I have to say that some days I am simply amazed and today was one of those days. Prior to spine surgery (about 9 weeks ago) riding a bike was really challenging. I had little strength and feeling in my left leg and just being in a cycling position created some pretty bad back pain. Today was the first day out on the bike and I can honestly say I felt GREAT. Both legs had close to equal strength and power, the cycling position created no pain, and I felt for the first time in many months that there was a bright light coming down the road.
I can not even put into words how grateful I am from the support of my amazing friends, medical team, and all of you that continue to believe in me. I just hope that I can inspire you to continue to overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of you.
There are a few components that have helped me get through the last several weeks (years) of frustration.
1. A positive attitude (sometimes it does a person some good to put up that smiley positive front). While you might be crying instead, just smiling and pretending can inspire others and therefore inspire you.
2. Amazing friends (my parents, Rick, Annie, Sarah, Dr. Randal Porter, Dr. Lesko, Russ, Dr. Niedfledt, Dr. Werner, Mike Ribar and Froedtert Performance Enhancement, Chrissy, Dick Beardsley, the Cowan’s, my clients and athletes, and a million others).. without your continued support and guidance I would not have been able to or wanted to continue on the path to the ultimate goal..All of you inspire me more than anything!
3. Perseverance … overwhelmed and frustrated have been constants but when you once feel nothing below your legs and wonder if you will ever walk again, you have a different side in you that will not allow yourself to give up or throw in the towel. Life’s too short and it can be taken from you too quickly.
4. Stubbornness: ok, some will say this is a negative but it can be a positive too. Sometimes, you just need to know yourself and listen to your intuition. People can under-estimate what you are made of, they don’t understand who you are, and sometimes… it’s time for you to just DEFY THE ODDS.
5. Last but not least… I have learned we are NOT invisible. I am one to pile a lot on the plate, not know how to say NO. I have been completely humbled over the last couple months. I like to give 110% to everyone and everything but I have learned that there is only 100% to give and if you don’t take yourself into the equation, you are not doing your best.
We are human. We all have feelings and passions, we can give to others but must give back to ourselves. We can have huge goals and those will help shape our lives, our schedules, and our beings. We must be true to ourselves and not let outside influences knock us down. Most important, keep smiling, continue to keep a positive attitude, be grateful for all you have, and NEVER EVER give up what your goals!