Saturday, August 13, 2011


A new friend and source of great encouragement asked me today about my training. Not in the how-much-yardage-sense or even in the what-kind-of-sets-do-you-do-sense, but rather in a sense far more meaningful.

He asked me about my DRIVE.

I babbled on about being on bed rest forever and how that made me rethink so many aspects of my life, and most importantly swimming. I continued on a sing-songy path of notions of undone dreams and resurfaced passions. I could have gone on for at least another ten minutes, when he stopped me...

"I'm sure that had an impact. But I know it's something else. Something inside of you that you don't even fully understand that you possess." He uttered so nonchalantly as if my shoe was untied or something.

Given a moment, I recalled the time I spent in the hospital after my initial accident. I often wonder about this time in my life, because so many people ask about it. People want to know about the struggles and deafening blow of realizing that I was going to be paralyzed. What I tell everyone who asks is that it wasn't that way at all for me. I woke up and started working. I started working on strengthening my neck enough to lift my head off the bed. I started working on breathing without a ventilator machine. I started working on sitting in a wheelchair. I started working on pushing a wheelchair. I started working on regaining muscle enough to be able to lift my legs with my own hands.

I started working towards this new life with little mind to what this life would actually be like. There was no dramatic movie-moment of me sobbing and thrashing as the result of learning I'd never walk again. It just didn't happen.

As my new friend pointed out that his thought of my DRIVE being inborn, I was brought back to those very early moments in the hospital. Perhaps he is right, and I should thank him twelve times over and invite him and his family for dinner. Perhaps I should also let that thought into my own brain-- let it swim around for a bit and give my good old confidence a good smack on the lips.

Yes, I think I will just that.

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