As I sit out on top of the rooftop of this old parking garage looking out over the city with the sun beating down on me I can’t help but think, “this is beautiful.” I came to this city almost 9 years ago and I still love it as much now as I did then. It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent a third of my life here in Columbus. I’ve met so many amazing people and I have made the best memories of my life here. I know one thing for sure and that one thing is that this is where I belong.
I’m a firm believer that things can always get better. I’ve had one bad year in the past 27 years of my life, but that one bad year set me up for an unforgettable future. If I were to describe myself in one word it would be “nonstop.” I’m constantly searching for that next opportunity and once I find it I pursue it, check it off my list, and move forward. I love this life and the endless opportunities that are presented to me. I’m very humble with all I’ve been able to experience but I’m never content.
I don’t believe in luck. I believe that luck is the result of preparation, hard work, and just putting yourself out there. If we hide ourselves from society then opportunity is never going to come knocking on our door. Many of my friends will say that I am the luckiest person they know. I woke up from a car crash that would’ve killed 99.9% of people. It’s just a constant reminder that I am here for a reason, well, we all are.
Many people never understand the reason that they are here. Well you need to come out of hiding and experience the world, put yourself out there, and find what it is the truly makes you happy. On my application for Sphinx for my epitaph I wrote, “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 really do believe that I live my life that way. I’m living a more fulfilling life now even with the physical aspects of life taken out of it because I focus on what I can do.
I try not to think about what I would be doing now if I was down paralyzed. I do, however, believe that you should live your life like I would if I was given just one more day to have my body back. It’s crazy but I am yet to have a dream where I am in a wheelchair. So every night I get to experience what it is like to have my body through my dreams. So not all has been lost.
I went and visited Cleveland Metro where I was hospitalized to visit my doctor, my nurses, and some of the new patients. I talked to a 17-year-old girl who got injured in a sled riding accident and is now a quadriplegic. She seemed to be adjusting to the situation incredibly well. She already has thoughts of being a motivational speaker now that she can no longer pursue her full ride for softball. So I related to her how my new passion of motivational speaking has filled the void in my life that was waterskiing. I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life. I told her that for me the new chapter is much better than the first. I gave her a copy of my book so I hope that my crazy journey can help her with her fresh start.
I’m going to go and try and visit some spinal cord injury patients today at Ohio State. I want to give away some free copies of my book to show them that they will be one of the lucky ones to have that perspective on life where you see how much in life we take for granted.
I’m going to continue to push myself forward and I want to help others push themselves forward as well. We were not put on this earth to live for ourselves. We were put here to look out for others and the reward of helping just one person is the greatest feeling in the world. If you can do that just one time a day just imagine how many lives you could change. My goal for today is to change just one life and to put a smile on someone’s face. That is what I will be attempting to do for the rest of today. I hope you try to do the same.