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Here’s 3 key lessons I picked up from Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training (SERE):

1. Never give up

2. Be thankful for your freedom each day

3. Respect and appreciate all who fight and sacrifice for the freedoms of our nation

These lessons alongside SERE training as a whole go a long way in maintaining internal control when going through hardships. Overtime, you learn to meet conflict and challenges head-on. Survival training introduced me to the warrior within myself, a warrior I was reacquainted to when recovering from stroke and paralysis. You have your own warrior inside! It’s time to tap into your own strength. You have the will within!

#warrior #innerstrength #fighter #Soldiers #AirForceVet #ProgressIsProgress #DisabledLivesMatter #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #FindingForward

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Have you ever taken a #workoutselfie but decided against posting it on social media? If you felt shy or embarrassed after seeing a fitness expert on Instagram share their warrior workout, I understand. No one would mistake me for Clark Kent, but then again... I never pretend to be the Man of Steel. Similarly, no one should feel compelled to compare their fitness accomplishments with anyone except who they were yesterday, the month prior, or the year before.

It's true what they say: the only person you're competing with is yourself. Let's cheer one another on and celebrate our accomplishments without eyeing the next person's trophy. We all can reach higher goals when we're looking up instead of at each other!

#innerstrength #truestrength #Survivor #Motivation #Dailyinspiration #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #Stroke #FindingForward #perfectformpilates

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Too many times, we get caught up in the idea of perfection. Whether you're recovering from a traumatic injury, finding your way back to yourself post-stroke, or embarking on another challenging journey, it's important to remember that progress is progress, no matter how imperfect. One movement, however difficult or tenuous, is a movement. A step forward, however unsteady, is a step forward. A less-painful day is still a better day than yesterday.

Perfection is a lie. Here's the truth: all progress adds up to the final result of you reaching your goals. Keep at it!

#perseverence #progress #truestrength #Survivor #Foodforthought #Dailyinspiration #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #FindingForward


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Ever wonder what it takes to make a book cover?

The photo you're looking at now became the front cover to my book. Before it was a book cover, it was a photograph snapped while I paraglided in Nepal. Before that, I had to relearn how to walk. Before that, I woke up from a surgery and was told I would be paralyzed for the rest of my life. Rewind from there, back to the start... I told my dog Mac I'd see him later that day, after a quick doctor's appointment about a bad headache.

The photo you're looking at now is so much more than a snapshot of one moment. It represents a culmination of overcoming challenges, beating odds, and fighting to find my way forward. It symbolizes the journey of reconnecting with my body after a life-altering trauma. This photo, in short, is so much more than a book cover... but at the time this photo was snapped, I had no idea what was coming. As I look ahead now, I still have no idea what is on the horizon. How exciting!

You can check out FINDING FORWARD: YOU HAVE THE WILL WITHIN where books are sold!

#FindingForward #BookCover #Survivor #Motivation #Dailyinspiration #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #Stroke #FindingForward #finding

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Are you tired? You've earned a rest. But what you haven't earned is a free pass to quit!

When I was waiting for life-saving surgery after suffering an aneurysms and a dissected artery, I dealt with an unbearable migraine for weeks on end. After living a life of day-to-day torture, I had all but given up. But on the Fourth of July, while thinking about so many people gearing up for celebration, my impulse to throw in the towel changed. I made the decision to keep fighting, regardless of the outcome, and make it through another day despite how dire my situation was. But what did I do before I recovered? I rested. A lot.

After learning how to refuel and recharge myself, I was in that much of a better position for making progress. So if you're tired from chronic pain, constantly battling setbacks, or another struggle, here's your sign: Rest, but don't you dare quit. Give yourself some time and space to recuperate, then get back up!

#neverquit #persevere #Survivor #Foodforthought #Dailyinspiration #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #FindingForward

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This picture is not about the car. It’s about taking time out for yourself to reconnect with life and let go of all that takes your focus off what surrounds you day to day. For me it’s occasionally a drive on a Saturday morning up to the mountains to get some fresh air and let go, but it could be anything you wish it to be as you reclaim some personal time in your own life.

What brings you back to calmness? Give some thought to your own vision of a peaceful respite and make time for it outside of your daily schedule. Set time aside for something special you wish to do and make it a reality. It could be as simple as going out for ice cream, sitting outside with a book on your front porch, or even taking the scenic drive with some good music. Life isn’t always wrapped around being productive and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re taking time out for you.

The point is to remember what you’re fighting for and that is living your life happily. By taking some time for yourself, the feeling of needing to be “on” all the time or locked in and engaged gets to take a pause. This is when you get to realize something other than your cause exists like the great big world you’re standing on. The sound of nature, tuning everything out but the taste of the ice cream you just ordered, the sight of a beautiful mountain landscape, or losing yourself in a story your reading. Your day off is time that you take and give back to yourself so you can practice living and the joy of being happy.

#recoveryjourney #neverquit #Survivor #Dailyinspiration #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #MentalHealth #motivationaladvice #Rehabilitation #disabilitylivesmatter #strokerehab #strokeawareness #disabilityawareness #recoveryjourney

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We define strength in many different ways. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're weak for not meeting a certain goal or target. It's easy to focus on shortcomings. It's easy to avoid starting a new journey or dedicating to an aspiration because of previous setbacks. But you can't settle for the easy way out. You have to try again! Remind yourself: you are NOT weak. You are NOT a failure. You WILL overcome.

Remember: Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming what you once thought you couldn't.

#innerstrength #truestrength #Motivation #Dailyinspiration #aneurysmsurvivor #Survivor #Stroke #Strokesurvivor #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #Aneurysm #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #FindingForward

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Question: What does my previous job in aviation have to do with recovering from a devastating trauma? Well, it’s actually quite interesting.

Being part of a flight crew in my career in the aviation industry isn’t really about what seat you sit in to move an aircraft safely from one place to another. It’s about your teamwork, situational awareness, how you communicate effectively with others, the willingness to always learn more, thinking ahead and from many different angles, being an optimist and never giving up despite all the odds that might be mounting against you, and most of all, how to stay alive no matter what threats stand before you.

When I think about communicating my restrictions for instance and how I might need help reducing them, my thoughts instantly went to how I would articulate and build a picture in the other person’s mind much as I would do if I were speaking on a radio in the airplane. Imagine while you’re flying over a foreign country that you’re talking to someone you can’t see and their country‘s language is different from your own. Now think about talking in detail in the fewest words possible that are absolutely matter of fact as you speak to that Air Traffic Controller. Doing that successfully in an airplane for years made it much easier years later with my disability and speaking to a therapist standing in front of me. If I can speak in a language that you anticipate then we can work more effectively and avoid assumptions. This also helps you feel like your getting somewhere in your recovery efforts and less like your stuck in a holding pattern. Something else that’s positive and comes from learning to speak in your therapist’s language, like anatomy for instance, is that it gives you something beneficially new to learn which positively occupies your time when you’re not in therapy.

#Warrior #innerstrength #fighter #SoldersMentality #AirForceVet #ProgressIsProgress #DisabledLivesMatter #StrokeSurvivorsNeverQuit #AneurysmSurvivorsNeverQuit #Finding_Forward