The other morning I woke up with a feeling that was far from excitement for the day. Recently, I’ve performed well below my expectations. And, I think at that moment it was setting in… a little bit like a boxer getting a blow straight to the gut. I became more irritated that I had that feeling, and I tried to pick myself up by saying, “just get your mind right and tackle the day.” But my mind kept racing about what I had planned for the day, all the things I had to do, and the stress continued to pile on. 

I hopped in my car, and with hopes of a line hitting me in the heart, I turned on one of my favorite speakers, Eddie Pinero from Your World Within. Still, the words were going in one ear and out the other without hitting a single brain cell in between. 

Then I turned right to the neighborhood surrounding my golf course. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a father taking a walk pushing his daughter on a stroller. Something looked a little different, so I took a second look. I saw he was an amputee and was pushing his daughter’s stroller with one leg and a prosthetic on the other. 

I’m not sure the reason for his amputation. Maybe he served in our military, was in a severe accident, or had medical complications resulting in an amputated leg. Regardless, if anyone had the right to feel sorry for himself today, it should be him. And maybe he was. But as I watched him put one foot in front of the other, pushing his daughter forward, I found it hard to believe that he was thinking about the added resistance holding him back. 

As I continued to accelerate and move my car forward, the powerful image of a father-daughter walk disappeared in my rearview mirror. Maybe it was a coincidence or an everyday occurrence that I am reading too much into, but I’d like to believe I was sent this reminder for a reason. 

As the wheels continued to spin below my car, so too were the thoughts in my brain. It was like I had one piece of the puzzle but couldn’t figure out how this whole lesson would come together. So, I broke it down to its simplest form. With added resistance, he continued to push himself forward. Not just himself, but the weight of his daughter and the stroller. 

I then asked myself, with added resistance, are you pushing yourself forward? Better yet, are you pushing others forward too? On the surface, it seemed like the answer to the first question was a pretty easy yes. I mean, in the face of adversity and setbacks, I was on the way to the golf course to get past it and get better. So yes, I was showing up and putting in the physical work. But was I showing up pushing my heart and pushing my mind past discomfort that would result in actual growth? Now that was a harder question to ask myself, so I let it sit and went to the second one. Was I pushing others forward too? 

My mind quickly jumped to my blog, Walk Through the Journey With Me. It’s been a whole month since I last wrote. Why? I’m going to venture to guess it’s because I wanted to avoid the discomfort of vulnerability and sharing setbacks. Without knowing it, I had answered both questions. But, unfortunately, if I was really honest with myself, they were both a hard no. 

In disappointment, I thought about the purpose of my blog. My intent with this blog has always been to create an authentic documentation of the pursuit of my dream to inspire others as they pursue theirs. 

I may not have realized it until just now, but I was selling both myself and my audience short in not sharing the lower parts that accompany this journey. We all have setbacks or hurdles to get over. To think that these are avoidable would be neglecting the fact that we are imperfect humans. The real challenge lies in our ability to embrace them and create strength in overcoming whatever difficulties we face. If the father walking his daughter was wearing pants to cover up his leg, I would haven’t been reminded that true growth comes from having the courage to accept weaknesses and take action to overcome them. Without realizing it, this man was not only walking his daughter, but was walking through the journey with me too. Maybe one day, I will have the opportunity to thank him for how he inspired me, but for now, I hope to pay it forward in sharing the message with all of you.