This post...I don't even know where to start. Shortly after my fingers were recovering from over-use tendonitis, one of my fingers was torn and broken. Forget about training for ninja warrior, I haven't been into a gym in over a month. I have been living on my brother's organic farm in homestead in my RV with my two dogs. My finger is so messed up, I can't imagine ever being able to bend it or use it again. It is a goos thing I've been on a farm just relaxing and helping my brother run the business. Being out there with the plants is the best place to be when you are injured too.
I was still having tenderness in my tricep from testing ninja vs. ninja so I spent a lot of time releasing my arm. I woke up just days after submitting my application and video to compete on ANW X and I couldn't move my hand. Not just my fingers, but my wrist too. It was like having a dead fish hanging off the end of your arm. I tried to make a signal to move my hand and I didn't even know how. Like if I told you to wiggle your ears. My hand was completely unplugged. I didn't freak out right away, I actually let a few days go by before I started to get really concerned.
A week later I went to the neurologist to find out that I had Radial Nerve Palsy and my hand could potentially never come back. That was a weird pill to swallow, but I wasn't going to let this doctor ruin my mentality and focus on competing on American Ninja Warrior. I decided I was going to only focus on God and why He would allow this to happen to me. I opened up my bible and read for hours. I started from the beginning and every time I felt discouraged, I just read it. Every single morning, the first thing I would do is look at my hand to see if I could move it. !8 days later, I decided to make a video to share this scary/crazy experience I was having.
Life without my dominant hand was frustrating to say the least. I couldn't feed myself, wash myself, type, write, or clean my dishes/RV. I started feeling angry frequently. I did my best to stay positive through this experience, but I was becoming depressed as the days passed and I was still stuck. I started fighting with my family, yelling at my dogs for no reason, and would cry almost everyday sometimes twice a day. I was on the verge of crying at all times. This was the lowest I've felt in my entire life and it led to me actually having a mental breakthrough. I am calling it a breakthrough because once the breakdown was over, it wound up being a break-through. We can't break through without breaking down, and it is important to confront issues in your life that are bringing you down so that you can combat them. In this particular situation, I was experiencing spiritual warfare (which is going to be a blog post of its own called: My Encounter with the Devil). Anyway, once I fought my demons, literally, I made the decision to heal. I started acting as if I were healed. I was shaking my arm around warming up as if I am ready to be put back in. I told myself I was no longer paralyzed in my hand and that I will be using it again. Within a week of deciding I was healed, I got a centimeter of movement in my wrist.
You should have seen me at dinner with my family, determined to use the knife when I couldn't even hold it. My hand was shaking and my wrist was still bent at a 90 degree angle. I saw my sister across from me tearing up because she feels so bad and I look so pathetic. I fought back though. If you isolate yourself from people who love you and only spend time marinating in your own disappointment in yourself, you are only making your situation worse. You need to switch from being the victim to being the predator, that's what I did. I decided I wasn't going to allow life to knock me down and that I was going to fight back and always be ready for what is next.
I did that through my faith and relationship with God. I talk to God every morning when I wake up and say good morning thanks for another day! I memorized scripture so that when I find myself in a situation that I cannot handle, I recite it and then I am always fine. That is why I Put Joshua 1:9 on my shirts and my website. If you only memorize one piece of scripture in yoru life, this should be the one:
That means we are not allowed to be discouraged. If you are in a situation that you cannot see your way out of, turn to God. He will always get us through it and we will always be stronger for it. That doesn't mean that I didn't have moments on my knees screaming crying at God begging him to take this away from me, because I did that a few times. I was not patient throughout the experience because I was scared and didn't know what was going to happen. I was looking for a short-term fix for my situation when God was brewing a master plan to give me something greater than I could ever imagine for myself."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9.
So two months later, I decided I was going to train at one of the best Ninja Gyms in the country: Ninja Quest in Atlanta. I drove my RV to stay in the parking lot of the gym to train with a hand that didn't work. Within a week of being there, I could open my palm all the way! I made a move in my life and then things were happening. The first time I hung from something, I couldn't hold on for more than 8 seconds. I had atrophy in my forearm from not using the muscle for two months. Guess what, I was just two months away from ANWX in Miami.
Apparently, my submission video didn't work, so I got an email from them asking for the video. I had to let them know what was going on, so I quickly re-edited the video to show them what has been going on in my hand. I also asked if they could put me in the later region so that I had more time to heal. They approved that they would pitch me for the Minnesota Qualifiers instead of Miami so I have an extra 5 weeks to get it together. I couldn't even do one pull up last week and here I am arranging my competition on this massive obstacle course! I am getting stronger everyday so keep the prayers coming!
NOW WE WAIT TO SEE IF I WILL GET CHOSEN TO COMPETE IN MINNESOTA!