How To Survive, Step 3: Dream


I had my mind. My body was broken & locked in place, but I had my mind. If I moved at all, I could injure my spine, even worse than the rear impact car collision had injured it, further decreasing the slim chance I would ever walk again. So the doctors strapped me down & tied up all the loose ends; torso, arms, legs, hands, fingers… I felt like a cucumber, wrapped in a burrito, wrapped in cellophane, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a… well, you know. I wasn’t sure my life would ever be the same.

But I still had my mind. I could dream, imagine, set goals & make plans. And if that was all I could do, nothing could keep me from it. Would it work? No idea, Would it make me as good as new? Probably not. But if I had to choose between doing nothing & doing something, damn straight I wasn’t going to sit on my ass. Well, figuratively speaking. Here’s how it all went down…

I can move objects with my mind. Hear me out. I started playing basketball my senior year of high school, in Connecticut. I scored the first 6 points of every game. And, every game, after I’d sink my second 3-pointer, the opposing team’s coach would call a huddle & tell his players not to wait on me to drive in towards the basket, but to go out & cover me. I had zero game when it came to dribbling, so that effectively took me out of the action. But the first 6 points? Mine, bitches.

For 3 hours each night, I practiced my 3-pointers. As a basketball beginner, it still wasn’t enough. Then, I read something about Larry Byrd or Kareem Abdul Jabbar, or whoever, visualizing the act of shooting baskets in his head each night, before he went to sleep. Sounded good to me, so I tried it. Bingo. My shoot/score ratio began to climb. It worked.

20 years later, I was in a hospital bed with a broken spine. Ra ra, motivation! Your imagination can take it from here, so I’ll be brief; I set a goal of having a cup of decaf with my mom, in the ahospital’s atrium. I imagined walking there with her. EVERY NIGHT, before I went to sleep. 1 month later? Wheelchair. 2 months later? Walker. 3 months? I walked to the food court, ordered a cup of decaf… and drank it with my Mom, in the hospital’s Atrium.

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My Mom…

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The atrium.

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Coffee.

Then, I set some goals:

1 – Meet the 2 guys who saved my life** & buy them a kickass steak dinner.

2 – Meet the girl who ran over me and forgive her.

3 – Drive across the country (in a car, if need be), and see the world.

Every night, in the hospital, I dreamed of achieving my goals.

Dream about a better tomorrow. It gives you the strength to make it so.

** Jeff & Shawn, 2 off-duty paramedics, were driving their ambulance home after a hard day’s work, when they found me, dying on the side of the road. I was in respiratory failure, so they worked quickly, put me on a respirator & called in a life-flight to air-lift me to Legacy Hospital, in Portland. If they hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here.

To recap…

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1.) Thanks, Jeff & Shawn.

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2.) I forgive you, Charity.

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3.) Death Valley rules.

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This entry was posted in how 2 survive, Road Trip, 2011 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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