Stubborn Determination

Late this morning, I strolled outside and felt the cool wind against my skin. The past few days I have been constantly healing myself. Constantly choosing to heal and realizing what I truly want, which is to heal completely from this injury and have that healing transform my life. There I sat outside, in my manual chair, and yes, without a chest strap. I know myself to be a very stubborn person, and even though not too long ago I found myself in a predicament, fallen over in my lap stuck and calling for help, I still could not bring myself to strap that Velcro around my chest.

With my newfound strength, now and to be, I rolled myself down the ramp with confidence. Yet, I cannot deny that there were nerves, therefore I vowed to be as careful as possible as well as being fully aware of my limitations. I strolled around here and there. Went halfway up the hill and back down again. I discovered a secret sidewalk I’d never noticed before which went behind some storage units. All was well and the cooler weather actually felt nice for once.

After one last trip up the hill and back down again, I decided to make my way back up the ramp. The first several feet are the steepest but I usually have no problem. I got a couple pushes in and began to fill the resistance of gravity. I beared down for another push and my left hand slipped off the rim and the chair came to a stop. My sense of incoming danger heightened as I felt the chair might tip backwards. So I began to let the chair slowly roll backward so I could start over. But as I used my hands to slow the chair down, I stopped rolling and the chair tipped.

I felt my wheelie bars hit the ground behind me and time suddenly froze. There I was teetering between the chair tipping forwards and me falling forward, or the chair tipping backwards and me on the ground. I tried to bring my body forward so the chair would come back to all four wheels but I slowly saw my surroundings rotating as the incline of the ramp pulled my chair backwards.

In seemingly slow motion I let out a few choice expletives and crashed onto the cement sidewalk. I felt my head hit and then I saw my legs and feet hovering in the air above me and then falling to the side. I laid there on my back, looking up at the clouds and the branches of a tree hanging over me. I was quite calm as I breathed in the surrealness of the moment. I wasn’t upset or afraid. I was slightly embarrassed and mostly in complete disbelief that I was laying on the sidewalk. 10 seconds or so past before I started looking around and wondering what to do. I really didn’t feel like yelling so I thought I would just lay there until someone came. Then I looked over to my left and saw a man standing on his balcony. He gave me the signal that he would be down shortly. Then another man pulled into the space in front of me and calmly came out of his car smiling, "Need some help?", he said. I was quite surprised at how calm and peaceful he seemed about the situation. It was actually quite refreshing.

Eventually my dad and the two men helped me back in my chair. The man from the balcony had seen the whole thing from afar, and actually was laughing at how the whole thing went down. He saw me hanging in the balance, between a safe landing and a crashing fall. I think it may have made his day.

As for me. Don’t really know quite what to think about the situation. I’m very glad that everything was okay and I wasn’t laying on the sidewalk for too long. I was once told that eventually I would fall out of my chair but I didn’t really believe them. I guess the more I recover and improve, the more risks I’m going to want to take. It’s all part of the adventure.

The funny thing is, it’s my fear which keeps getting into trouble. When someone is around me in these situations I am perfectly fine. But when I’m alone, I’m trying so hard to be careful, that I screw up. It can be quite frustrating that fear causes so much trouble in our lives. I feel like being afraid is always messing things up. I can’t perform the way I want to, I can’t say the things I want to, and I can’t be the person that I want to be. Yet, fear is not something where I can just snap my fingers and be done with it. It is a constant presence in my life. Something I am always facing in some way or another.

More and more these days I’m realizing the importance of choice. In one of my favorite movies, "Rudy", more than anything the main character wants to play football for Notre Dame. There is not a single soul who believes in him, yet he has decided that that is what he was going to do. Because he made that choice and dedicated himself to achieving his goal, nothing could stand in his way and eventually he was on the team.

I believe one of the most important aspects to living a successful life is to know what you want deep down inside and commit 100% to achieving your goal. Once you decide exactly what it is that you want, and begin performing the actions with conviction and determination, the universe will transform itself around your intention and more than likely that goal will be achieved.

Our deepest desires are not just chaotic bits of information flittering about. Our deepest desires are something that has been given to us as a gift and may contain deep purpose and meaning. It is our desires which push us forward in life and I believe we should pay very close attention to what it is we truly want. Because it’s quite possible that when we are searching for purpose and meaning in our lives, all we have to do is look within and discover what it is we want to create and create it.


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3 Responses to Stubborn Determination

  1. Beth says:

    What an experience you had!  I am glad you are OK.  You are one determined young man and that is a good thing.
    It is very refreshing to read your posts.  They reaffirm my belief that there is some good in almost all experiences.

  2. Robine says:

    Hi there :DI recognize the fear part – in myself but also in what I try to let parents understand.I work with children, age 4-12, and I notice a lot of children have a good and healthy balance – the climb trees and stuff and just don\’t fall off. Then parents or teachers get worried and while the child is playing – they warn them: be careful, do not fall – the child looses the confidence in their own balance – they will try and THINK about balance instead of feeling it – and then they fall, stumble and so on. I have the same thing, when I am trying to control my movements with my head: I will bump into, trip over, fall… when I just trust, mostly all goes well (sometimes I am just not in balance).What I am trying to say is: try not to let your head work so hard, of course you might fall – it already happened 2 times, and both times there are people there to help you. I understand that you rather not be depended on others – but for now, in your way to recovery, it is still part of the deal – and you write: you made that persons day, well – I believe you might have made the day of the 2 others as well, allowing them to help you. Apperently when you are with others, you just trust yourself more and then you have the balance – it is there 😀 Well.. I hope you will not mind my ramblings – please let me know if you do :DYou are in my thoughts often and I love reading your blogs! Take care, Sabine from Holland (aka Robine)

  3. Patricia says:

    Well you make my day as well in reading this! You are inspiring and your honesty and descriptions are so well said. yep, fear is a big factor in things – I\’ve been trying to overcome my very many obsessive fears and sometimes focusing on not feeling them makes them more on my mind! Annoying! I love how Mary Williamson talks about how fear is often present in the absence of love – I wonder how to apply this to situations in a practical way and I guess I am starting to realize that often my fears aren\’t about the present situation but something larger within me – so i\’ve been working on the larger moments of fear and notice sometimes that it carries over into situations that are unrelated – meaning overall I feel less fearful – it is surprising how changing one thought process in one unrelated area in life can transform other areas. And purpose – yes, I love what you wrote – I often wonder what my purpose is and then when I stop looking notice it right there in front of me. I\’ve begun to realize too that my mishaps have a lesson behind them, instead of getting upset, I\’m starting to trust that there is a lesson there that will help me realize positive new lessons giving me renewed confidence rather than insecurity. When I used to ski, I always skied better after a first fall, it was like I had to realize that it was okay to mess up and wipeout – my body would then realize a more supple feeling and skiing would become zen-like and free-flowing and relaxed. Sometimes wipouts/mistakes/mishaps are the very things that make us realize that really there is no such thing – they are opportunities to learn new things! New doors open – creativity stirs. Since my brain injury I make more "mistakes" than not – some of those mistakes have made me into the photographer that I am because it started a conversation with a stranger or simply put me into a more determined state of mind or led me to an entirely different place than I had set out on achieving. I\’m starting to really see God in these moments as I look back. Well, once again you have inspired me to see things anew. I love reading your entries. My best to you! Dream Big! patti

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