I write this to share with you my vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures for 2017. This is a personal deep dive into what I believe in, the obstacles that will stand in my way from achieving my goals, and how I will show I have been successful. This is me being vulnerable and sharing my story. The easiest of these categories for me to write was the obstacles. There are so many doubts that could potentially stand in my way from achieving my goals. I want you to remember that yes there are more roadblocks, but you must learn to overcome these challenges to obtain what you desire.
What does 2017 look like for you?
My vision for 2017 includes traveling for the first time internationally using a wheelchair and spread FSH awareness internationally, continue to deep dive at work while growing my network and establishing deeper relationships with my coworkers, and give my time through volunteering in the community to help build a more rollable/walkable Atlanta.
I’ve got many fun adventures planned for 2017 and I believe it is important to enjoy life regardless of your disability or ability. Taking life to seriously and forgetting to explore the world while I can is not a rut I want to get myself into.
I value being honest and transparent in life and work. Peers, family and friends depend on me and I have to remain committed to them and show them I can be a resource of assistance and love.
I value synergy, learning from others and my own mistakes and building others up. In order to take on life and accomplish my goals, I must rely on other individuals to lend a helping hand. I also have to remember to be open to receiving help. I can’t tackle life on my own and must remember there is a strong support system behind me.
As my physical strength continues to decline, I value learning how to achieve greatness despite my obstacles. Leaning from others is an incredible opportunity and I believe in the power of sharing this wealth of knowledge. In order to grow, I value staying grounded remembering those who helped to build me.
- Become a WHILL Ambassador for the Model M wheelchair and showcase it to the world and complete by the end of February
- File a class action lawsuit with the city of Atlanta for failure to maintain #equalAccess of sidewalks
- Take on our 3rd Reebok Spartan Race in March via piggyback
- Apply to the Administrative Board of Directors for the FSH Society in hopes of being the youngest board member by May
- Travel Europe for 10 days in April with a previous coworker from Apple
- Take the Piggyback Adventure crew up Mt. Kilimanjaro by October
- Make a documentary about Piggyback Adventures, conquering FSH muscular dystrophy, overcoming barriers, and working on a team of family and friends and submit it to Sundance film festival and Netflix for EOY 2017 submissions
- Expand my consumption of various herbal teas to provide a wholistic healing approach to my health
- Begin to learn Japanese and enroll in a class
- Become a Salesforce Certified Administrator by May
- Have lunch with 30 new individuals at work by the EOY to build a trusting relationship with my coworkers and grow my network
- Continue to be the top new-hire onboarding ambassador for all of Salesforce and bring positivity into the workplace
- Strengthen my relationship with God and dive daily into the word
- Visit the park on a regular basis
- Open up to others by sharing my vulnerabilities
- Remember to live in the present
- Once my WHILL ambassadorship is over, I know I won’t want to go back to my scooter. It means I have to accept the fact I need a more durable chair to do the things I want to do and being 100% reliant on a device is a hard pill to swallow for someone who is very independent. As WHILL currently isn’t covered by insurance, finding the funds ($10k) to purchase one seems near impossible for a single individual.
- Finding time to roll around the city of Atlanta and take pictures of bad sidewalk and report them takes up a lot of my free time. Sometimes also it feels like a black hole as I don’t always see the change right away and also it just never ends. I am just 1 individual going around the city and reporting areas that need improvement and this often seems daunting.
- Filing a lawsuit takes time and energy and I feel I won’t have the patience for possibly a 2-3 year lawsuit. Also, finding other individuals who want to testify with me is difficult as I feel no one wants to help or has a story to share. This is just me not putting trust into my lawyer which is not such a good idea.
- The Reebok Spartan race opens up the door to potential near hypothermia as I got my first year. It is also exhausting holding onto someone for 5 miles and runs the risk of tearing muscle fiber which is not good for my condition.
- Traveling internationally will be a first since getting a wheelchair. I traveled to Boston and my scooter was damaged on the plane. I am concerned my chair will get damaged in route and will have difficulties getting around. I also do not know how accessible Europe is and since I plan on visiting many historical monuments, many of these are not accessible.
- Mt. Kilimanjaro is 19,400 feet and I am worried about my a ability to prepare for this height as I am unable to adequately train for this elevation. I am concerned with the technical aspects of the trail as it is unknown territory and it being unsafe to climb. When hiking the trail, we had new friends join us for day hikes, this won’t be the case as everyone who starts will or won’t finish. There are no day hikers on this adventures, thus I am worried that the people carrying me won’t have adequate enough rest in between carries. I worry about the accessibility in Africa, traveling across the world and the cost of the trip.
- The producer that is leading our documentary lives across the country so finding times to film poses a challenge. Getting funding for the film and sponsors is all new territory for me as I don’t know this network of individuals. What if no one wants to watch our documentary or we end up losing money from it?
- As I explore new and different herbal teas, I do not know if my body is allergic to them or not or how it will react. I have a sensitive digestive system and do not want to disrupt it.
- Learning a new language is difficult and it is easy to give up. Kanji has thousands of symbols and learning all of them will be a challenge. It will take thousands of hours to dedicate learning a new language and it can be put on the back burner if I do not stay dedicated to it. Also not having anyone around me as a native speaker to practice speaking poses a roadblock.
- Taking the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam for work will be a challenge as I do not have a good history of test taking. I failed my Pardot specialist exam 2x prior, thus why I am concerned this stress will happen again. Finding time to study for this exam and stay focused is not easy for me.
- Finding enough time and scheduling lunch with individuals is harder than one would think. I worry I am being too ambitious for this goal. Also opening up to coworkers on a deeper personal level is challenging as I don’t want to overstep and work/personal boundaries.
- Remembering that being an on boarding ambassador is not my primary role or what I get paid to do at work, it’s volunteer. I have to remember to keep a work/volunteer balance and also not burn myself out by striving to be the best.
- I have to make it a priority to dive into the word of God and often times I get too caught up in reality and forget what’s important. I worry that as my church is moving locations and Marta buses don’t travel over there that I will fall out of the loop at church.
- It rains often in Georgia and I have to take a train and roll 0.5 miles to get to the park. Distance and weather brings potential challenges.
- Living in the present is difficult for someone who wants to do some much and plan various adventures.