It seems we have been measured almost all of our lives,
when we are infants, with our height and our weight,
and as we grew it became our speed and our strength.
And even in school there are test scores
and today with our salaries and job performance.
It seems as if those personal averages are almost always used
to measure where we are in comparison to our peers.
And I think we should look at that a little differently.
That personal average is just that, it's something very personal
and I think if you focus on that and work to build that,
you can really start to accomplish some really amazing things.
This idea started for me on a December evening in 2011.
2011 年 12 月的一个晚上， 我有了这一想法。
I had just stepped outside to do our evening chores
to feed our horses.
I hopped into our tractor,
and a few minutes later,
a five foot tall, 700-pound bale of hay fell from the loader,
一捆 1.5 米高， 320 公斤重的干草 从拖拉机的装载架上倒下来，
crushing me in the seat of the tractor
and in the process shattering my T5 and T6 vertebrae.
I didn't lose consciousness,
but I felt this buzz throughout my body, and I knew what had happened right away.
My hands were reaching for my legs,
but my legs didn't recognize anything touching them.
And in fact, I couldn't feel anything from the center of my chest down.
So there I was, about 100 feet from the house,
当时，我离家还有 30 米，
with my arms wrapped around the steering the wheel,
trying to hold myself up, waiting for help.
And unlike what you see in TV and the movies,
as much as I tried to get the dogs to go to the house and get help --
they just stared at me.
Well, 45 minutes later, my wife came home,
and I heard her step out of the house
and, like, normal, if I needed help, "Hey, do you need help?"
And I said, "Yes."
And there was a brief pause and then I heard her yell,
"Do you need 9/11 help?"
“你需要我打 911 急救吗？”
And again I yelled, "Yes."
Well, not long after I was enjoying my very first helicopter ride
all the way to the hospital.
Now, the injury wasn't very dramatic or graphic.
I simply broke a bone or two.
And in the process, I was told I'd probably never walk again.
It became very normal for me to use a rope to sit up in bed,
because my abdominal muscles no longer work.
Or to use a board to slide out of bed into a wheelchair,
or to even wait for people to reach things for me.
Everything that I had learned and had known about my height
and my strength and my balance and my mobility was blown away.
My entire personal average had been reset.
Now you could be sure in those days I was being measured more than ever,
by the doctors and nurses for sure
but maybe more so in my own mind,
and I found myself comparing
what I thought I was going to be able to do going forward
with what I once was able to do.
And I became pretty frustrated.
It took some very consistent prodding from my wife, who kept saying,
"Get your eyes up," before I could get moving forward.
And I soon realized that I almost had to forget about the person I was before
and the things I was able to do before.
I almost had to pretend it was never me.
And I'm afraid if I had not made that realization,
my frustration would have turned into something much harder to recover from.
Now, luckily, a few weeks later,
I was transferred to a specialty spinal cord rehab hospital
我被转移到距离我家 10 小时车程的
about 10 hours from home, and wouldn't you know,
the first day of rehab and the first session
we had something called fit class,
and a group of us broke into teams
to see which team could do the most reps in the weight machine.
Now, we've all been there, haven't been to the gym in a year or two.
And so what do you do?
You try to do what you did a couple of years ago,
and you do a couple of sets.
And then what do you do? A couple more.
And you're feeling even better, so you do more.
And the next two weeks you complain to your family about how sore you are.
Well, my team went all out and we won, we won big,
and for the next three days I could not straighten my arms,
which isn't that big a deal except when you're in a wheelchair
and that's really what you have to use to get around.
And that proved to be a very important lesson for me.
It was one thing that I couldn't compare myself to myself,
but even around people in the same situation in that hospital,
I found that I couldn't try to keep pace or set pace with them as well,
and I was left with really only one choice
and that was to focus on who I was at that point in time
with where I needed to go and to get back to who I needed to be.
For the next six weeks, for seven to eight hours a day,
在接下来的 6 周， 每天 7 - 8 个小时，
that's what I did.
I built little by little,
and, as you might expect,
when you're recovering from a spinal cord injury,
you're going to have a bad day.
You might have a few in a row.
What I found out is that good and bad really didn't have a lot of meaning
unless I had the context of knowing what my average was.
It was really up to me to decide if something was bad or good
based on where I was at that point in time,
and it was in my control to determine if it really was a bad day.
In fact, it was my decision on whether or not I could stop
a streak of bad days.
And what I found during that time away from home
is I never had a bad day, even with everything going on.
There were parts of my day that were certainly not as pleasant
but it was never an entirely bad day.
So I'm guessing that all of you have been through a meeting
that probably didn't go very well,
or a commute that wasn't as great as you would like it,
or even burned dinner at night.
Did those things really ruin your entire day?
What I found in those scenarios is the quicker you move on to what's next,
the quicker you can start attacking things.
And by moving on to next as fast as possible,
you shrink the time you spend in those bad scenarios
and it gives more time for the good.
And, as a result, the good outweighs the bad,
your average increases and that's just how the math works.
It didn't matter to me if I'd spent the morning
really struggling with my medication,
or at lunch my legs being very spastic,
or even if I had fallen out of my wheelchair.
Ask my wife. It happens quite often.
They were just small parts of my day and small parts of my average.
And so, in the months and years that followed,
I continued to try to attack things in that way,
and before I knew it I was being presented with some pretty incredible challenges,
like completing a marathon in a wheelchair.
In early 2016, I met my physical therapist,
在 2016 年年初， 我见了我的理疗师，
and after a few really grueling sessions, she must have sensed something,
because she pulled me aside and said, "You know, you should do a half marathon.
In your wheelchair. And, oh yeah, it's in 10 weeks."
坐着轮椅参加。 哦，就在 10 周后。”
And I thought in my mind, "You're crazy." I didn't have a workout plan.
I didn't have any way of knowing how fast I needed to go
or how far I was supposed to go.
But I simply got to work,
and I started tracking every workout, every day,
and I simply wanted to be as good as or as fast as I was the prior day.
And in the end I really created that average for myself
and I tried to build on that as much as I could.
Well, I finished that race right in time with what my average should have been,
and somewhere along the way
I kind of closed the door on who I once was.
That person who I was before
and all those things I thought I was able to do really didn't matter.
In fact, walking again really didn't matter.
It became much less of a goal for me in terms of where I was going to go.
And besides, like, you guys are so slow when you walk.
In crowds like this, it is so difficult.
I'm like, "Get out of the way. We're going places."
And all I wanted to do was go fast.
And so I did what I thought I should do.
I started researching wheelchair racing.
And I went online and I found the best of the best,
I learned their technique, I learned about the equipment,
and I was lucky to have a coach that offered me a way to get started.
And after talking with him
and having him help me get those things underway,
as I was leaving, he says, "You know, you should do the 2017 Chicago Marathon."
正当我离开的时候，他说： “你应该参加 2017 芝加哥马拉松。”
And he's the coach, I can't tell him no.
So with that guidance, I went back home, and I got to work,
much like in the prior way.
And I continued researching, but I had learned my lesson.
I was really careful not to compare
with how accomplished those people on the internet were
and how fast they were,
because if I had, I probably never would have continued
going through with it.
Well, the weekend of the race arrived,
and it was just like going to college for the first time.
You're dumped off,
there's a whole bunch of people around you,
you don't really know very many of them,
somebody's got the cool stereo and the cool TV
and they're smart and they're pretty and they're cute and they're handsome
and you don't know if you really belong.
But then somebody says, "Hey, let's go get food."
And all of a sudden, that friend group happens
and you start to settle in.
Well, that weekend of the race,
we had a meeting called the Wheelers Meeting,
and there were 60 wheelchairs in that room the night before the race.
那个房间里总共有 60 个轮椅运动员。
And wouldn't you know it,
all of the people that I had been researching were there,
the best in the world.
There must have been over 50 Paralympic medals in the room that day.
那天，那个房间里 肯定有不止 50 枚残奥会奖牌。
And I felt pretty small and I fell back into that trap of comparing myself.
I knew that my averages that I had been tracking during my workouts
were over 90 seconds slower per mile than theirs.
我每英里的平均用时 要比他们慢 90 秒以上。
And the coach was the only one there that I knew,
and he reached out and noticed something, and I think he sensed my anxiety,
and he invited me to get food with his team.
And with that, everything settled down.
I realized really quick that they didn't care about my average, surely,
and I had forgotten about theirs.
Well that next day,
I finished the race about 45 minutes after the person that won it.
我在获胜者冲线后 约 45 分钟跑完了比赛，
But as I was leaving, those new friends, who are very close today,
challenged me to stay involved
and to keep working through different races and competitions.
And so I did what I knew how. I went home, and I got busy.
Now, as you can imagine, being in a wheelchair,
let alone training for a marathon in a wheelchair,
is a pretty lonely thing.
I have an incredible group of friends
that will ride bikes with me and keep track of pace and help me out.
But in the end, it's still five to six days a week,
但到头来，依旧是 一周 5 - 6 天的训练，
it's 50 to 60 miles of effort, and it's a lot of alone time.
是 50 - 60 英里的努力， 还有很多自我独处的时间。
And for the most part,
you really have nothing to rely on but yourself in those times.
It's my average, and I'm trying to get better little by little.
Well, this fall I was in Chicago for the third time.
It was my seventh marathon,
and just like going back to college for your junior year,
you're anticipating catching up with friends
and getting excited about rolling right back into things.
Well, I attended the same pre-race meeting and the same pre-race meal
and caught up with those friends.
And we lined up for the race,
and right at the start, my average kicked in,
and before long I caught up with some of those friends
and was able to keep pace with them and push together.
But it wasn't long before I faded.
It just happened, and I found myself all alone again
with really nothing to rely on other than what I had worked so hard to be at.
But we turned into the wind at the halfway point,
and my average became a strong advantage,
and it wasn't long before I caught some of those friends
and passed them all the way to the finish.
And while I didn't set a personal record that day,
I did finish 30 seconds per mile faster than my prior Chicago times
却比之前芝加哥的几次比赛 每英里快了 30 秒，
and just left myself pretty excited.
And so this is me. This is my average.
Seventy-five days from today, I'll be in Boston for my second time.
I'm super excited about that.
But keep in mind, this isn't really just about racing.
I'm working really hard every day to be better in so many other ways,
a better parent, a better husband, a better coach, teammate, friend, person.
And I promise you, even though what you see here is very visible
in terms of the challenges that I face,
everybody here has something that they're fighting,
and it may be visible, it may not be,
but please, take some time and focus on you instead of others,
and I bet you can win those challenges
and really start accomplishing so many great things.