I am not a victim.

Four years ago today, my family and I were in a horrific car accident.  I almost died.  My wife and kids could have died as well.  The driver of the other car is dead.  My family was shaken to the core.  Everything we knew was turned upside down in an instant.  I have spent the last four years trying to recover everything I lost that day.  I have experienced great pain and suffering, but I am not a victim.  No experience but death could have prevented me from taking my current situation and  moving forward.  I could not control where my recovery started, but I could choose where it went from there.  God has given us free will, and free will is very powerful.  I can only be a victim if I allow myself to be one.  If I choose to let the pain and the setbacks identify me, than that is exactly what I am doing.

On Thanksgiving I ran the entire 5K Turkey Trot.  Just under four years ago, I laid in my nursing home bed, paralyzed, and told my family and friends that I was going to run it.  I am not sure how many people believed me.  I know my doctors didn’t think it could be done. It took me a lot longer to get that goal than I had thought, but by the grace of God and through perseverance, I succeeded.  It was a massive struggle to get there, but I learned so much about myself through the experience, that it was actually a blessing.

I am not a victim.

This blog is now one year old.  I wrote my very first post last Thanksgiving.  What a strange process all this has been.  Between the blog, magazines articles, TV interviews, newspaper articles, and speaking engagements, I have had the chance to share my family’s story with well over 1 million people this year.  This fact is very difficult to wrap my head around.  These opportunities have given me the chance to talk to many wonderful and inspiring people.  By simply giving a little of myself, I have received ten times in return.

I am not a victim.

I have come a long way over the past four years.  The first few months after the accident, I would think that all of it was just a bad dream and that I would wake up.  Now I feel like the time before the accident was the dream.  I remember those months right after the accident like it was yesterday, yet time has moved on.  Time is a funny thing.  It seems to go by so slowly on a day-to-day basis, but at the same time you question how your little babies grew up so quickly and why your hair is turning gray.  Only time will tell where my road to recovery will take me.  All I know for sure is that I will preserver. My family will always motivate me to overcome any adversity.

I am not a victim.