Mind Over Matter: Healing doesn’t stop with the body
This is my first blogging experience, so I appreciate those of you who are taking the time to read this. Also, thank you to all of you who are continuing to keep track of our ever-growing progress as a foundation as we work to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit of those suffering from catastrophic injuries; but I especially appreciate those of you who are overcoming major obstacles in your everyday lives.
That being said, I would like to elaborate a little bit on why I feel that addressing the physical aspects of an individual who has suffered a paralyzing injury is only one small aspect of maintaining that individual’s overall health, well-being, and ability to have a life worth living.
As I’m sure most of you know, I was in a diving accident seven years ago that left me paralyzed from the shoulders down. After my accident, I spent the following seven months in a handful of different hospitals and rehabilitation centers, and when I think back on it, it still surprises me that I’ve made it to this point considering how many truly near-death experiences I’ve encountered, and just how unhealthy I was after leaving the hospital.
In order to get my health and life back in order, my family did all they could for me by researching where I could receive the best rehabilitation; this search for the best care has taken me all across the country. In my experience, these top facilities have great physical rehabilitation programs that have been proven to maintain muscle mass, bone density, and in many cases, the regaining of motor functions after suffering a paralyzing injury. Despite the successful physical rehabilitation that I have experienced, many of these facilities are lacking programs to aid in a patient’s positive thinking and evolving spirit that would ensure that all aspects of their being were making the same recoveries that they were experiencing physically.
It is difficult to put into words the mental battles one experiences on a day-to-day basis after suffering such a horrific accident and lifestyle change. But what I can explain is the importance of helping people maintain a positive mindset that allows them to still explore what life has to offer, no matter what physical state their body may be in. Thanks to the support of my family and friends, I am able to win that battle most days.
I’ve been blessed with opportunities to experience many things in the past seven years that prior to my accident I had only dreamed of. I’ve been to more sporting events in the last five years than I had previously been to in my whole life. I have traveled the country from west to east coast in a motor home. I’ve even taken control of a race car at speeds nearing 140 mph. These are just a couple of experiences that keep me going and make me smile. But what I’m truly passionate about is being able to give these opportunities to people in similar situations that otherwise may never realize that a full, happy life is still possible after a life-changing injury.
I believe that building a center where people will not only explore their potential to regain the many physical aspects of their life they have lost, but also be taught to appreciate and cultivate the mind that God blessed them with is more important than I can accurately express. The mind is the most powerful thing we possess, and most importantly, we still have control over it regardless of the state of our bodies. As long as we can help people realize this, many of the limitations they feel daily will seemingly fade away. They will be able to begin to focus on what blessings they still possess instead of dwelling on what has been lost.
The difference in those two statements will make or break any person, no matter where they are in their life. Helping individuals focus on what makes them happy and giving them opportunities to realize they still have a life worth living will be a cornerstone of our rehabilitation center, and that emphasis on mind, body, and spirit will be what separates us from the rest.
I thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope it shines a little bit of light on our foundation’s mission. I thank you for your support, and on the behalf of the many others in my position that do not have a voice, I thank you even more.