(One minute read about the power of perseverance)
Let me start by saying – you were wrong. I will never forget that day in Slovakia when my life was changed forever. More importantly, I will never forget that day, a few short weeks later, when you looked me in the eyes and told me, “You will never walk normally again.” That day I made it my life’s mission to prove you wrong. My spine was mangled but I refused to let anyone but me decide my fate. I was 24 years old when I heard that news. Right before I limped out of your office with that damn cane but three years and three back surgeries later, here I stand – stronger than ever. Because if the military has taught me anything it’s to never give up.
I’m writing you this letter to thank you. Your words that day lit a fire under my a%$ that I desperately needed. Without you, I probably would’ve continued feeling sorry for myself after my injury and never truly bounced back. I wouldn’t have started writing which means I wouldn’t have inspired those I’ve reached through my books and content. So for that, I owe you the world.
But here’s where you went wrong; you told a man like me that I couldn’t do something. You looked me in the eye and told me I would succumb to my injury and my life would never be the same but man were you wrong.
But it’s not your fault because you never met the man who raised me. On the day my father my was diagnosed with ALS, two short months after my second surgery, he told me, “I will walk until my legs stop working and when my legs stop working I will tap my toe. When my toe wont tap, I will tap my finger and when my finger stops working I will blink my eyes.”
That was his way of saying he will never quit. ALS is a wicked disease but it hasn’t met a man like my father and my injury has kicked my a$% but I won that fight too because I refuse to give up.
Now I wake up at 4 A.M. and walk miles every morning with my wife and that damn cane is nowhere in sight.
I may wake up everyday with chronic pain but I’ve molded that pain into my reminder to prove you wrong, every day I walk this earth.
So to you CPT *******, I say.…..kiss my a$%.
By: Timothy A. Natale
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