Hey everybody tomorrow is a big day I have a speaking event at Kennedy high school. Hoping that I can stream my speaking event live on Facebook so I’ll leave a link down below to my Facebook. So majority of what I’m going to be talking about is about my life before my injury basically explaining how I live my life how I went to the gym how I hung out with a lot of friends and was popular and how those things quickly changed after I got injured. Also telling them my experience of being in the hospital having a breathing tube and also a halo on my head I tried to explain the horrors of the hospital and just surviving a horrific injury, because believe me what I went through was complete hell.
Some other things that I talk about is what my life is like now, post injury and I get into details of what my daily routines are, what my strengths and weaknesses are and what it’s like to live in my shoes for an hour. I explained the situation of being injured and how hard it was to adjust with such a high injury shattering my C3,4 and 5 the vertebrae in my neck. I explained the situation of being really popular in high school and thinking that my friends would be there for me and I’d say 99% of them I didn’t even see, which was obviously really hard being 17 on top of the world and all of a sudden I have no friends anymore, it was a really hard struggle. I really try to get into their heads and show them that this is a real injury, that this happens to people all the time and that there is no cure, it’s not like a broken arm where you wear a cast for six months and you’re back to normal, this is a permanent injury.
I was really big into sports I played basketball, football, baseball, wrestling and plenty of other recreational activities. I was also was really big into working out and going to the gym, I took really good care of my body and I was in great shape. The doctors said the only reason why I survived my injuries is because of how much shape I was in. But I try to put these things in perspective so that they can understand that all these things that you love to do, no matter what that is, with this injury it can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. I used to love to ride my bike and I was an amateur BMXer, I also love going rollerblading and I miss all of these activities that I used to do, I find myself sometimes dwelling on them but I am on a different path now and I make the best of my injury and I am always staying positive. I have to find new activities that I like and that’s really hard because all the things that I do like I cant do anymore, so trying to find my niche in life is definitely overwhelming.
One of the biggest problems for me with this injury was how it diminished my image. I was always a tough guy, independent, strong, and do anything that I put my mind to. I really worked hard on my image throughout my life because I felt that was something important to me not because of what I thought other people thought of me but it was more of setting the bar for myself on what I can and can’t do and if I couldn’t do something I made sure to go on my way to at least try. I mean can you imagine going from 160 pounds and in the best shape of my life and on top of the world with friends and girlfriends and being extremely popular down to a measly 90 pounds, I looked like a Holocaust survivor, I was just skin and bones and I didn’t want people to see me like this but at the same time I was unaware of what I looked like until later on after I saw pictures but I can imagine how hard it was for someone that has known me for very long time or is a friend of mine to see me in this type of shape basically on the verge of dying. At the end of the day I survived my injuries, I’m living, I’m breathing, and I’m enjoying life to the fullest. It took a while for me to gain my weight back and finally mold back in to who I was but I did it. I’m back to my normal self mentally maybe not physically but I’m back and I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I look pretty damn good too…. he he 😉
Now that I’m in the wheelchair there are so many things that I wish I capitalized on, but I can’t because I am physically unable to do all the things I want to do mentally, but if you’re reading this and you’re not in a wheelchair or you’re not paralyzed and you have a 100% able body I dare you to go out there and give it your all on whatever your dreams and aspirations are because you don’t want to wake up one day saying I wish I did this or I wish I did that. Your time is now and the only thing holding you back on achieving your goals is your mind and that’s the reverse for me.There so many things that I think about and dream about and even when I’m laying down in bed before I go to sleep I think about all the things that I want to do that require an abled body and believe me it hurts and I fantasize about all the things I want to do and if you find yourself in the same situation just do it don’t be afraid, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. I think about what if I continued playing football my senior year maybe I would have went off to college and played football there. I think about what my life would’ve been like when I joined the Marines and I think about my four years after being in the Marines what would I be doing, what type of job would I have? would I have become a cop, would I’ve got into acting and modeling, would I be into some type of blue-collar work, who would I be hanging out with. What type of car would I be driving, where would I be living would I have my own apartment or even maybe my own house, what type of shape would my body be in, these type of thoughts are the ones that haunt me the most but like I said I persevered and overcome and live each day as it comes one step at a time.
Here’s a link to my Facebook / Twitter / Youtube. Plz stop by any of these and just say what’s up!
My public facebook- https://www.facebook.com/jdmotivates/?ref=bookmarks
My personal facebook- https://www.facebook.com/jd.guerrieri.7