I met Derek this past December when I went up to Canada for a Wheelchair Basketball Camp. Before I even really knew him, I could tell there was something special about him. Derek just stood out to me because he seemed so happy and chill and it was obvious that he just wanted to learn to be a better wheelchair basketball player. He was always smiling and that light that people say shines off of me…I am pretty sure the light they are all talking about was exactly what I saw shining off of him ❤
And during that same camp, I found out that Derek was only 7 months post injury…and I was blown away with his demeanor.
On April 30th of last year, at 21 years old, Derek was in a Motocross accident where he broke his back and became paralyzed from his sternum down.
Of course, we all go through our hard times, dark times, all of that…but it’s all about the way you view the situation you are in. You can be suffering, in intense physical and emotional pain and hating life for the moment, but still know deep down that there is so much more to life and that something greater is going to come out of everything that you are going through.
You can say you hate your life or that you don’t want to live…but you know you won’t give up.
There is this crazy thing inside of you that, no matter how shitty you are feeling, there is this thing inside of you that tells you to keep fighting and it will get better. And it does. And it is more than just amazing when it does.
When it does get better, it is as if you have entered an entirely new world where all of the sudden you can see what really matters in life. You know who you are. And you get to meet so many incredibly amazing people who all seem to know the same things ❤
People who care about people.
…At least that is how I feel.
You just never stop fighting for what you believe in. And the main thing, in everything that we fight for, is happiness.
Last week Derek drove his dirt bike 6 hours from where he lives to sell it. When he told me he was doing this, I teared up and I hurt for him just thinking about that, because I know what it is like to give up that one thing that has been your passion for as long as you can remember knowing what passion even is.
From the time I met Derek, I felt like there is so much I could learn from him. I asked Derek if he wanted to go to this camp with me a few weeks after I met him. And he was instantly down, as his entire focus at this point in his life is learning about what is out there, what he can do, and where his life is going to take him ❤
I wanted to go to this tennis camp for so many reasons. Reasons which will be to much more to explain right now 😛 this post is about Derek 😛 haha
Anywhooo…it has been a great trip so far. I just wanted you all to know a bit more about this super cool, super chill guy that I now get to call my friend 🙂
Derek’s song while in the hospital after his accident:
My Song while in rehab two months after my accident: