While going door to door this year I found that it is unusual for a candidate running for State Legislative office to campaign in shorts and a golf shirt. Some people wonder if I am looking for a lost golf ball in their neighborhood. When it is explained why I am displaying a prosthetic they completely understand. This is both an intentional display of the results of distracted driving and it is also a public display of perseverance. It is worth mentioning that being in a prosthetic and having a mangled left arm for me was not an end; it was and remains only a start point to a new style of life.
I jokingly see the leg as “bionics” or a chance to decorate without having to get another tattoo. It is important to see all of life’s challenges for the positive qualities they possess. In this instance I was slowed down enough to reprioritize making a family and going in a slower direction. No longer was the skydiving license, rock climbing or white water rafting that important. My children became the goal.
Many folks could use this type of injury as an excuse to quit. When that thought creeps in one should think about our troops coming back with far worse injuries than this one. We have all read articles regarding the creative and heroic ways they overcome their injuries. At that point I cannot condone self-pity. It becomes time to pull myself up by my bootstrap and keep walking.
A new focus for me is now charity biking. I am participating in the American Cancer Society ride from Philadelphia to Atlantic City in June, the Tour De Shore fund for Police officers family in July, and the Multiple Sclerosis MS 150 in September. These rides give me purpose as a fundraiser and let me set physical goals while helping others. It is also important to show people what someone with a “disability” can do.
After knocking on a Thousand doors so far people have responded positively to the leg and the story. They seem to understand why I am running and what it means to them. They see someone who is not going to quit on himself, someone who would not quit on his family and someone who will pledge not to quit on his district. Because as I walk this district, and at every door, I meet another good reason to persevere.