I recently overheard a conversation between my brain and my legs. Here’s an excerpt:
“Good morning, legs! Rise and shine! We’re riding her bike for 40 miles, so up and at ’em.”
“Uh, it’s early. The sun isn’t even up yet. I don’t think so.”
“Get up. She wants to ride. She ate a lot of ice cream this weekend, and the fool thinks she can atone with a long bike ride.”
“A fool is right. Alright. I hear you. Let’s go.”
Apart from the childish name calling, I’m thankful that my brain and my legs are on speaking terms. Whether it’s starting a workout or walking up steps with a laundry basket, the tandem operation of brain/legs works without fail. That’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes, there is an estrangement.
The estrangement can be temporary, and other times it’s permanent. Your brain/legs relationship can suffer from communication breakdown as the result of disease, like spina bifida or Guillian-Barre. You can dive into the wrong spot in a lake. You can ride your bike and be struck by a car. You can be an intelligent, beautiful teenager who is shot by her boyfriend. No matter the reason, at the end the day your brain asks your legs to move, and your legs are silent. No response.
When this happens, life becomes very difficult for everyone. (I am nothing if not a brilliant stater of the obvious. Two more “no brainers” like that and I get inducted into the Duh! Hall of Fame.) But life is not over. In fact, Life Rolls On. This is the name of the organization founded in 2002 by Jesse Billauer for those living with paralysis. Jesse suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing. Who better to lead all of us into the surf? And what better way to build courage and confidence in some wheelchair-bound heroes than to throw them on a surfboard in the Atlantic Ocean on a beautiful summer day?
Chad and Xavier returning from a visit with the dolphins.
Yesterday, our crew spent summer’s most spectacular day yet on the beach in Wildwood Crest at the They Will Surf Again event, sponsored by Life Rolls On. I could vomit up a million words about yesterday. But I’ll just say two things and let the pictures and videos do the talking.
1. Chad DeSatnick organizes this event, pours his heart and soul into it, and it shows. Over 50 surfers, 200 volunteers, generous sponsors, and boundless joy made for the best day of my summer. Thanks, Chad!
2. Jackie, Monika, Kiera, Heather, Robert, Christine, Marcus, Colleen, Joey. The bravest surfers I know. Thanks for your indomitable spirits and non-stop smiles. Green Team is #1!
Please enjoy all of these video clips, compliments my friend Kirsten, Miss Jelly Bean herself. All you athletes out there, thank your Higher Being for the solid communication between your brain and your legs. And know that in the event of a communication breakdown, Life Rolls On!
I can’t load videos directly onto the blog. Who knew? So click on the links to watch some amazing stuff. Enjoy!
Heather’s ride: http://youtu.be/hwG3LndqoY4
Jackie’s ride: http://youtu.be/a_FyYXOkaug
Getting Jackie on the board: http://youtu.be/jnDAbKKqlEA
Pink team surfer: http://youtu.be/n5pZdw0S02I
Kristen’s dead shark: http://youtu.be/KXYzo_I0QCg
More pics below!
Strong west wind made for good waves.
Alexis’ second year at TWSA. This kid could be a supermodel. Simply gorgeous.
Xavier. Never stopped smiling!
The volunteers were the best. Seriously, I wanted to bring them all home and cook them dinner. Maybe even do their laundry.
Gratuitous donut shot.