I was broken. Physically, mentally, and emotionally I was broken. I was at the very bottom. Life was perfect the day before. Then in one night, in one instant everything changed. How could this happen so fast? One bad decision turned my life upside down. Now I had to fight to get back to that day before everything changed.
All the time I spent in the gym to keep myself strong no longer mattered. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t move a muscle. I wanted to get up and just run away but that was not possible. I couldn’t even lift my shoulders off the bed. Was my body ever going to get back to what it was the day before? I thought so, but that didn’t hold true. But I had hope. So that was what I fought for first. I was going to fight to get my body back and I would do whatever it took to get it back to the day it was before.
So therapy starts. “Okay Adam, what we’re going to do now is we are going to work on your sitting balance and have you try and sit on the side of the bed,” the therapist said.”Sitting balance? I want to work on walking again,” I thought to myself. “But how hard could that be?” The therapist continued to explain that they would have to put ted hose on my legs and ace bandages to keep my blood pressure up. Then they strapped an abdominal binder around my waist. They sat me on the side of the bed and I had no balance whatsoever. I was like a rag doll. “What is going on?” I asked. “Your core is paralyzed.” the therapist said. “So by practicing sitting we are going to try and make it stronger.” Two therapists sat on either side of me to hold me up. 45 seconds later everything started to fade to black. I laid back down and soon enough it was time to try again. This time I lasted two minutes. They wrote the two times on the dry erase board in front of my bed and they said that tomorrow we would work on breaking that two minute mark.
The next day I anxiously awaited for the physical therapists to come into my room. They sat me up for five minutes. Then I made it to seven minutes. Then I made it to 15. The times were put up on the board. I stared at them all day. I was making progress and that was good enough for me. But I was realizing that it was a long road ahead and I was growing impatient every day.
Cards came pouring in the mail and everyone told me that they believed in me and knew that I would walk again. I believed it too. It was spring break and all of my friends from the Waterski team were in Louisiana skiing and I was stuck in the hospital fighting to get back control of my body. They all told me that I would be there with them next year.
I was transferred to Cleveland Metro for spinal cord rehabilitation. This hospital was number two in the nation for spinal cord rehabilitation. I knew that I would walk out of there. I would talk to other patients during therapy that were practicing walking with walkers and I told them that I could not wait until I got to that point. But after 3 1/2 months I could even stand up in a standing frame without blacking out. I went home in a wheelchair. It was finally starting to dawn on me that I may never walk again.
Over the next two years I fought so incredibly hard to try and walk again. I did 600 hours of locomotor training which was the best therapy that there was to offer. But at one point I realized that the dream of walking was not going to come true. This is what tore me down both emotionally and mentally.
What was I now without my body? What was I going to do with my life? The future seemed so dark. Goodbye waterskiing. Goodbye longboarding. Goodbye snow skiing. So I cried. I cried every day for a year as I had to say goodbye. I wanted to die. I seriously thought that I would be better off dead. So I contemplated suicide and looked for the easiest ways to die. The only thing was stopping me was that I thought that I would go to hell.
I could not live my life like this. I had to find something to consume my mind. So I started to open up to all of you. Then the comments came rolling in. The messages on Facebook where people were telling me that they were having a bad day and after reading what I was going through they realized that what they were experiencing was no big deal. I was putting things into perspective to others. I had suffered one of the most traumatic injuries that anyone can go through. Everyone was telling me that I would walk again and that was what I should fight for but I realized what I need to fight more now was my mind. It was time to learn how to smile again and how to laugh and to live life to the fullest.
So I started to share my story with the world. I poured out my emotions to everyone. Now I had an entire army of people behind me. I would continue to fight for my body but now I realized that my mind was most important. I needed something to work towards. So I started writing a book. I wanted to go back to school, which I thought would be impossible, but I made that happen. I was always a goal driven person and during that first year the only goal that I had was walking and I was failing. So I had to find another goal to fight for.
There are some goals that we fight for that sometimes turn out to be too big to come true. For me that goal was walking. So once I focused my attention on other goals I finally had something to smile about. We can’t achieve everything in this life. Not everyone can be a professional athlete or a movie star. But we can make clear attainable goals. So dream big but realize that not all of your dreams are going to come true. But fight as hard as you can to make sure that some of them do come true.
We can all make goals in hopes of making our dreams come true. My dream is to have a New York Times bestseller. But that may never happen. So right now my goal is to raise the $7500 that I pledged for my Kickstarter. Now that is an attainable goal. I think I will reach that but if I do not it’s not the end of the world. When you can’t complete one goal just create another. I am working with a business specialist to write a business plan so that is the next goal to get funded to start my own business. My first goal was to affect just one life and I know that I’ve done that so I have accomplished that goal. But a dream is to reach out and affect millions of lives. So that is what I will aim for but I won’t cry if that does not happen because I know that I have impacted just one life and that was all worth it. The ultimate dream is to have a movie created about my story and my book. But I have to create these small goals to get to that point.
So hopefully one day all of my dreams will come true. But if not I will know that I tried my hardest to work towards that dream by completing one goal at a time.
Thank you all for supporting me in reaching my goals. Your support means everything to me and I would not be where I am today without all of you!