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After my accident I was very nervous to see people. What would they think of me? Are they going to treat me differently? This attitude stuck with me for quite some time, because I didn’t want people to stare. Yes, I acquired a wheelchair along the way, but I was and still am the same person. It may take a little longer to do things and at first, I did have a lot to learn, but I was still me. I all too often hear others say “ but what will they think” , this is your life.. F@#k what “they think”. I did care what people thought of me and my decisions way too much. Over time I had let to let this weight go, I was worrying way too much about the little things such as my appearance, my career path (which obviously changed), etc.… If you feel that you can better your life GO FOR IT, don’t let that voice in your head stop you!

I remember like it was yesterday, I finally received my handcycle and could not wait to take it for a ride. Away I go, every turn that I took people were just staring (I know I am sexy, but give it a rest) and this really bothered me. It was like I just wanted to give the bike back and not even deal with it. Same goes for the wheelchair, I catch people all the time just staring. I know many people may just be curious, but don’t sit there and just stare. These things used to really bother me until I realized this is my life and I can’t worry about these petty things. If people want to stare go ahead, maybe I will even do one of my famous tricks “the faceplant”. I fall out of my chair quite often from trying dumb things by the way.

This is a matter that I have wanted to discuss for quite some time, but just couldn’t find the words. Sometimes life hits you like a rock and you are left distraught, not knowing what is going to come next. I knew that my life had changed forever, but at first, I was so caught up with the phrase “what will people think” I didn’t feel like leaving my house. My friends used to call me to go out and do things, but I would make up some excuse because I was just to nervous to go. I would think in my head “if we go to a party one of my friends are going to have to pick me up into their vehicle” what would the others in the background think? Guess what? When I told my friends Beau and John that I just didn’t feel like going out…. Within the hour they were at my house picking me up, they didn’t take NO for an answer. The more I did and the more I got out around people the less I cared what others thought. Do it for you not anyone else!

Then came along my wife Brittney… Let me tell you, this girl is a power house and did not take NO for an answer! Her and I have done more things than most able-bodied people. She is the definition of if there is a will there is a way! I have never heard her say “ah I think that may be a little hard to do”, without even thinking about the situation at hand we push forward and conquer all the obstacles. This is my life and I have 1 shot at it, I am going to live it to the fullest! She truly was a god sent and still is to be able to handle all my GREAT ideas.

Once you become happy in your body, everything else follows.. Do I wish I was some jacked guy? Yes I do, but I have that tough guy beat. My mind is stronger than most, I started working on getting my mind on the right track a year after my accident (with that being said I still did and still do have down days, but who doesn’t). Build yourself up mentally and once you do that…. YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE. Do what you love and be a leader not a follower. F@#K WHAT PEOPLE THINK!

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