Going to the bookstore is something I’ve always enjoyed. In college, I would spend three to four hours at a time there, just hanging out, doing my homework, meeting with friends, or having a café latte or cappuccino as I roamed the isles in search of new titles. I especially liked to keep up to date with best-selling authors.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit again as I stopped by the local Barnes N’ Noble to relax and get some work done as I used to. It had been at least several months since I’d been there. It seems now with all the information on the Internet, it’s easier to read and keep up with the latest books at home, and lately I’ve been purchasing them on my kindle for pc through Amazon.
I saw a lot of the same books I used to see years ago, that I even still have in my book case such as: “Body for Life” and Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life,” Suze Orman’s “Women and Money,” Mitch Albom’s books and more. I saw new stories such as: Eben Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven,” a neurosurgeon who explains his journey into the afterlife.
I did look in particular for true life accounts of those living with SCI. And after talking with the employee there, I learned there are not many of those stories out there. The autobiographies of people with spinal cord injury were very few. I think he found maybe one. And the titles he was able to pull from the computer were no longer in the store. Some of the SCI books were more of a medical reference for physical therapists, rather than real life stories of someone living with spinal injury.
However, I did see Nick Vujicic latest book, “Unstoppable: Life without Limits” in the Christianity section, and it is a best-seller. He does not have SCI, but he is disabled as he was born with no arms and legs. He is very influential and has an amazing attitude so I was not surprised. You can visit his web site here: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/
The one book I did locate from someone who had SCI is Bear Grylls. I’ve heard of him before. Bear Grylls has become known around the world as one of the most recognized faces of adventure. His journey started in the UK. His father taught him how to climb and sail. He trained in martial arts and spent years in the British armed special forces.
He had a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, where he broke his back in three places: T8, T10, and T12. Although he endured months in rehabilitation, he went on to become one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. “Mud, Sweat, and Tears” is the name of his book and it’s an international best-seller.
As I was sipping my hot chocolate and leafing through, I read his experience when he reached the top of Everest. I thought it was inspirational, so I wanted to share:
Slowly the summit loomed nearer. I could feel my eyes welling with tears. I started to cry. Emotions held in for so long, I couldn’t hold back any longer. I staggered on. There had always been part of me that never believed I could make it. Since my broken back, a little part of me, deep down, had thought it was all madness. Yet ever since that hospital bed, I had wanted to be fixed. Physically Emotionally. And right here, at 29,030ft, as I staggered the last few steps, I was mending. The spiritual was working through the physical. At 7.22am on May 26, 1998, with tears still pouring down my frozen cheeks, the summit of Everest opened her arms and welcomed me in. My pulse raced and in a haze I found myself suddenly standing on top of the world.