve had many eye-opening experiences. I lived life with a great balance of work and play. I’ve succeeded and I’ve screwed up along the way. I’ve hit rock bottom twice and I climbed my way back to the top once and I am working on doing that again. I’ve hung out with homeless people and gone on vacation with millionaires. I’ve learned that money is not the key to happiness. I’ve seen happier kids in poor inner-city schools than some of the richest kids in the world.
In this book I will share the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today. I will tell you what it’s like like to hit rock bottom. I mean to really hit rock bottom. I will tell you what it takes to persevere and get back on top of the world. If you know me some of the stories are going to come as a shock to you. You would’ve never thought that I would’ve done some of these things. I’ll tell you what it’s like to lose your mind. I’ll tell you what it’s like to no longer be able to do the things that you love. They say that everything happens for a reason. Well I think the reason all this happened to me was for me to write this book and to spread this message. This is my story…