“Before the accident, windsurfing was everything to me. I loved every moment of it. Mickey was my role model. He was a professional windsurfer ranked 13th in the world. He used to work as a model while he was in college… He was like, riding the wave of life! I put him on a pedestal and I was lucky enough to train with him regularly before my accident. I remember after I got home from rehab he was just back from his world tour and had a jersey signed by all the biggest professionals wishing me well. It was like I was given a chest of gold. He used to drop into rehab to visit me every now and then. He messaged me on New Year’s Eve that he was going see me in the next couple of weeks. For me, that was one of the most important things to look forward to at the time. But just a couple of days later, I was on my own in the ward when I got a phone call from my friend asking, ‘Have you heard what happened to Mickey?’ I was expecting great news, that he had done something brilliant as usual… I had no idea about the challenges he was facing mentally. Mickey took his own life the day before. That phone call had a massive impact on me. That day I made a promise to myself that I would always be completely transparent about my feelings, not only with myself but also with the people around me. My goal was to create an atmosphere for other people to be transparent as well. So I figured the best way of not hiding my feelings and challenges I have to face about being in a wheelchair is to talk about them, so I did. I found myself getting better and better at it. I went from talking to my friends and family, to a class of children and soon I found myself on a list of inspirational speakers talking in front of three thousand people. I told them about my injury but mostly about what I got from not giving up on life. I know that life is incredibly fragile and something that can change in a fraction of a second, but that’s never a reason to wrap yourself up in bubble wrap.”
This is Jack, he is an incredibly inspiring guy and I feel honoured to have met him. His story is only an intro to the documentary you will find below. Enjoy!