On October 16, 2010, one of the most vivid memories that I have is when I asked my doctor if I would ever walk again. Before surgery I remember laying there and praying, “God, if I can’t ever play any sport in my life again I don’t care just please help me walk again.” Right before I went into surgery I finally got the courage to ask my doctor, “Will I ever walk again?” The look and answer I got from him was devastating. He looked me in the eyes with a very discouraged look and said, “I really don’t know.” After I woke up from surgery I was told I had a 3% chance of ever regaining movement or feeling below my neck.
You can imagine the fear, uncertainty and doubts that I had about ever walking again. However, I wanted to walk more than anything I have ever wanted in my life. I knew that I had to give it everything I had and I couldn’t let any doubts get in my way. I was determined to make my dream of walking again come true no matter what it took. The last few years I have tried to do that every single day.
An opportunity that I have been trying to make happen since last spring was to get to Plymouth, Michigan to workout with a world renowned strength and conditioning trainer Mike Barwis at his gym, Barwis Methods. I first heard of Mike from my girlfriend Emily, she read a story about a man, Brock Mealer, who became completely paralyzed several years ago but is now walking thanks to training with Mike. I read the story as well and dug deeper to learn more about it and I found out Mike has helped several people walk again! Therefore, we felt we had to reach out and possibly train there.
After months of trying to figure out a time to come out, on August 18th I got an email from the gym saying there is a time slot available for the morning of the 21st. I finally had an open schedule and agreed to drive the 20 hour roundtrip to get there for one session. I had this feeling that I had to go there at whatever cost. The session went better than I could ever imagined. Mike was very intense and intelligent. Without knowing me he demanded that I give it my all. I knew he was going to push me past my limits which I definitely wanted. I also learned that he has helped a lot more than just a few people to walk again but in fact over 50 people! The one hour session soon turned into a four hour intense workout. At the end I was completely dead. He confidently told me that in 4-5 weeks in his program that I will be a changed man. As you could imagine I was sold and unbelievably optimistic.
In addition, something that was really neat was all the professional athletes that were at the gym. I met about 10 professional NHL and Olympic athletes who were all there to work with the best, Mike Barwis.
After leaving the gym I knew that I had to move there. I will be finishing school this fall semester and then heading to Michigan to train there from January to May! I have never been so sure of anything in my life. This is going to be a big part of helping me accomplish my goal of walking across the stage at my graduation on May 24, 2015.
Always remember that if you want something bad enough you have to give things up, work hard every single day, and give it everything you have to make it happen. You are in control of what happens in your life and what you accomplish.
What will you do today to help you get closer to accomplishing your dreams?
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