Being a big-time collegiate and professional athlete requires rigorous mental strength. But, after my devastating accident in 2010, my mental toughness has never been tested more. Not only was I learning to adjust to a totally different life after sports, but now I was doing it from a wheelchair. I am designated a T-10 paraplegic. Paralyzed can be a scary word for ANYBODY. Please trust these next few words.... life can still be beautiful and great.
It will be different and hard some days. I promise you can laugh, love, smile, and be the "old" type of person you were before you got hurt. I have always disliked the word "disabled". We are different and you will be viewed by everyone that sees you as different. But, that's OK.
You will learn to love parking closer than anyone at the crowded mall, or getting preferential access or treatment at sports arenas. Even though you may dislike like it like I do, we all will need help with some stuff. You will realize that most people are willing to help you. Be grateful and thankful to these people. They only mean well.
This new chapter of your life will challenge and change your life forever. You can either feel sorry for yourself or you can embrace the challenges that will come your way and find ANY way to accomplish the things you want to in this life.
"Be a light" for others and try your hardest to remain positive. I know it is REALLY hard some days but if you fight as hard as you can to just get through those tough times, I PROMISE you things will get better and easier. I am here if ANYONE has questions, ideas, or struggles. I am even willing to let you vent, but not for too long because this blog is about positivity and lifting each other up.
Image credit: Dan Donaldson