Atypical Is an Understatement.

At my core, I’m a movie geek, so I tend to see & relate to life in cinematic terms. But I have to say, if I sat in a dark room and watched the theatrical version of my life story, I would be the first to call out, “Bullsh#t! All of that didn’t happen to one guy!” But it did.

Call it fate, destiny, God’s plan or plain ol’ dumb luck: life’s trajectory has taken me down a path that has exposed me to many of the polar extremes in the human experience.  I’ve seen some of the highest highs and lowest lows that life has to offer, no moment more evident than on the night of February 11, 2004, when a 40 foot fall from a ski jump took me from a top-tier athlete to a C3-C4 quadriplegic.

I know what it feels like to bench press 265 lbs., run a mile in five minutes flat and go toe to toe with some of the best athletes in the world. I’ve also survived four-story fall onto my head, 2 1/2 years of bed rest from an infected sore similar to the one that killed Superman, and five minutes of CPR after a MRSA infection made it into in my bloodstream causing cardiac arrest.

I’ve gone from being so in tune with my body that I could guess my weight within a quarter of a pound to so disconnected that I had no clue when my appendix burst. I have fathered a child I never got to meet because the pregnancy tragically ended right at the first trimester. And I have said the words “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health” to a soulmate battling a cunning, baffling and powerful disease only to bury her on our three-month anniversary when she ultimately succumbed to it.

From the outside looking in, I can see how my life would look like a cautionary tale for some… or maybe a really crappy country song. And that very well may be your opinion. But, for me, that’s just life. If you don’t risk the tragic, you’ll never experience the magic it has to offer. I’ve had the opportunity to see life from a number of uniquely different vantage points that have given me a much deeper perspective, which is probably why my voice seems to resonate with people in all walks of life. I have taken many of the risks people fear taking, experienced the highs they fear they are missing out on, and survived the lows they fear they would be unable to bear, and would readily argue that it’s all worth it.

In the span of a decade, I lost my baby, my body and then my wife. Just one of those tragedies by themselves is more than some experience in a lifetime. But all three? That’s a Tom Hanks movie. The depth and breadth of life I have experienced since my injury would leave even Forrest Gump speechless, staring slack-jawed at an empty box of chocolates… The only difference is that my story is real.

Stick around to find out what happens next… Whatever it brings, I’m going to do life.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Todd says:

    Love you Boo. Tell me, it is yours.

  2. Lee Mulder says:

    I am very interested in speaking to you in person or on the phone. I’m 45 years old and have just taken on the most challenging and rewarding position of my life. I am the Principal of a very unique special day school. CREST School. We serve special needs children including EBD and InD. These kids have cognitive and behavioral issues and I need to reach them with real people and special events to show them they matter and can find and reach their own personal potential. They need a message of hope. Is this somthing that intrests you. It is basicly helping kids in a special day school setting. We have some funds but we are a public school not a rich district and we are located in citrus county fl. Your story and will to fight is unbelievable and inspiring. Pardon my typos, im texting this. My cell number is 352-422-3744.
    Thanks Kenny,

    Lee Mulder
    Principal, CREST School

    Check out the crest fan page for more information. I also have local media contacts to help get your message of hope out there too.

  3. Thank you for such kind words, Tonya!

  4. John Denison says:

    You’ve always been a hero to me. Not because of all the hardships you’ve had to endure, but because of the way you always conducted yourself the short time I was fortunate enough to know you while you were wrestling for Central. I had so much fun watching you on the mat. God help those that dare to leg ride. I am truly lucky to have known you. Everyone could learn from you.

    1. Wow, thanks John! I have lots of fond memories of those years, especially with Cole. I certainly wouldn’t be the man I am without having had your son as a close friend and practice partner.

  5. Cole says:

    Hey Kenny
    I love this blog, I hope you don’t mind if I share this with lots of my friends around here. To say that it is inspirational might be an understatement, it puts a whole new spin on the way we view our own lives and makes us want to do it better. I think you’re one the strongest and most gifted people I know, and you use these things to help change people’s lives. I also feel that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you. Take care and say hi to the Family for me.

    1. Damn. Thanks, brother. Such high praise from someone I always looked up to is a lot to wrap my head around. We had some great times those three years, even if it was mainly you kicking the tar out of me the majority of the time. But seriously, this comment made my week, buddy. Miss you guys. Let’s make sure to hook up at state!

      1. Cole says:

        I will definitely come see you this year at state. It was pretty awesome to see you guys on TV. You and Shaine looked good, but I think the camera put a couple years on Jack, just kidding you guys all looked good. Keep on doing great things, looking forward to seeing you.

  6. Casey Moore says:

    Hey Kenny great website. It’s awesome to see other quads with positive attitudes too. I’ve been working on a site for spreading positive energy to all of us living with SCI, would love if you’d check it out and give me some input.

    1. Hi Casey! Thanks for the comment and the link to your site! Looks like you have a lot of good things going there, keep up the good work!

  7. mandolyn says:

    Hey Kenny! I used to read your blog years ago and happened upon it again today. I read a post back then about wishing your unborn child a happy birthday that struck a chord with me. I had just been devastated by a miscarriage. You told me that one day the color would return to the black & white world that I felt like I was stumbling around in. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve always wanted to say thank you for that. Thank you for having the perfect words. And you’re so right. Somehow, eventually the color always returns. (Thank goodness, too. Your Tom-Hanks-movie-reality-life should be in full color. “Do life” doesn’t seem like a black & white activity.)

    1. The color always returns…Thanks for stopping by again, Mandolyn!

      1. tessy550 says:

        Hi Kenny!
        I too started reading your blog soon after you started it. Always loved how open you were and still are with your life, love, and struggles. I had several difficult things occur over the last few years and lost touch with your blogsite. I received an early Christmas present this year when about a week ago I was going through some old paperwork and there was the website address for this blog, it was truly like finding an early present.
        I am so glad that you have continued this blog, happy for your happy times, and still praying for your low times and losses. I have sent this address to an old friend that used to read this with me, I am sure she has lost the address too, we used to work together until our workplace shut down. She will be as excited as I am.
        A late Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year….looking forward to sharing it with you.

        Teresa Spinks

      2. Thanks for stopping back by, Teresa! Hope the new year is also treating you well!

  8. I hope you blog again, Kenny. This is Ramblingon…used to be of MSN Live Spaces and now on Blogger. This is my kitty’s account though.

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