JULY 10, 2006

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night gasping for air, unable to breathe? Have you ever experienced having your head separated from your body? Not being able to touch your face or hair? I have experienced these things. It is, indeed, a unique experience to have your entire body placed inside an "iron lung" (in common usage a "tin can"), with a soft rubber gasket placed firmly around your neck, and your head outside of the air chamber. While it is a wonderful feeling to have air coming into your lungs again, you cannot touch your face, itch a scratch, comb your hair, or wipe a tear from your eye. There I learned the truth of the old country song: I Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back Crying Over You.

I contracted polio at the age of 25. Consequently, I have had many experiences which tested my determination and my creativity. I have accomplished many activities which the doctors predicted I could never do again. I have learned many valuable lessons.

In the process I have made some mistakes:

Twice I have fallen at the top of a long stairway and slid on my back all the way to the bottom. Talk about express delivery... I got delivered fast!

Many years ago, walking in my parent's home, I failed to raise my foot high enough as I took a step. When my foot caught on the rug, my knee, bearing my weight, bent, sending me crashing to the floor. Result? A leg fractured in three places.

Is it more dangerous to ride a motorcycle... or walk? Once, as I practiced motorcycle safety in order to get my state driver's license, I fell and fractured my leg. Yet I have successfully ridden my motorcycle over 120,000 miles.

Walking in our apartment...once...I fell, landing on top of my left arm, my body wedged between the bed and a chair: Pinned! No way could I move, nor get out of that position! My wife wasn't due home for another three hours. Small bits at a time, I wriggled and squirmed for thirty minutes or more until I could reach up with my right arm to get my cordless phone. It took another thirty minutes to dial for help.

As I look back over experiences of my life, I have formulated three directives to consider if you want a more successful life:
  1. Don't flinch!
  2. Don't touch the break pedal
  3. Lower your head and hit'em hard!
I know that these directives may sound a little crude; however, when I am able to share my thoughts and experiences along these lines, I am sure that you will understand and appreciate my perspectives.

I would like to enrich your understandings and complete my presentation at a time and setting you will choose. I believe I have many insights which will profit those who hear them. My fees are negotiable, beginning with travel expenses.

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