By Scott Cremeans
Someone recently told me that I was an inspiration to them, but I do not feel like an inspiration. This person explained to me that I have a great attitude. They shared that I have an excellent positive disposition despite the numerous adversities that were placed in my path. They do not realize that my life is not pansies and puppies especially when dealing with my MS. These compliments make me think that the definition of inspiration might be nebulous. The following stories tell the tales of those who are inspirational individuals to me.
There is a soldier named Travis Mills. He came back from the Iraq war after an IED explosion. He was the fourth quadruple amputee that came back from this brutal battle. Everyone would have understood if he played the “sympathy card” upon his return. However, that is far from the case.
With his wife and family by his side, he now does more in a day than most of us do in several days. He talks with all of the returning veterans mostly focusing on the severely wounded. He has a fitness training regimen rivaled only by die-hard fitness junkies. He also wrote a book sharing his life story and often does book signings as well. This amazingly inspirational book is called “Tough as They Come.” He shows that nothing can stand in your way when you have the will to keep walking forward.
There is another man who was on the X-Factor named Immanuel who is physically debilitated. Immanuel was born in a war-torn country. Later as an infant, he was adopted by an American family. Even though he is ambulatory, his legs and arms are in bad shape physically. He stood on the X-Factor stage with a slight tilt and sang “Imagine” by John Lennon beautifully. Faced with all of life’s difficulties he stood up and stood out letting nothing block his path.
There is a woman Kanya Sesser who was born in Thailand. When she was born with no legs, her parents abandoned her at the hospital. An American couple later adopted her. She grew up and became a model, skateboarder, surfer, and a snowboarder. She did not let the challenge of no legs slow her down and rolls through life with a smile.
There is another fellow named Nick Vujicic. He was born with no legs or arms and became a powerful motivational speaker. When confronted with his physically challenging life he did much more than anyone would have imagined. He speaks all over the world reminding people never to give up. Nick shows that with a compelling story and steady voice nothing can talk you onto the ledge.
I will also mention the people that I often see at the gym in seemingly lousy shape, and they still show up. There is a guy who I always see walking at a ninety-degree angle bent at the waist, and he is there at least three days a week. One gentleman walks with a limp at an angle that makes me think that he will soon fall over. There is also a small waif of a woman who I see working out as hard as someone half her age and she is seventy years old.
These are just some of the people who inspire me and motivate me to go a little farther and to do just a little more. We all have obstacles in our lives, but it is how we deal with them that makes us who we are. I do not know about you, but I do not want to look back at my life and say that “I wish I had” or “I could have.” If these individuals can overcome the significant obstacles that they were dealt of no legs or no arms or even both then why can we not do the same? I will continue to find ways to overcome the conditions that life challenges me with. I cannot sit idly by while these individuals are living full lives with the struggles that they have been dealt while my difficulties look minuscule next to theirs.
If you can’t find inspiration be an inspiration.