This past year has exploded with self achievements and transformations. I’m in my third year of changing my lifestyle due to significant influences in my life, and the frightening realization of physical deteriorating. These past two years have been extremely awarding for me. I gained 20 pounds, I tripled my strength throughout my body (including legs), and my mental discipline is becoming concrete. I am much enjoying how I’m able to do miscellaneous tasks independently. I can put on my headphones and take objects that are not necessary at wheelchair level. Those small improvements are significant victories!
I follow this public figure on Instagram. One of his quotes, he says every day is “I don’t have problems, just more work to do!” “You don’t have problems, just more work to do.”
That very much penetrates my core, because I’m happy, healthy, people love me and support me, I’m physically able to do when I enjoy every single day, and I’m dominating goals after goals. Therefore ultimately, despite my Cerebral Palsy… I don’t have problems, just more work to do. My type of Cerebral Palsy is not a problem. It makes things complicated and challenging, but I’m a better person for it. I genuinely believe that even though my disability took away opportunities, it gave me invaluable life skills. It also taught me that “There’s a powerful driving force inside of every human being that once unleashed can make any vision, dream or desire a reality.”
To give you an example of my disability success:
I have been taking Jiu-Jitsu classes for eight months now. On December 7th, 2019, I participated in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu belt ceremony, where I was one of the numerous people who received their blue belt from Soca Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy. This premotion has taken me by surprise, and it has to be one of the best highlights of my life! Seven months ago, I knew nothing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu except for the necessary general information. Today, I’m a blue belt and have expending knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’m still captivated by my physical improvements and knowing how to use my body discrepancies to aid me. All of this was birthed from seeing a 30 second Instagram video. What are the odds of getting forwarded that post?
This journey wouldn’t have worked without the love and dedication of the Soca Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. From day one, they welcomed me into their world and included me in everything they do. A few of them already offered their friendship and want to help me achieve my goals—especially my teacher, my professor, and my friend Chris.
Chris treats me like anyone else in his class. He does not pity me and doesn’t hesitate to call me out if I’m not training at maximum. Chris expects me to go until failure despite my disability. He knows as I do. The only limitation is a bad attitude.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone, and we were discussing never giving up, push yourself no matter how hard the road is. If you want something, nothing is stopping you but yourself.
He asked me what drives me, what makes you unstoppable and determined. I responded and said: The main reason why it’s easy for me to face challenges, go hard, discipline myself, and continuously strive for perfection, is because I am simply that person. That craving comes naturally to me. It’s fun, and I enjoy the pump. The second reason is that my disability is a blessing. If you compare my disability to others, it would be shameful if I would ever complain. I’m 30 years old, I’m in no pain, on no medication, and my body is capable of undergoing positive physical transformations. As a member of the disabled community, I have seen my share of debilitating disabilities, and my situation is nowhere near as intense as others. I can’t bring myself to ever complain about my disability. An additional reason is that I’m fortunate to have the best services and resources at my disposal. Therefore, my mindset is, “I have the best services, the best therapists, loyal caretakers, a fantastic dedicated family, and the best friend network. If I don’t use my personal army to conquer and achieve my fundamental goals….then I’m a disappointment to myself and to others who would do anything to have my situation. Having those reasons always in my head, I’ll never quit or take the easy road. I simply can’t afford to be irresponsible. This is my beautiful life, and I’m determined to rise!
Anthony B Celardo Jr