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City: Here And There
State: And Everywhere
Country: Americas, Australia, Africa
Begins: Apr 1, 2012
Date: Sat, Jan 15th, 2011
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About me and where I find motivation
On the morning of April 30th 1990 some of the first words to leave my mouth were “Mommy, Mommy, I can’t walk right!” followed by the left side of my face going expressionless and me collapsing to the floor. It was later figured out by doctors at the hospital that I had suffered a stroke at the age of three.
I spent 10 days in the hospital and had four strokes total all in the first two days, beginning with the one I described above. I fully recovered from the first three, but the last one left me as a left-hemiplegic meaning in my case that I have very limited control over my left extremities. My arm is a lot worse off than my leg, constantly moving in ways that I don’t want it to, I find that my muscles are always tight and contracting in strange and sometimes painful ways. As far as my leg goes I can walk, but do have what is called toe drag (it’s basically where the motion of the foot hitting the ground is toe first then heel, instead of how people normally walk in a heel first then toe fashion). All this too say that I walk with a noticeable limp.
Growing up being noticeably different with a physical disability presented its challenges, but thankfully due to the way that my parents raised me I was instilled with the knowledge that if you set your mind to it you can do just about anything. I’m not sure how toe drag will affect me on the trail? Maybe I’ll just get blisters on different parts of my foot than other hikers, or maybe it will prove a lot more challenging in other ways that I have not anticipated, but I know one thing and that is that I will find out! I’m determined! If I could write one message with my life it would be that (like I said above): If you set your mind to it you can do just about anything!
I want people to know this! To know that they can live big and grand stories despite circumstance!
I am extremely encouraged to do the PCT by watching all the documentaries and videos out there about the trail and hearing stories of those who have done it. Also though I’m encouraged to do it by hearing about how other people have chosen to overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams! Here are a few examples from the trail and beyond:
I asked yesterday in the forums on here (postholer) if anyone has ever completed the PCT with a physical disability before. Thanks postholer for replying! His response? Yes, that in fact a blind hiker by the name of Trevor Thomas has successfully thru hiked both the PCT and AT!!! That’s incredible! I know that I have a disability that will affect my leg on this hike, but man I cannot even begin to fathom completing the trail blind, Wow!
Check out more on Trevor at: http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/04/blind-hiker-trevor-thomas-tackles-pacific-crest-trail-one-step-time5700
Here is an incredible documentary titled “Darius Goes West” about some friends that took their wheelchair-bound friend that has muscular dystrophy around the country and did all sorts of activities like riding in a hot-air balloon, swimming in the ocean, and many other things that he probably wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Man, it makes me want to live big!
Check out more on Darius at: http://www.dariusgoeswest.org/index.php
Here is another incredible guy named Nick that was born without any limbs, he now travels the world with his ministry called “Life Without Limbs” and speaks to thousands of people yearly, motivating them in many ways.
Check out more on Nick at: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/
And yet another, these guys call themselves “Team Hoyt” it’s a father son team where the father pushes his wheelchair bound son through triathlons. It’s pretty neat!
To see a bit more on “Team Hoyt” check out this video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flRvsO8m_KI
So, I realize that this all doesn’t exactly pertain to the trail, and I’m a bit “off-topic” but it’s stories like these that have give me great motivation to keep going when the going gets tough, and it’s these stories that I’ll be remembering when I want to quit at mile 1200 or whatever. I hope you guys find the same motivation in these stories that I do!
(So if you haven’t guessed the reason I call myself “Zocato” is because my left arm really does have a mind of its own, I’ve called my left arm “Lefty” since I can remember, and it’s stuck) (See last post if you have no idea what I’m talking about here)
Nomadic For Clarity
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