To write a post about something truly inspiring sometimes makes me lose my “voice.” I can’t always find the right words to express how powerful some experiences in life are. Today I was invited to a special event, Wheels 2 Water, which is put together by the Testaverde Fund for Spinal Chord Injury. The Testaverde Fund works to raise money for a cure and more recently to help families who have suffered the trauma of having a loved one succumb to spinal cord injury (http://testaverdefund.org/). The Testaverde’s are also amazingly wonderful people who anyone would be lucky to know!
Wheels2Water allows people with physical disabilities to get in the water and experience riding in a wave (or more!). For anyone who has ever surfed, you understand that powerful moment when the water catches right underneath the surfboard- it is a moment of connection and it’s an unbelievable feeling to be so deeply connected with the ocean.
After coming home and having time to reflect on the day I began to read about the foundation. I watched videos from past Wheels2Water events and listened to individuals explain what this day means to them. One man spoke about how paralysis, at times, can make you feel as though you are trapped in the wheelchair. By giving people an opportunity to take life for all that it offers and not allowing the wheelchair to become a prison is what makes people like the Testaverdes heroes. It makes the world feel limitless and makes me realize that we need to take chances and live.
Many people came out to the beach today to take part in this special day. One girl in particular stood out to me. She looked roughly my age, and it was her first time getting in the water with a surf board. She was afraid, but she was determined. The smile on her face when the water pushed her forward was unbelievable.
This girl will never know, but she made my day complete. Happiness is contagious and if we allow ourselves to catch the bug we might just spread it ourselves. Seeing her joy spread through me like the flu in a college dorm. Thank you.
We have all been dealt a different hand in life. We can sit and look at our struggles with contempt, or we can rise above them and live. I feel so entirely appreciative and grateful for all that I have. Today I was able to see so many people come together and share a day for an important cause. Hopefully with studies, awareness, and further research more can be done for people with spinal chord injuries. Today I am grateful, reflective, and more aware than I was yesterday.