Every once in a while I receive the gift of random, unsolicited positive reinforcement from someone who appreciates the sharing of my story. Well, that has happened for the fourth time this week and let me tell you, it goes a long way towards refilling my fuel tank when I get tired. I really want to thank anyone and everyone who’s shared any kind of feedback on either this blog or my Facebook page. Doing what I do to try to stay healthy and chasing these outrageous goals that I’ve set for myself makes it very hard sometimes to know for sure that I’m doing the right thing. Posting about it as well as sharing every aspect of the battle that I can is really just a huge magnifier for my self-doubt. Those of you who know me well, especially from way back, know that I am far from being a social butterfly. In fact, I’ve always felt like I was fighting an internal battle with a natural tendency towards being downright anti-social. That part of me has always made me being as wide open as I can possibly be in sharing my story a real challenge. So again, thank you Kathy from High School, I’m proud of you and keep up the hard work, I promise it CAN get better and you’re on the right track. Dr. Tortosa, your sharing that I helped you recover from your back surgery was really an honor. Without you keeping me in one piece, none of this would be possible. Finally, to Katlyn and Elissa, and especially my daughter Ashley, I’m very sorry if I’ve ever made you guys cry. I do really appreciate you letting me know what an impact my story has though. If it makes you feel better, I made a vow on day one to never shed a single tear over this. I still haven’t and I never will. I know there are many people who have things far worse than I do and my one true goal is to show them that they can fight back.

What those sentiments do for me is to let me know I’m still on the track. You see I really feel like I’m running in the dark and positive feedback and caring words are like lights on the path. As it starts to become easier to see that there is something wrong with me and total strangers ask why I’m limping multiple times a day, my evil little voice of common sense becomes louder and much more of a pain in the ass. “You look like a fool trying to do these things.” it says. “Just accept reality.”, “that’s impossible”, blah,blah, blah. I will always ignore that voice but this encouragement makes it so much easier. It tells me I’m not alone in this and that people do hear me, see me, walk with me and sometimes carry me. Most of all, it tells me that this is all worth it, that my quest is having the only thing I’ve ever wanted from it. IMPACT.

“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

I think everyone that has an appreciation for life wants to know why they’re here. We all want to matter. I have always felt that way, every since I was young and now that I have this clock ticking in my head, the drive to make my time count is almost manic. I think the best way to add value to your time in this life is to have an impact on other people and the best way to do that is break the rules and abandon common sense. “If you want to produce unreasonable results in your life… you’ve got to be an unreasonable person.” – Les Brown.

So thank you to all who follow this story. Thank you for lighting the path and keeping me going. If you want to make an impact of your own then abandon decorum and color outside the lines. Smash some walls and really live. Be strong, it’s worth it.

This video says it best: