"Gimp Day" - 16 Years Later
Sixteen years ago today, my life changed forever in an instant. Some feel sorry for me, with comments of “Oh, wow. That sucks!”, after I explain why I am in a wheelchair. Some think this was such a terrible thing to happen to me. Those people have no idea. I raise my glass on this day and celebrate it every single year. My life is better and more fulfilled than I could ever even dream of. I have been more places around the world, done more things, and have better friends around me than I could ever ask for.
As I look back for a moment and see what my past has been over the last 16 years, I see a path of heartbreak and tough times, but those specks in time pale in comparison to the wonderful days I have spent with my friends and family, the crazy, fun things I have had the fortune to experience and the beautiful places around the world I have been privy to. All of which, I don’t believe I would have ever seen if life would have taken any different of a path for me.
When I look back at the last 16 years, I see Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships won. I see wheelchairs races completed with miles and miles under my wheels. I see dirt in my tires from 15 different countries around the world. I see the smiles of friends made on 4 different continents. I see a lot of really great days. How many people can say that?
Everyone has their bad days no matter what their life may bring in front of them, but it is how we react to these times that makes us who we are at the end of the day. I’d like to think I have made the most of every day I’ve been given. There is a saying that says, “Yesterday has passed, tomorrow is uncertain, today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.” Every day that I wake up is a fresh palette in which I can paint an amazing sunny day with if I choose. And I choose to paint it with the most vibrant colors I can…
This wonderful world we live in has everything to offer each of us. Some make excuses; some just go out and do. I decided to blaze a path for others to follow if they want. I made a point a long time ago to grab a hold of every opportunity put in front of me. Some people see this as an inspiration or something out of a story book, all the things that I have done over the years, but this is how I see life is supposed to be lived. I was given a very eye-opening experience at an early age and vowed to never let life slip by.
The next time a friend says, “Hey, we are gonna go do something fun. You should come with.” Do it! You never know if you will be given the chance to do it again. The next time you find the urge to hug a friend, family member or even a stranger on the street, DO IT, because you might not get the chance to do it again. Not to mention, even just a smile is infectious and could totally make someone’s day, trust me!
To those who think today is a sad day for me, I dare you to try and keep up with me. For those is the same position as me "Get out there and let's do it!!!" Here's to half my life in a chair, and I am still rollin'!