The Challenge

I’m just out here chasing my dreams. A dream made possible by something tragic. A story created through success and failure. Lessons learned through having to rise up from rock bottom. Finding a way to persevere when thinking all of the odds were against me. Finding happiness through living the wildest nightmare I could never even dream of that has taught me patience, given me strength, and has taught me what is truly important in life. Being able to find what I’m made of and being able to say that I’ve been through it all.

Does my situation seem ideal to you? Of course not, but I love where I am at today. Everything that I loved that was physical has been taken away from me. I will never take for granted all the steps that I got to take in my life and everything physical that I got to experience and neither should you.

I challenge you to live your life like I would if I were given just one day to have my body back. I would cherish every step that I would take. I cannot even imagine how big the smile on my face would be if I could just take off running. Now that I can no longer do those physical things I realize how much I loved them and how I took it all for granted. I do not want you to do the same. Be thankful for everything that you have and everything that you can do physically. Use your body to its full potential and go out there and try new things and discover new passions.

What would you miss most if you were in my situation? Think of those things and from now on when you do those things never take them for granted. During my first year when I was suffering from extreme depression I sat down and wrote four pages of things that I missed. These were all the physical things that I could no longer do. Things like the feeling of walking in the sand on a beach or standing up and taking a hot shower.

I have accepted that I can no longer do these things and moved on but for you I want you to realize how much there is out there for you in this world. Try the things that you think you would like and pursue the things that you know you love. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things. Start living your life and cherish everything one step at a time.

After a while you start to forget what it feels like to walk or to do something you did all the time like waterski. I kind of forget with that adrenaline rush was like on that slalom ski. I forget what it’s like to feel comfortable all the time and to not be stiff and have random muscle spasms. I really forget what it’s like to live a normal life. But this is my new normal and this is what I’m used to.

I have promised myself to make the best out of this situation. I now cherish the things that I can still do. I should not be alive so I cherish every breath that I take. I cherish that I still have my mind and my voice. There is still so much out there for me to do even though I have physical limitations. So for you not to have physical limitations realize that the world is your playground and that you can do anything that you want.

I challenge you to look at everything that you have and can do and to never take anything for granted. I challenge you to smile at the little things in life. Drop all of your worries and anxieties and focus on the bigger picture. At the end of your life you do not want to look back and regret that there was something out there that you never got to attempt or try. You have your body and you have your mind so put them to work and make the most out of this life!


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