Dec 16, 2007

Gimp



I am always blown away by stories of triumph and beating the odds. I'm not sure if this stems from my own perspective of having spent weeks on end in the hospital many years of my life, unable to breathe, and thus having some sort of glimpse into the eyes of what it is like to not have control over your own body, or if I'm just a softy for the underdog. This week my inspiration comes from Mark Zupan, USA National Quadriplegic Rugby player, and overall badass. His book is called "Gimp", and the cover quote is; "When life deals you a crappy hand, you can fold - or you can play".
He is one of the stars of the Muderball documentary that I have previously mentioned in this blog, which is movie worth watching many times. It inspired me to go watch the local Quad Rugby team compete last year, and donate some money to their organization.
In Mark's book he says at the end of the prologue:
"But here's the bottom line: At some point, life is going to give you a swift, hard kick in the nuts. You can't control everything that happens to you, but you can try to understand it. For me, this has been just one of the many things I've learned in this painful, beautiful, crappy, exhilarating, stupid, rewarding life that started the day I landed in this chair - which I thought was my cross to bear, but was actually my salvation."
Now his story is not all roses and candy, in fact it is a lot of alcoholism and self reflection... but where he gets to in his 32 years of life is brilliant.
In the epilogue he says this:
"After my accident, I thought life was over. I was wrong. It was just beginning. We will all face hardship, pain, difficulty, and death at some point in our short stay on this planet - every single one of us. While tragedy can be a cruel teacher, it can also lead you to understand a truth and beauty that is much greater than yourself, as long as you refuse to quit. Even when you're feeling weak, alone, outmanned, or outgunned, as long as you are breathing, then you are still in the game. Because if a gimp like me can keep playing after everything I've been through, then anyone can."
Enough said, read the book:
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061127687/GIMP/index.aspx
And donate your holiday money to the Portland Pounders:
www.portlandpounders.org