What if I were to propose to you that it is possible to live life without limits? What if I were to say to you that you can do something extraordinary? What if you knew that you can move past your own shortcomings? Well, I’d be telling you a partial truth.
Each one of us have our own weaknesses, some more noticeable than others. You could say that mine is quite out in the open. I was born with a genetic disease called Muscular Dystrophy (MD). MD progressively weakens one’s muscles over time which can make life a bit difficult. But, as mentioned in my title, I want you to see how you can overcome those limits.
Having grown up as a youngster with the ability to walk, I was privileged with the joys of soccer, tree climbing, crashing my bike, and skiing. However, when I turned ten, I was no longer able to participate in those activities to the same degree. Physically my body wasn’t there, but I was fully present mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Perhaps I now have a greater appreciation for all that life has to offer because of that. I’m not altogether sure. What I do know is that I can enjoy life in the present moment.
My family’s love for me as I grew up with this disease never ceased, and due to that I have been inspired to do anything that I set my mind to do. After graduating from high school I went off to North Central University to study ministry. While there I enjoyed connecting with people, checking out downtown Minneapolis, and learning more about what life can be like.
In 2010, five years after I started college, I finally graduated. There I was, a young whippersnapper wet behind the ears with the world before him. I wondered if I might go to California or Yemen. In the end, I returned home to Belleville, Wisconsin and came on staff as an assistant pastor at a church.
The Next Phase
That time as a pastor was wonderful, but I felt like I should move to Madison and start working on the web full time. You see, while I was in ministry I began taking on some side projects for a few clients. Their sites happened to be on WordPress, so I became familiar with the dashboard, themes, plugins, XML-RPC, HTML, CSS, PHP, and everything in between. With a history in WordPress it felt natural to move forward in such a career path.
So, I applied to a support position that Aesopinteractive had available. A month later, as I was leaving the church (August 2014) where I was at, I received an email from Nick Haskins telling me he would like to have me on the team. I took him up on it.
I soon discovered that remote work for a guy in a wheelchair fit well into my lifestyle. With some part time work and a few clients, I stepped ahead on this next leg of my journey. People were accepting of me. The WordPress community embraced me.
After a year of remote working, I have worked with LiftUX, built several more client sites, and now work for both Aesopinteractive and AffiliateWP. I never dreamed that I could do so much for the web as I am now, but it just goes to show what can happen when you have people surrounding you that believe in you, no matter your limitations.
If I were to be able to share anything with you, it would be this:
“Anything is possible when you have passion, motivation, belief, and community.”
I sometimes don’t really understand why my life is so inspiring. After all, I am simply continuing to live life despite my circumstances, which seems like most anyone does. How about we all live life to the fullest extent?