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When I was a teenager, I had to have some extensive surgery that landed me in a wheel chair for a few months. Recently, one of my physical therapist from that adventure found me on Facebook and was compelled to share his story of that short part of my life. He was a new therapist when he took on my case and had heard how hard teenagers can be in cases like mine. He braced himself for a healthy dose of attitude and lack of motivation. What he found when he showed up for that first day of therapy, was a 15 year old female wearing a white tee shirt with these words written in black marker, "What does not kill me only makes me stronger." He said he understood when I was pushing myself through pain because I would start singing ...."we are the champions, my friends....and we'll keep on fighting til the end...cause we are the champions....we are the champions....no time to lose cause we are the champions...of the world!!!” It was those moments that changed the perspective, the vision and the choices of one teenage girl and her doctor’s and supporting medical staff. Attitude can champion over disability in the game of winning. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. So, how do you shift the paradigm in your life so you are no longer facing walls but scaling over them?
First, change your perspective. If you let it, your perspective can become your disability and be the mindset that can hinder your achievement. Therefore, do not focus on what you don’t have but shift your center of attention to what you do have. This simple action can transform you disabilities into a gift. For example, when I was in the wheel chair I did not focus on the limitations of being wheelchair bound. I focused on the benefits…I never had to wait for a seat!
Once you change your perspective, your vision of the world begins to transform. When creating the vision for your goals, dream big. Shoot for the stars for you might still end up landing on the moon. Replace boundaries, limits and barricades with a vision that bridges over the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Keep your visions moving forward by continually raising the bar of expectation. If the goal seems to difficult or lofty, break it into smaller goals and take baby steps one at time towards your achievement. Embrace failures as an opportunity to improve on your plan. Remember, failure is an option but quitting is not! Through out physical therapy, I had this vision that I was going to become the Bionic Woman. I may not have become the Bionic Woman but I do have a metal pin that my current orthopedic surgeon can’t believe is still viable, giving me a pass on replacement surgery. I consider that a win-win situation.
Choices, at the end of each day, all that we are are the culmination of our choices. For good or for bad, make your choices and see them through. Do not let procrastination be your excuse for missing opportunities in life. Letting fear of making the wrong choice stop you is the worst choice of all. Bringing your dreams into the real world takes courage and faith. After my first day in a wheel chair, I made a choice to discover a new way each day to make myself less dependant on others. My time in a wheel chair came to an end, but I am still committed to that choice.
I like to imagine a world where what was once impossible is now possible. I believe with a change in perspective, vision and choices that this imaginary world could become real.