I wake up every morning with one thing in mind. I’m still alive. So I treat every day as a gift. I understand how incredibly lucky I am. My name is more than just a cross in a field off the highway in the middle of Indiana. Every time I see one of those crosses off the side of a highway it gives me chills. It reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to be alive. But that’s the past. Let’s talk about the future.
Some people will tell me that I spend too much time talking about the past. It was 24 years that prepared me for the fight of my life. One year of suffering which transitioned into where I realized that this life was worth living. I could not go back and continue the way that I was living so it was time to move on and start over. So I will focus now on what’s to come and what I have to look forward to excites me beyond belief. I believe I can start a movement. Where others will realize they have something to smile about. So follow me now.
It took me hitting rock-bottom and shattered dreams to make me realize what is truly important in life. Family, friends, and a beautiful world now surround me. An exciting future awaits and I will be smiling the entire way there. I take joy in the little things in life now. Things like a good meal, talking with a friend, or meeting someone new.
I have had an incredible support system since the day of my accident. So many people have been there to help. Just recently David, the owner of Flannagan’s, installed a handicap lift so that I can get into the pool. He had seen me up there several times before just hanging out at the edge of the pool. I have been up there twice since it has been installed and I love every second of being in the water. I am the only person that uses it but he has encouraged me to find more handicap people to come up there. What an incredible guy! It was perfect timing because I just got over my fear of water when I went to the Clarion River in Pennsylvania with my family a few weeks ago. Now I can’t get enough of it and I love being in the water. If I could go up there every day I would.
The Kickstarter campaign has only nine days left but is on track to successfully meet the goal of raising $7500. If I do not raise $1600 in the next nine days then all of the money will go back to the people who have pledged so far. But I am extremely confident that I’ll reach my goal.
I recently reached out to Jim Tressel for help with the campaign. I woke up one morning with an email from him asking if I could come and speak to his class and speak to the football team at the University of Akron. I am so honored that he would ask for me to do this. There’s no better way to wake up than with a personal email from Jim Tressel.
Every day I send out emails searching for new opportunities. I am proactive in reaching my goals and dreams. I understand that my dreams will not come true if I do nothing. I am not finished and life is far from over. I feel more alive now than ever before. I understand that I am making a huge impact on this world. I love working to help others. I know that when I am done I will have a legacy to leave behind. Something much greater than what I accomplished in my first 24 years. It was Kathy, the Director of the Mount Leadership Society that first presented the question with, “What legacy will you leave behind?” I did not have an answer for that question at the end of my sophomore year of college. But I’ve since realized God’s purpose for my life and I know that I am on the right track.
Think about what legacy you will leave behind when you’re gone. Will you be the person that your great-great-grandchildren would have wanted to meet? Strive to be the best person that you can be. We only live once so make sure that when it is all over that you left something behind. Now go out there and do something!