“I don’t hit walls, I tear them down.”
Not literally, but figuratively. It sounds cool doesn’t it? Like I’m some super awesome guy who should be spitting out one-liners in an action movie while simultaneously beating up hundreds of henchmen while explosions are going off all around me. This will all culminate with an abnormally beautiful and genetically engineered super-model woman who doesn’t exist in real life running up to me embracing me as the hero while I smirk and smile at the camera. However, as you’ll read below…..I’m not that cool. I’m way more awesome then that!
Since I find myself so fascinating I added this little page so all those reading can see how wonderful I am. I’m a husband and father who lives in the Great White North (some refer to it as Minnesota, but enough about them this is all about me!) I’m a fan of the outdoors and my family too. Oh and Twitter… I like that social media venue a lot you can follow and chat with me there. I’m @jscardwell I apologize in advance for whatever I post on there.
In 1999 I was involved in a snow skiing accident that changed my life forever. That accident almost took my life and almost took the use of my legs. I suffered an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury. This means that my spinal cord was not fully severed, but neurological damage was done. Two surgeries, two titanium rods, and almost two years of physical therapy and I was able to walk again. I have a very noticeable limp (I prefer to call it my swagger), two very large scars, and a decent amount of daily pain. All of this though has not dampened my love of getting outside whether I’m camping, hiking, or climbing. When I can combine all three then great things tend to happen, like quality family time and interesting adventures.
I’m finding that to continue my outdoor adventures that I need a little help from my friends… I call my friend Ankle Brace. All of this assisted apparatus as well the use of trekking poles make me feel like Lee Major’s cheap knock-off bionic man. All I need now is some cool sound effects when I hike and climb, other the the creaks, snaps, and groans I make myself. I’m still in the process of hiring someone to follow me around so I can have my own theme music, this is a difficult pitch to get approved by the family treasurer.
The one good thing about being disabled is getting the pity looks everywhere I go. When people see me covered in braces, tired, and limping they have tremendous pity for me. It’s like they believe I’m being forced out there against my will. That someone should just take me home, place a pine scented air freshener under my nose, and turn on National Geographic instead of torturing the crippled guy. I tell them, when my wife isn’t looking, that she doesn’t feel that we should spend our hard-earned money on physical therapy and that instead I should just work out the kinks.
I’ve recently taken up the hobby (insert obsession here because it’s probably more accurate) of rock climbing. I am figuring out how my lack of balance and muscle definition in my lower body is going to work on the rock craft, which makes climbing all the more challenging. It’s a learning experience. I’m trying to convince my wife we need to take up ice climbing too! I’m going to try skiing again, and maybe snowshoeing as well. So my adventures and most likely posts will revolve around my family and my glorious attempts at tackling outdoor recreational activities.
Life is a daily adventure which has both it’s ups and bigger ups. So come with me as I brace up, lace up, and finally manage to get up and get going. See you on the trail, or the crag, at the Sports Medicine office, or in the hospital….whichever comes first.