My son is with his dad this weekend but last week we had the opportunity to spend some quality time together. He attended a speaking engagement I had with a class of children at a nearby school one day last week. My son has been to a number of my speaking engagements with me and I enjoy him being there to witness what his mom does and the message I send.
My running coach and I were asked to help with a fitness class for an after school program and since school is out for the summer it is more of a place kids stay while parents are at work. Frank and I were all about doing it. I loaded my Range guy up to go with me. When we got there the lady that works there I know really well and she asked me to speak about my journey with the kids before we did any type of workout and I told her I would be glad to. My son took a seat in front of me. I noticed him glancing around the room looking at the children I was to be speaking to.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I always begin with saying I am a marathon runner. The children are excited to hear this and ask me the distance of a marathon and how on earth I do that many miles. Then I go onto say 22 years ago this would never have been thought of. I went on to say, each moment of our life has significant meaning and we should all pay close attention to our life. Then I said, one moment I recall walking out the door of my parents’ home to go hang out with some friends and the next moment I recall waking up in a wheelchair, and had no idea what I was doing in that chair and where I was at… I glanced around the room and saw the kids in ah of what I was saying and their hands beginning to raise with questions. As I noticed this I also noticed my sons attention growing stronger. These children wanted to know more.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
I went on to tell them I had been in a coma after I had walked out that door of my parents home and didn’t know because I had received a brain injury from an auto accident. I made it very clear to them that every moment in their life was of importance, and I told them those moments in that hospital were very important to me today because they taught me and drove me to be all I could be including the marathon runner I am now. This speech was only supposed to be a 15 minute speaking but ended up probably a 30 to 45 minute talk with all the questions involved and I didn’t mind whatsoever if it made an impact on them and especially that it was making an impact on my own son. After the talk we took the kids outside for a workout then me and my son headed home.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche
On the ride home my son began asking me questions. As I said above he has been with me to many of my talks and I have talked with him all about my past but his questions were all related to what the kids were asking me as I spoke. I answered all his questions and as I answered them I realized so much. I realized for one he didn’t pay that much attention to my talks before and thought it was just mom doing her work but it showed me the impact we can make on a life and I was making a positive impact on his. It also showed me it was affecting the other children in positive ways. After the questions stopped with my son I began thinking of some of the things the children were asking me on my brain injury. Then it occurred to me, but honestly this has occurred to me throughout most all of the speaking engagements I have ever done. The need for people to hear just what happens when our brain receives an injury but what makes me most thankful is that they can look at me speaking to them and see those terrible things I described, I have gone though and they can see by looking at me that they can be overcome through never giving up.
Never Give Up, Never Give In, Never Stop Trying, Never EVER Give Up!!!