I have watched Eric LeGrand’s ESPYs speech several times and I don’t know if I will ever watch it and not be inspired. His attitude following being paralyzed is unbelievable. He oozes with optimism and it is incredibly contagious.
There are two things in his speech that have been placed in my mind since the first time I heard it. The first one is that from a young age he had a goal to get to the NFL. He had worked his way towards that by playing college football and putting himself in a position to potentially make an NFL roster. But in an instant his goal changed from making it to the NFL to being able to walk again. It’s important to realize that the goal you are setting out to accomplish, whatever that might be, is extremely important but it can change. When it does change your attitude toward the goal does not need to disappear. You need to transfer it to a new objective. When Eric’s goal changed he did not sit around and feel sorry for himself. He put all the passion he had for getting to the NFL into being able to walk again. That passion has fueled him to accomplish some amazing things. His former college coach went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and signed him to a contract. Therefore he actually did achieve his goal of making it to the NFL. Last week he completed his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. To recap that timeline of events he got paralyzed, then made it to the NFL, then he graduated from college. That’s not a bad recovery after a life-threatening event.
The other thing that has influenced me about this speech is that he has this feeling that he is lucky because of what happened to him. He realizes all the opportunities and all the attention that he has gotten because of this injury and he is truly happy because of it. It is a great example for everyone to follow when things go wrong. From the minute that he was able to think again in the hospital he decided that he wasn’t going to let the injury be his fate. He pushed harder and became stronger.
I highly recommend following Eric on twitter. He’s a fighter and he has more fight in him than most do. When you are feeling down about whatever you are going through scroll through his timeline and I guarantee you that you will have a different attitude towards whatever you are facing.