The question


Honestly I could not tell you how many time it’s been asked. The same question, over and over. I completely understand people’s curiosity, I would wonder the same myself. The question? "If you were able to snow ski again, would you consider it?" Anyone that new me before the accident hears that question and laughs, especially my mom. Ask her, and you will get the same answer as the rest: "It’s Kenny."

I have said before that this site is only a microcosm of the person I am, and people reading this are only seeing a small part of me. That being said, I do think one could find the answer to that question in just about everything I have written, from the high-five to "a broken man’s plea." I just spent two days trying to find a single word that could accurately describe who I was before the accident, and the only one that makes any sense is this… intense. I was intense.

Looking back, I think I operated on two distinct levels; full tilt, and asleep. Be it work, recreation or love, I always gave everything I had. The way I looked at it, why not? What is the point in living, if you don’t put all that you are behind all that you do? If you don’t push yourself to the limit, you will never realize your potential. This applied to every aspect of my life.

I chose a sport that would push my body further than I thought was possible. I learned that I could drop 25 pounds in 10 days, and still have the ability to run a mile in five minutes flat. I picked my major in college because it was rumored to be the most difficult one at the school, only to find out it wasn’t hard enough. I applied, and was hired, for a job in advertising that I was in no way qualified for on paper because I knew it would be a challenge (okay, and because it would make me a lot of money). I did everything I could every day to make those around me feel happy, cherished and loved.

I spent my downtime pushing myself as well. I was always fascinated with the human body and the potential it has, and I spent my time exploring that potential. I tried snow skiing, wake boarding and skateboarding (to name a few), and they each taught me something about myself. The first two gave me a sort of enlightenment as to what you can achieve, both physically and spiritually, when your body and nature come together. Skateboarding taught me that sometimes that achievement is simply bleeding. Gosh I was terrible.

Since my accident, I have heard countless people say they would never ski again because of my accident. "It’s just too risky. After seeing what has happened to you, it just can’t be worth it. Never again." The funny part, is that these people think that I would condone such a vow. In reality, I get so frustrated when people say these things. I think the main reason I lived the way I did was because I was not afraid of failure. I think I learned to be that way when I was 16, spending the entire summer trying to land a back flip on my wake board. For three straight months, I did nothing but fall on my face, swallowing gallons of water and peeling my eyelids back over my head (or so it felt). Just when I began to think it was impossible, I succeeded, and it opened my eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities I had never considered. I realized that it’s only through our failures that we can really know the meaning of our successes. If you fall down, you get back up and try again.

But Kenny, there is no reason to be that risky, you say. The thing is, I wasn’t being risky at all. I trusted my body’s abilities, and knew what I was doing. I was completely under control, and outside circumstances caused me to get injured. What happened to me was an accident, nothing more. Accidents happen every day. Hell, if you want to be afraid of snow skiing… you should probably be afraid of everything in life. Don’t drive your car, you could get in a wreck. Don’t use electricity, you could shock yourself to death. And for god sakes, don’t fall in love, you might get your heart broken. Everything has its risks, outside factors over which you have no control. 

So, would I ever consider skiing again? My answer is simple. No. I wouldn’t consider it, I would just do it.  Because ultimately, it all boils down to a standard I set for myself long ago: I refuse to live my life consumed by fear. I urge you to do the same. Take a chance, feel alive.

21 Comments Add yours

  1. »Ќαŧέ« says:

    Just thought I\’d stop in and say hi! So HI!!! Glad to see the Guess Who dimwit didn\’t think you were a bitch too. Jeez some people need to concentrate on their spelling rather than their insults and/or find a different hobby that doesn\’t involve computers! Oh well, made me laugh when I saw guess who, I was kinda gettin\’ worried, that the shim fell off of the earth or something! LMAO ~Kate

  2. Michaela says:

    As always I am amazed. I love the balls to the wall attitude. I think it makes you… I apprecaite that although your path in life has way changed you maintain it. You Rock!!!

  3. Katharine says:

    Intense…..I like that

  4. Unknown says:

    Kenny Salvini for President!You would get my vote – I love your attitude! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.Take care,Maureen

  5. tammy says:

    I only wish that I had the courage to do half the things you have .You have to know in heart the God has a purpose for you.I know you\’ve made me some thinking! you see my little brother died lat yr.2 weeks before his 39th b-day , of brain cancer.His 2nd bout of it .I watch my brother go from being big and strong guy that everyone loved to boney and having to be fed babyfood in bed till he died.My point is it makes me think how lucky I was to have him as long as I did and to never,Never takes anyone that you love for granted! Tod reminded us all of sienfeld even looked like him and I was Ellain.Now he\’s gone and I\’m crying as I write this but I just want to say God has a purpose for you !!! keep writing keep encourage others and along the way maybe you will begin to feel whole again cuz nothing is more important than that!you have the gift of courage an dI hope faith ! much love:)

  6. nickel says:

    I like what you said here: "it\’s only through our failures that we can really know the meaning of our successes." Thanks.

  7. Erich says:

    Long time listener First time caller…..I have read your blog alot I just wanted to say I enjoy your stories. I completely agree with you on this subject. At our age we think our bodies can handle any and everything. Why else would I at 28 play 2 hand touch (kinda) football and full court B-ball. Or the occasional full contact poker game. What can happen, or the words "be careful" Can\’t enter your mind while trying to accomplish something great. If you play scared you will never win. keep on keepin on. Erich

  8. Christy says:

    WOW. Awesome blog. I have a friend whose a parapalegic, his attitude\’s the same. Just do it. Yeah, that\’s cliche, but it\’s him too. He just lives, just does.Thanks for the great thoughts. Is it ok if I link back to you? I\’ll take silence for a yes 😀

  9. Dayna says:

    How on earth did you drop 25 lbs in 10 days??? Tha\’s insane!

  10. sohaila says:

    u know i had this feeling of fear umm actually not had i still have it kinda i\’m afraid of being hurt again but u made me reconsider it 🙂 maybe i won\’t think abt risks or maybe i\’ll think abt\’em but wzout letting\’em push me away from life ..thank u kenny 🙂 just wanna tell u , u look like an angel in the picture " sleeping again" wz ur niece

  11. Darcy says:

    Hey!I don\’t normally leave comments on people\’s sites who have hundreds of them, because I usually think that there are so many more people that have something to say… I know… It\’s a little strange.But I HAD to say something to you!I don\’t know if you\’re in love, in a relationship or what. But what I do know is that the girl that you fall in love with will be the luckiest girl in the world! Bar NONE! That kind of passion, related to a relationship is only destined for great and wonderful things… the things that make your heart skip a beat and make you breathless.I know that your post wasn\’t really about relationships, but I just put those two things together and had to say something… And your blog about your best friend reminds me of my love for mine, and his for me. I think boy/girl best friends are the most wonderful and rare things that exist and I\’m always glad to hear about someone elses… Because I would want everyone to have what I have with mine…Anyway, I\’ll talk to you soon…D

  12. Candy says:

    "We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow."-Fulton Ousler

  13. Mary says:

    Hi KennyWay to go. Am so inspired by your inner strength and vision. Risk and feel the fear anyway. Those who never risk never know. Those who do risk are never quite the same. Am a woman who took many huge leaps in life and some could be seen as deterimental but I see them as another step on making us more real. Here\’s to living and laughing and bein wild.Peace for 2006Mares

  14. Unknown says:

    The little that I do know of you if it were possible to strap a ski to your chair and control it you would probably do it.
    Dropping 25 pounds in 10 days is easy, you just drop 2.5 pounds a day.  If you are not a wrestler then it doesn\’t make sense but really it does work.
    Brandon Nall

  15. a_b_c_d_ says:

    It\’s now after 6 in the morning and yes, I\’m still "thinking". 
    You have no idea how badly I needed to hear those…well…I was going to say 21 words…but after going back to count them, I realize I needed to hear them all. 
    You are wise beyond your years and I suspect it wasn\’t the accident that made you that way.

  16. Edith says:

    Awesome attitude! You are right too… many people don\’t expereince everything they could because they are afraid to try, and they are afraid to try because they are afraid of failure.

    You almost make me feel ashamed of myself. When I was younger I was afraid of nothing, I attempted everything and anything… and skiing was my favorite sport… the only one I was any good at. I haven\’t been on skiis in 20 years, adn though I think of it often, remembering the wind in my face and the freedom I felt sailing down the slopes, I\’ve yet to make it happen again. I tell myself it\’s because of the expense, or because snow is far away now, or because… I\’ve got to be honest with myself… it\’s because I\’m 20 years older and I\’ve become afraid.

    This next winter I plan to conquor that fear. Thank you for your wonderful outlook and your lack of fear, even now.

  17. Brandi says:

    Sweet, I love your attitude. I don\’t know that I am quite as intense, but I hate to do something half-way, especially love (love for family, friends, and then LOVE love)…I love to just put everything into making someone feel loved…find what makes them tick and make them feel special!

  18. Candice says:

    ok, i\’m a little slow in responding to this, but better late than never.  what i want to know is from kenny…you ever done adaptive sports?  if you have which ones?  i know sitting in a bi-ski isn\’t quite the same as standing on two planks of wood, but if you\’re anything like me, it\’s the feel of the wind freezing your forehead, the sting of the powder flying up and stinging your cheeks, and the frozen smile plastered to your face that makes it all worth while.
    candice 🙂

  19. Mariana says:

    hola, hablas español?   De casualidad encontre tu sitio, empeze a leer pero no hablo bien ingles pero lo poco que pude entender me hizo saber que eres alguien muy especial y me encanta tu actitud ante la vida.
          saludos, mariana.

  20. Unknown says:

    have you seen this?? I thought about you and hugging your neices…


  21. tressie says:

    DANG!  am i too late?? did i miss the question??  🙂  Not much i could say that hasn\’t already been said, I appreciate your spirit and personality.  It blazes right through the words.  I have this saying that i love, talking about if our spirits were like trees with rings to show our growth, the widest rings would show the years of greatest moisture, but from tears, not rainfall.  No one ever wants that much growth, it\’s so often thrown on us and we think we can never rise above it.  But you have.  Amazingly.  And you can tell from that "blazing personality" that you will continue to do so.  i have a great friend who is a quad, i asked him to come over to read your stories, and he did and i hope he will soon leave a comment and you two could even talk.  it\’s been nearly 20 years for him, and he has an amazing spirit.  interesting too is both of you are so competitive in sports and you are both so handsome.  many similarities.  take care – ttfn ~ tressie

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