How many times in your life have you met with something that made you stop and ask, ‘Why God?’ Why now? Why this? Why in this way? If your life has been anything like mine, it’s come often, and almost always at the worst possible moment. And, of course, the first thing anyone wants to do is bitch about it; that’s just human nature, right? I’ve done a lot of it since breaking my leg, and throughout my life in general when met with these less-than-desirable circumstances. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.
It’s also a perfect time to reflect. An opportunity to take a step back, analyze your scenario, and realize the blessings you do have, and most importantly, to just breathe. Realizing that you are met with each hurdle for a reason, and though in the moment, and sometimes even for a long time after, it’s hard to see, the reason is there. You just gotta find it. And you gotta want to find it.
I think back on the hurdles I’ve faced… the big ones… the ones that hit me like a train head on; the ones that shook me to my core. What comes to mind is my childhood; a year in combat and the explosion; my recovery and PTSD that followed; the arduous search for a new me; Facebook follies and unfortunate professional hiccups; and to a lesser extent, this injury. I look back on each one, and though the pain and burden of each are still very real, the blessings that have come from them grow ever more apparent as time passes. With time, comes understanding and growth.
Without my shit childhood, I would have never been drawn to the Army the way I was. I wouldn’t have been on that desperate search for a surrogate family, which the Army inevitably gave me. Without that childhood, I’m not so sure I would have had the resiliency I needed to overcome my injury and PTSD issues, along with the isolation and depression it brought along with it. Without my injury, I don’t know if I ever would have had the will, the strength, the drive, to say fuck it, throw caution to the wind, and dedicate myself to physical fitness, to finding confidence in front of the camera, and to having faith in my written work. Without my idiotic Facebook follies, I wouldn’t know just how loyal my true fans are, just how much their belief in me and how much their support of my work means to me. I wouldn’t have been able to take a closer look at myself to see how I could change and learn to become a better person. Sometimes a good kick in the junk is needed to remind you what’s important in this life and that you’re not perfect. None of us are. And one day, looking back on this injury and its small disruption in my life and goals, I’ll see clearly why it happened, and I’ll understand it’s necessary presence in my life.
I guess, at the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is when you’re met with those road blocks, when life seems to be choking the hell out of you, just take a step back. Remember that this too shall pass. And one day, you’ll look at yourself and recognize the better person you’ve become because of the harder times. As my hero, David, would say… ‘never quit on the uphill.’