Paralyzed from the waist down in a 2015 accident, competitive Crossfit athlete Mino Solomon shares a raw and powerful look at how he fought against letting that half-a-second define his life…
These are his words to you:
It’s an important question to ask.
I have always enjoyed learning more about others, hearing someone else’s story and being someone who could “help” them. Fulfillment for me has always been in that role, that position.
Those who know me — you know I’m not comfortable sharing personal stories of myself or even talking about me as a primary topic.
Not even a little bit.
So why was this project something that I was not just willing to do, but was nervously excited to be a part of?
To answer that question, I’ll start by sharing that reflecting on “why”.
My question of why following the injury was natural:
“Why me, why this, why didn’t I just do this or that instead”.
But slowly (sloooooowly) the question transformed to what I would consider a healthier and more productive question:
what can I learn from this experience to better myself and those around me, and how can I use this experience to also help others?
So…why can’t I take the most horrible moment thus far in my life and use it as an inflection point in which I began to be a better person? To live in a way that could serve to help others? To live wholly, to give back, to hold myself accountable to my thoughts and actions, and to be better today than I was yesterday?
To truly live in a way that I had said I wanted to?
If I’m going to do that…I not only have to do my best to live this way, but to do what for me was possibly even more difficult:
to share my story completely and honestly.
People may see the Instagram version of my life (and others) and draw conclusions that just aren’t reality.
So it’s important to share the whole story. I take pride in not being a complainer or venting on social media, so that leaves what I would consider an unrealistic representation — and that can be dangerous.
If you just had a tragic occurrence to a family member, or you yourself are laying in a hospital bed, or even back home post an injury or life changing event…you’re in pain.
You need a glimmer of hope, but all you see are these examples of people living a life in which everything is rainbows and unicorns that shit gold — so it’s next to impossible to close that mental gap and envision escaping your own dark mental canyon to this “other” life.
I want to help close that gap.
It’s the reason I was open to waking up with a camera in my face, to having a new friend follow me around through a normal day, and answer questions publicly that I had barely answered (if at all) to even my closest family members.
I want to provide someone in their darkest time HOPE that they can (and will) climb out.
And it’s not by seeing the highs — but by being able to see the grind of daily challenges, both mentally and physically, that we all go through.
There are dark and sad times for each of us. And each day we are presented with a challenge, a decision and it’s the biggest decision of our lives.
The beautiful (and scary) part: that challenge is there every day.
The challenge is that, when presented with hurdles, with opportunities, with a chance to get outside our comfort zone — what do you DECIDE to do?
Do you take a chance to make a new friend, to enjoy a new experience? To take on a tough situation and handle it?
Because it won’t always be smooth.
It won’t be without embarrassment, nor will it be without constant challenges. But…if you’re willing to take that plunge every day, willing to have the mindset that anything is possible and it starts and ends with our actions and attitude, then you will live a life you will be proud of.
A way of life that will better you and those around you, and your life can again be a joyous and boundless journey.
If just one person decides to change where they are now and take action, or sees hope where they didn’t before — then my why matters, and this story, this journey, is worth it.