Remnants of a Fall
This post has been a long time coming. It had been stalled by the simple fact that I kept looking for something to express (photographically) how I was feeling, and it wasn’t until I was out jogging (yea me, jogging) that I found the perfect piece to my personal puzzle. Since I found this near the beginning of my jog/walk I decided to hide it in the hollow of a tree until I ran back past. I was relieved to find it still there when I was coming home.
You’ll look at these pictures and probably remark, but it’s just a leaf – why is this so important?
First, it IS just a leaf, a half broken, laying on the ground, regular old leaf. A remnant from a tree somewhere in a Fall past. And normally I pass a million of these every day, but this one was a bit different. It’s lines were so distinct, it’s colors so interesting that I just HAD to pick it up. My immediate thought was that this little piece of nature plays such a huge part in everything. This leaf grew from a parent tree, nurtured it’s tree, maximized it’s potential, and at the end fell, because well, that’s what leaves do. But then I looked closer and saw all the lines, crevices, spots, and chips that made up the leaf. These lines were pathways of it’s brief life – important in that these routes pulsed with life once upon a time. I realized that even though this leaf had fallen, it still could have such a huge impact on it’s environment. It could have covered an insect for a brief spell, become compost to keep moisture in for the next growing plant, on and on. The point is – is that this one fallen leaf will become a foundation for something else.
Which leads me to Eleven Seconds & Travis Roy.
A couple of months ago, I stumbled on a video of a young Travis Roy who took a tumble into the boards just eleven seconds into his first Boston University hockey shift and ended up paralyzed from the neck down from a spinal cord injury. Intrigued, I followed some links and found myself purchasing and reading his book, Eleven Seconds. I was captivated.
Here was this young man, just starting his hockey college career, when suddenly his whole life is turned upside down. Just one fall took away his ability to control anything from the neck down – his routes, though still pulsing with life, were no longer felt. He had to adjust to this new situation and eventually came to the Shepherd Center here in Atlanta to rehabilitate and learn how to live this new life.
His future would be remade by his own determination. Because of the outpouring of support, he was able to start the Travis Roy Foundation. A foundation that helps others with like injuries, whether it’s a voice controlled computer, a stair lift, or a vehicle adapter for someone in a wheelchair. The foundation supports SCI research in hopes that one day there will be a cure for people who suffer with spinal cord injuries. He has, like my leaf would have, become the foundation of something much greater than he probably ever imagined.
After all, Travis IS just a man, maybe a little physically broken, yet still very much alive, and such a pillar of strength for so many others in his situation. The remnants of his fall are felt by those he helps through the Travis Roy Foundation. A foundation that could use a little help from you and me.
For me, Eleven Seconds is about the transition from one way of life to another, about his struggles to adapt, and it’s about the positivity and hope that grew from his experiences. I hope that you would somehow find a way to read this book. My life has changed in so many ways since reading it. I realize that the opportunities to help others are endless and ever so needed. I wish I was closer to help the Travis Roy Foundation. Instead, I’ve found a roundabout way to help, and that’s volunteering at the Shepherd Center where Travis rehabilitated. I’m hoping that I will be able to start next weekend, provided all the paperwork has gone through. I can’t wait!
Below are some links that might be helpful in learning more about Travis, his foundation, and spinal cord injuries.