After six weeks, I earned the privilege of being relocated from the ICU to a standard hospital room. It was pleasing to know that the medical experts no longer considered me on the verge of death. I was now on the miraculous road to recovery.
My first reward was a visit from my teammates. Before they entered the room, my mom thoroughly briefed them about what to expect in the hallway. She tried to explain what their friend, her son, had been through for the last six weeks, but words would not do it justice. As they all clambered into the 8×8 room, I mustered up as much enthusiasm as possible to demonstrate my latest achievement. Because I had limited mobility in my upper body, I mastered a clumsy and awkward flinging motion of my right forearm to my face. This was a shocking and grotesque action observed by my friends. They didn’t know how to respond to their teammate who once bull-dozed through the defensive line. Attempting to break the tension in the room, I jokingly, but very seriously, called out for help. “I haven’t learned how to get my hand back down.” It was warming yet painful to see my friends again. I knew for the first time how hard it was going to be to complete my mission. The way they looked at me is indescribable. It’s more than shock and empathy. It was the same “unknown” expression I had seen earlier on my father’s face. Their distance surrounded me, and the barrier between us was already built; little did I know that I would see the “unknown” look for the rest of my life.
This excerpt from JR Harding’s powerful new book, Now What? (SokheChapke Publishing), describes an incident early in JR’s inspiring true story, which is about mustering the courage and discipline to overcome quadriplegia and become a successful executive, policy leader and consultant. JR’s courageous odyssey certainly illustrates every one of the four lessons of The Blind Visionary: Reach out aggressively; Act on opportunities; Don’t let fear win; and Keep things in perspective. It has been a privilege to get to know JR as a friend and colleague.
Check out JR’sFacebook page – http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002428955547 and website – www.Jrharding.com.
JR Harding, Author of Now What?
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