Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bumps in the road

We were going down the road somewhere not too long ago and I noticed this bump sign. Then obviously we hit a little bump. I have always thought it was funny that they just put up a sign instead of fixing the bump. Now I understand that it is probably not economical to fix every little bump in the road. There is also a possibility this sign is left as a reminder to fix this at a later time. The sign is also a heads up to what you are about to come across on the road. This got me to thinking about the bumps in the road that we encounter throughout life. So this post is not about complaining about roadways or to talk about road signs ha ha.

I always think about this one line in a song that goes even the best fall down sometimes. It doesn't matter who you are you are going to go through a difficult time in your life. There are so many times that I've heard people say how you do it. Then they say I don't think I could handle that. I like to think that everybody has an inner strength to push them through anything. A lot of times, most people just don't ever realize that. One of the most important things I really want to point out in the middle of this is the easy way out. Don't just put a sign up instead of fixing a problem. Don't let that problem overpower you no matter what the situation is because it will get better. It's almost like some people just put up a warning sign to let people know you can't hande it. I promise you that you can!

I want to describe what I feel has helped me make it through tough times. Throughout my life I have never given up on anything that I wanted. I truly believe that being a police officer prepared me for handling difficult situations that I have faced. The first hurdle to becoming a police officer is going through the Academy. The entire time you're there you lose the word I from your vocabulary. You have to learn very quickly that what you do affects everyone around you. I knew the whole time no matter how hard it got I would never quit. I like to live by that. So whenever you finally get into the patrol car on your own you have a very great responsibility. Your actions will affect everyone around you. One of the most important things to me was to treat everyone with respect. It makes situations so much easier whenever you are nice to people. I had to deal with several serious situations. You have to be prepared to make decisions in an instant. I had to deal with domestic situations. The person that called is looking for you to make the right decision. So you have to quickly realize the problem and find a solution. There might be similar situations you deal with but they are never exactly the same. I always went into a situation hoping for the best, but being prepared for the worst. I still use that principle today dealing with everyday challenges. I also constantly try to think about things to make my life easier. Another helpful aspect from my job was being in constant contact with the public. So it really helps out with your social skills. You have to be able to approach people and talk to them. This really helps when meeting new people these days. I have no problem being open and responsive.

I don't want you to think that your profession has to be something like mine to make it through hard times. If you are paralyzed you should realize you have made it through something very difficult on your own. Also everybody else has major problems to deal with throughout their life without paralysis. If you are in a wheelchair you have to make sure to remember that when you are talking to people. We should never compare our problems with people. One of the first challenges we have to deal with is getting back into society. The first time out of the hospital I went to a Chick-fil-A that was close by. I was driving my chair with a sip and puff straw. I was so excited to get out of the hospital. It was even better to get the chance to eat some fried chicken. Ha ha. I rolled up to the counter and told my therapist what I wanted to order. She quickly told me I could order for myself. It was just an instant lightbulb in my head going off. I'm still exactly the person that I have always been and I'm in control. I've never looked back from that. We had to talk to a therapist whenever I got back, which I loved(sarcasm). She asked me how I felt about the situation. I told her everything was great. There were people that were staring at me, but I was prepared for that. I told her that if I had never seen anybody drive a wheelchair with a straw that I would've probably looked myself. I told her ultimately being out of the hospital for the first time again on a beautiful day was amazing. There was absolutely nothing that could have bothered me that day. The difficult situations I had to face in the past helped me make it through something that can be very difficult for others. Never let other people stop you from doing what you want to do. Most people are simply curious about how you were hurt. This goes for any situation in life. Get out and enjoy life. It will show others that nothing can slow you down.

Another thing that everyone should do is surround yourself with people that love you. You have to be around people that truly believe in you. If you start to realize the people you're around only bring you down then it's time to move on from them. I promise you they are not worth your time. Whenever I have some hard times I like to talk to people that have gone through the same things. Whenever you think someone hasn't dealt with something you have your wrong. There is someone out there, you can talk to I promise. They can tell you exactly how they dealt with the same problem. I know I joke sometimes about talking to therapist but they can truly be a blessing. Sometimes you just have to talk to a stranger about your problems so that you don't have to worry about them judging you. I'm also not afraid to admit that I take an antidepressant. You just may not realize that your body has a chemical imbalance that might need to be straightened out. You should never be embarrassed about anything that helps you. I encourage everyone to use any kind of research you can to get through your problems. If it is finding someone to call or simply figuring out something fun to do. You can make it through the bumps in the road that come along in your life. Trust me! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

The motorcycle you never saw me ride!

Any time I meet someone new they want to know how I ended up in a wheelchair. It is a genuine curiosity that everybody wants to know. If you know me very well I am easily approachable. I have no problem answering questions about anything. I can't tell you how many times I have told the story. Now, over time I just simply say I was in a bad motorcycle accident. The one thing I have never showed any body is a picture of the motorcycle. After my accident, nobody cared to see it. The insurance company called my dad about the motorcycle to ask what to do with it. He simply said to do whatever you have to do with it but he never wanted to see it. The only three people that saw it were my friends David Sabin, Zach White, and David Mahaffey. Well they got to see it before I decided to demolish it later. I never got to show it off to anybody. My anniversary of my accident is coming up May 14. It will be three years since it happened. I figured it was about time to get a chance to show off my motorcycle.

I never took any actual pictures of the motorcycle that I bought. If I had them, they would have probably been burned because of the fear of a bad omen ha ha. So my stomach turned into knots as I typed into Google 2007 Honda 1300. Google filled in the blanks that it was a 2007 HondaVTX 1300. Then I had to search for the next criteria. I finally found one with the exact same color and wheels as the one I purchased. When I was deciding on a bike to buy I had two different ones in mind. I was looking at a black Honda with a more classic look to it. The fenders completely covered the wheels. The actual wheels had a classic look as well. The other bike was about the complete opposite. It was a dark navy blue Honda with more custom looking wheels. I was torn between the two. I eventually decided to go with the navy blue bike. I just wanted to have something different, and I love navy blue. If you didn't know my two favorite colors are red and blue. So after much searching I found the exact same motorcycle that somebody had for sale. Seeing this bike again for the first time just gave me chills. My stomach just began to hurt. After looking at it for a little bit I remembered why I bought it. I still think the bike looks amazing. The first person I wanted to show was my dad. I actually showed him a picture of it the other day. Enough time has moved by it is not as tough to look at. We both agreed that it looked good. I've never showed anybody else, until now. I hope everyone can appreciate it and also respect how tough it was for me to bring this up. Every time I see someone riding a motorcycle I secretly wish I was on mine today. This is the motorcycle that I never got to show off...