September 25, 2017

My hero….my dad

father I can go on and on about my dad. I could write a novel about his character, compassion, loyalty, selflessness and love. I don’t have any pictures of him holding me as a baby or walking hand in hand with him as a toddler. But what I do have is memories and no one can take those away.

dad2 I remember being his Christmas gift one year (I was actually gift wrapped). I remember him making tons of my Halloween costumes by hand every year.  I remember him never missing any of my swim meets or hearing him on the poolside cheering me on. I remember him scolding me when I went against his rules, but then his comforting nature after to talk about things. My dad gives the most amazing and wise advice, not that I always listened, but I love how he gave me the room to learn by mistakes and love me through them. I remember him never leaving my hospital bed side, all 4 times. He did things no father should have to do for his adult daughter. While being bed bound after each accident, he showered me, washed my hair, dyed my hair, shaved my legs, did therapy with me three times a day with tears streaming down my eyes but pushing through because he was there. I remember getting on my walker for the first time 9 months after my first accident (age 19) and taking 3 unassisted steps into his arms. I remember him being my Valentine many times. He has held my hand through tough times, comforted me before multiple surgeries, cared for my daughter when I was physically unable to, being my strength when I had none left, letting me cry when I needed to and telling me to suck it up when he knew I could. He loves me unconditionally, even in my darkest times, he found my silver lining.

father2 My dad has not only spoken words of love to me, he has shown them over and over again. I love him with all of me and he truly is my best friend and my hero. The only thing I will probably regret is that he will never walk his baby girl down the aisle or dance with me at my wedding…but he already has taken the first dance of the best thing that ever happened to me…he was my daughters first love and first dance!

best dad

Giving In and Giving Up, IS NOT AN OPTION!

give up 3 There are times in life when all you want to do is give in or even worse give up. I think I know this feeling better than most, unfortunately. There were many of times in my teen years that I wanted to just give in…give in to peer pressure, give in to being the best daughter possible, give in to friendships/relationships that were not healthy. Then I hit 18 and wow, did all that change!

Yes, at the early age of 18, I learned how NOT to give in or give up. What was acceptable to put up with and what was not. How a person should be treated and how you should treat others.

Are you wondering HOW I learned all this so young? Easy, almost die and battle way your back from the grave for almost 2 years and you learn a lot! 

nightmare

After my car accident on Christmas Eve back in 1993, my life changed forever, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. How could it not! But there was a fork in the road. The fork was, do I get bitter and negative about what the accident did to me and my life or do I look at it as a blessing and become positive. I battled with this for about 6 months, 6 months of doing the bitter and negative road. 6 months of being mad at God, being mad at my doctors/nurses/physical therapists, being mad at parents/family/friends…just all around being an angry person. Being stuck in a hospital bed will do that to you and not just stuck there, but being unable to move your entire body except your head and arms. Just watching people WALK in to my room pissed me off. The worst phrases said to me were “Just stay positive”, “It could be worse”, “at least you are still alive” or the infamous question “how are you?”… how are you

REALLY, do you want me to seriously answer that question truthfully!? Could you even handle the blunt honest truth of that answer?!

 

Then Kevin happened! No Kevin was not a new boyfriend; he was not of any love interest of that kind. But I did love him and besides my parents, I owe him a lot! Kevin became my night nurse. I barely ever slept and since I was the youngest on the floor (literally by like 60 years), he spent a lot of time in my room in the middle of the night just sitting with me and talking. Not telling me how I should feel or telling me to stay positive, but just being there. We talked about everything; we even talked about my accident. Something I never did. You see, I couldn’t remember much about it, but what I did remember were things I wish I could forget. Those memories are forever seared into my brain, my life. But here is where I owe Kevin a lot. One morning after a night shift and an extremely painful night for me (physically), I woke up to find only one thing written on my white board in my hospital room. Typically that white board had my instructions for the day, what tests I had scheduled, what time my physical therapy appointments were, my day nurses name and phone number, etc. But not that day…that day I woke to find just this:

phil 413

Now go kill it! Signed….Kevin

I had no clue Kevin was a Christian, I had no clue that he knew The Bible, I had no clue that when I did sleep he prayed over me.

I also woke to my dad sitting in a hospital chair right beside me; Kevin called him and told him I would really need him today. He was right!

This is when I decided to barrel down the side of the road of bitterness and negativity to the road that led to something greater…the road of my new life!! It literally was like a switch flipped and this new person appeared. I was no longer this weak fragile shell of a body in a hospital bed. I was determined, I was positive and most importantly…I was filled with life again!

That is when progress happened. My board never was wiped clean and nothing new was ever put on it. My days were filled with physical therapy, even when I was told to slow down, I didn’t. I had a goal! What was it? To walk again! I didn’t care if it meant with assistance, with crutches, a walker…I didn’t care. I was not being labeled by society and deemed an outcast because of this new life I was embarking on. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, that there would be many difficult days ahead of me, but I was ready to hit them all head on and be the one standing at the end.

Here is where I lost a lot of people in my life. Remember in the beginning I said how giving up and giving in is not an option. Here is where I tell you it is.

Confused yet?

Let me explain. It is NEVER ok for you to give in or give up when it comes to YOU, but it is absolutely ok to give in or give up on someone or something that is making you doubt your abilities and yourself. I have learned that life is too precious to care about hurting someone who is already hurting you. To worry that if you don’t give in to the way people want you to be, you will be alone. That if you aren’t doing, saying, being that perfect person at the perfect time, no one will love you.

Guess what!!!

Whether you do all of that or not…it will never matter. People will still come to their own reason or rationality on why they either like you or don’t, or if they choose to love you or not or if they even want to be a part of your life through the good and the bad. But here is where you get to have your say…you get to choose if they like you or don’t, if they will love you or not or if they stay or if they go. It’s all up to you. No one else holds the reigns in your life. The path you take is up to you. The decisions to be made are yours to make.

So it all comes down to this…

Never give in or give up on you…but it’s ok to walk away from the ones who have given up on you.

give up 2

NO EXCUSES…My Definition Of It

oscar no excusesIf you have been around my Facebook Page or even here on my blog, you know that I use the term NO EXCUSES a lot! I have come across some people who have not liked that terminology and have back lashed at it. So I have decided to take those two words and explain my version behind it!

A good friend of mine, Natalie Jill, says this all the time, “Excuses or Solutions, YOU decide” and I COMPLETELY agree with her (it’s probably one of the reason we get along!). When I say NO EXCUSES, there is so much more behind it. You see, I would say this to myself while laying in a hospital bed or at a grueling physical therapy appointment where I was learning to re-walk AGAIN for the third time (fourth if you count learning to walk as a baby). Let me explain even farther.

There is no silver lining or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there is no prince charming or fairy-tale ending, there is no winning the lottery or gaining an inheritance…BUT what there is, is YOU…your choices, your decisions and finding YOUR solutions to every problem that arises. This means in ALL aspects of your life, not just in the area of your health. It pertains to your family, career, finances, relationships, school, etc…you LITERALLY can utilize this term in EVERY area of your life!

you No one in this world will make ANYTHING happen for you, it is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY up to you. It is up to you to make your dreams a reality. It is up to you to see that you achieve your goals. It is up to you if you want to see a change in your health, whether it is to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or blood pressure, or to gain muscle. No one will do the work for you and no one will care about it as much as you do. If you want to be happier, feel loved, feel needed or wanted…well it all begins with you…loving you first! If you are waiting for someone else to do this all for you…you are going to be waiting a very long time, basically you will be waiting forever! So I ask you, why would you do this to yourself?

As you are reading this, do you feel stuck? Are you stuck in a bad situation and waiting for someone to “rescue” you? Are you waiting for that “magic” solution to happen? Guess what, I have your answers!!! Stop waiting! You are your OWN hero, you are your OWN magic solution!! I know you are probably thinking, ”easier said than done, Sue”! And why do I know this? Because before I realized this for myself, I thought the EXACT same way!

How did I get past it? How did I make myself my own HERO? Let me tell you…

No ExcusesIf you want to see a change in your life, you need to be the one to do something about it! If you want to see something get done in your life, then you are the one to do it! If you want better for you, it us up to you to make it happen! The choices you have already made are no one else’s fault but your own. You need to be accountable to these and stop blaming everyone else around you. By doing this, you are able to see where you went wrong, find a better way to do it and move on from it. If you play the blame game, you are constantly stuck in a circle going round and round, instead of climbing your mountain!

NO EXCUSES is a mantra for me. I used it lying in a hospital bed after my doctors told me I would NEVER walk again. I could have laid there and played the “woe is me” card, instead I started planning. I started asking myself questions and FINDING answers to them. One of my first was, “how can I make sure I don’t gain weight while being bed ridden?” my answer, DON’T emotionally eat, still stay as close to clean eating as I possibly could. Another question, “how can I keep as much of my lean muscle as I could”? (I would need this once I began physical therapy) My upper body wasn’t damaged. I had dumbbells brought in to the hospital to do arm exercises. My traction bar had a triangle attachment that I used to assist my nurses with moving me or changing my bed linens, I decided to also use it for pull-ups. “How was I going to remain positive in such a negative atmosphere?” I was going to talk, I wasn’t going to hold in my emotions and let them eat away at my soul or brain.My accident

So bottom line is, I don’t care (and neither should you) about the limitations this world has put on you. If you have a medical issue, your life is NOT decided for you due to it. If you have an injury or recovering from surgery, THESE do NOT control what you decide for you! If you are struggling financially and can’t afford things (like clean eating or going to the gym), read my blog about clean eating on a budget (I’m a single mom, I understand, trust me). As for a gym, the BIGGEST gym in the world is absolutely FREE…it’s called the world; the outdoors is absolutely free for you to get things done!

So start questioning your excuses and stop validating them. Instead start VALUING YOU! Because in the end, YOU are the ONLY one that matters!!!

Sometimes you just have to….

WALK AWAY!!!

I am usually the one who keeps trying and trying to make a friendship/relationship work…and I am always the one who ends up getting walked out on. You see, it’s because I inherited this wonderful trait from my father. I am one to stick it out, get walked on, forgive over and over, let things slide, keep my mouth shut to appease someone and give too many chances!

I will admit that I finally, over the past 3 years, have started walking away before I let someone take everything from me. It’s funny…how is it, when I get waked away from, I never say anything rude about that individual. I realize I did everything in my human power to make things work/fix things, it just didn’t happen and this was what was supposed to occur. YET, when I walk away…the tongue lashing I receive (behind my back, of course) is absolutely horrendous! What I like best is when I get called names that don’t even “fit”…if you know me then you know the names that don’t fit! I am blunt honest (sometimes brutally), but isn’t that what we all should be. I call things like I see them, I am not asking for you to agree, to do as I say…but it’s just my thought/opinion. (I have noticed though the more truthful I am, the more the other person (who is lying to themselves) gets upset with me….but frankly I don’t care if you get mad at me because I am being honest. (This would be the same person who is pissed at all the liars in their life).

If more people stopped FAKING what they want and who they are…more people could be REAL!!

What INSPIRES you….

Where do I even begin this?  People ask me this all the time and to be honest I never really give the same answer. It depends where I am at in my life, what I am going through, the situation I am in, etc.  You see many things throughout my life have inspired me. When I was younger, my brother inspired me to stand up for myself. That just because I was a girl, didn’t mean I had to put up with crap. Then as I hit my teen years, I never was the type to idolize celebrities or singers….I had Olympic athletes posted on my walls and quotes of achievements. In high school, I was my own inspiration. I wanted to stand out from the normal. I wasn’t part of any “clique” in school, I became the bully’s bully (I wouldn’t stand for anyone degrading anyone else for any reason), I threw myself into my school work and my sports training. I had goals written on my mirror in my room that I wanted to have crossed off before graduation. There were certain individuals in school that quite didn’t get me (though I didn’t care). I lived in the weight room, I loved it there (funny I still do), it became my place of solace. I broke a lot of records in there too….but mostly I realized I was not just building my outer strength, but also my inner strength. After high school, I made the decision to do a power lifting competition, it was just another thing to cross off my list. You see my list starting becoming not things I thought of, but what others put there…when I heard someone say “You can’t do that…you’re a girl” just spurred me and made me think “REALLY…WATCH ME!”.  Some people thought I set my goals too high, I always thought I set them to low (sometimes I still do). Then my first accident happened, my ONLY inspiration during those most grueling 2 years was my dad. He made me remember everything I once was and still could be. Another inspiration would be my sister, Stephanie. I’ll never forget the day she called me and said, I didn’t lose my sister in 2 serious accidents, I’m not gonna lose her now due to depression. She told me to stop listening to my doctors, they only knew my body…NOT MY HEART. She told me to take back my life and start living again. AND I DID! Throughout my journey so far in life, there have been many friends, family and even strangers that have inspired me. Some don’t even know they have or that they do.

Through all of this though, every inspiration I have had doesn’t amount to the BIGGEST one of all, my daughter. She inspires me daily, sometimes hourly! She is the one who makes me fight through all the hard times, through the pain and suffering, through the times I just want to give up and give in. She is my greatest achievement…one I never had on my list. She has been my biggest cheerleader, supporter, and source of encouragement.

So if I had to choose just one thing that inspires me….it’s ADRIANNA!

So my question to you….what INSPIRES you?