On Friday, February 3rd, 2017 I took a huge step. In 2013, a year after my TBI there was a movie produced by Lucy Walker proposed for me to watch called The Crash Reel. The impact this movie made on me, was unforgettable. From that point on it was like having a little Kevin Pearce meme on my shoulder who could completely level with me like I couldn’t get anybody else too. I don’t know, imagination I guess? Haha, after hearing stuff he said in the movie struck me deep because I thought, WOW, HE GETS IT. This guy Kevin effing gets it. I used to say the exact same words. This really fascinated me. Nobody has the capability of reaching that level of communication with me like that. In my little TBI bubble, “other people just don’t have the ability to understand.”
So this past Friday, I hopped in my little manual 2007 white Mazda 3, and floored it eight hours to Atlanta, Georgia to meet Kevin Pearce, his brother Adam, and surprisingly, Adam’s wife, Kyla Pearce was there too! She was like a little secret blessing in disguise. I’m incredibly thankful I was given the opportunity to spend time with her.
It was the first time I had ever driven that far alone before. I had a million things racing through my mind, but I got nervous when I walked in and saw Kevin. I was thinking, okay, hmm-where the hell did all those racing thoughts go? Poof!
A few months ago I was told I would need spine surgery. Instantly all I could think to do was reach out to Adam (Kevin Pearce’s brother), and ask if he would please consider giving me a little guidance. Adam, his girl friend Kyla, and the rest of Kevin’s family and support system have done such a killer job with him. What is it that I need to do different? It’s like every time I feel like I am doing all the right stuff, and then boom. The reality truck reverses itself and floors it and backs right into me. Kevin gave me a little direction on continuing speech therapy focused on word recognition. To keep on practicing, he said, it takes time. Ugh. Aye aye aye, I think those words strike me in a pretty powerful way. That statement was on repeat for years everyone kept telling me. “It takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Good Lord, I was over it. So ready for it to be over. After my neurosurgeon educating me about the two year time frame it was going to take my brain to heal physically-the timer was on, and still hasn’t dung yet. When Kevin confidently projected the statement, “DO NOT settle for average,” the other day in Atlanta, Georgia, in my thoughts I stood up and told him EXACTLY!
Kyla is the Lead Yoga and Meditation Teacher for the LoveYourBrain Foundation. Kyla conducts LYB’s yoga teacher training workshops to enable other yoga teachers to learn how to tailor these practices for the TBI community. She’s passionate about making yoga accessible to TBI survivors, like Kevin and myself, so we can direct our healing one breath at a time. Here, click this link and see how it works for you: http://bit.ly/2kpZYD5. I’d love to hear the impact it has on you so don’t be shy. Post it in a comment. Don’t worry…you can thank me later. 🙂
Since my mind went blank I didn’t know what to say or do. I had to regroup quickly after chickening out of walking and introducing myself to Kevin. Since I was a little scared, I started pacing around a bit where I came across his brother Adam. I finally just grabbed a glass of water, walked over near Adam, and waited until he wasn’t too tied into a conversation to tap him on his shoulder.
The first thought that popped in my head told me, “you’re such a wimp,” haha, but Kev told me I have to get rid of those thoughts. He refers to them as “ANTS.” You can’t he said. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow without a TBI. You have to ACCEPT and learn how to be the best version of who you are today. Four years later, and I’m finally realizing I may not have really finished crossing that bridge yet. I didn’t realize how powerful making that statement really was until speaking with the LYB team in Atlanta, face to face. It makes my eyes tear up just blogging about it. Anyways, let me stop rambling. It’s getting late. I’ve got to go exterminate some ANTS, haha. .