October 18, 2010
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
You may recognize the last 2 lines of the above poem from the movie “Invictus” or the fact that Nelson Mandela would often quote it. This poem really spoke to me and has been a source of encouragement lately. To me the essence of this poem is that no matter what life throws in your direction there is ALWAYS a choice. The choice is to either rise above the challenge or cower before it in defeat. I certainly don’t make that choice everyday, but it is something I definitely strive for. The beautiful thing is that every victory builds upon the last giving me the strength to make the right choice for the next challenge.
As many of you know, I spent two months at Project Walk over the summer, which was an amazing experience. 4 days a week 3 hours a day of pushing myself as hard as I ever have both physically and mentally. Physically I gained a lot of strength in my upper body, added muscle mass to my legs, and increased strength in my core. Mentally I gained the understanding that I’m not made out of glass and I can handle more than I thought. On the first day I was there two guys hoisted me out of my chair and propped me up on a spin bike. At first I was a little freaked out, but then I realized I was fine and told them ‘Let’s do this!!’ The camaraderie that I built with the other folks at PW was encouraging. It was therapeutic to be able to talk to people that are in the same situation with the same attitude as me. I met some amazing people that have amazing attitudes about what they’re going through and I learned a lot from these people. Going to PW also gave me a renewed hope and motivation. It’s good to know that you’re not alone sometimes.
What does the future hold?? I’m planning on returning to Project Walk for a longer stint. I’d like to go for at least 6 months. In order to do this there are a few things that need to come together. The main thing I need to sort out is some care giving while I’m down there. So, if you’re unemployed and want to get paid to hang out in San Diego with me and do some care giving let me know...seriously!!
I want to thank you for all of your support. There is no possible way that I would have been able to go to Project Walk in the first place without all your generosity!! I am truly blessed to have this support!!