Winter Motivation

18 Feb

Winter’s wrath has been particularly cruel this season, what with snow every week and frigid temperatures more akin to the Arctic. In fact, Indiana recently set the new all time record for most snowfall in a winter, eclipsing the old mark from the 1977-78 winter; the year of the Blizzard of ’78. Perhaps my stubborn ways were formed that winter. I’d just begun a morning paper route the very week of the blizzard. No papers were delivered to the carriers, much less to residents, the morning after the heavy snow. Nonetheless, my family’s phone was ringing off the hook by 6:30 a.m. with customers wanting to know when their paper might arrive. Fast forward back to the present; and we still have a few weeks to go with this winter. Ugh. Perhaps my stubborn ways were formed back then in 1978. Despite this winter weather I have not cancelled one training class.

Nonetheless, folks have found it difficult to attend regular training classes. In fact, due to the unruly winter, some folks have let their fitness slip. Low motivation due to lack of sunlight and no outdoor riding time can play havoc on a mind numbed by nothing but trainer miles. With no end in sight it’s time to bring on some external motivation. Meet Moise Brutus.

On October 11, 2010 Moise was a young man without a care. His life was an open highway full of possibility as he cruised down the road on his motorcycle. But then tragedy struck when he was hit by a motorist. The accident resulted in the loss of both legs and one arm. After multiple surgeries Moise went through an extremely difficult time period in which he was over medicated and became clinically depressed. Yet Moise dug deep, finding that fighting spirit within that has allowed him to overcome his adverse conditions.

As part of his physical therapy program aimed at teaching him to walk again, Moise was placed on a stationary bicycle. Realizing he could turn the pedals with little inhibition, Moise began a quick turn around and decided to buy a used bicycle. Thinking this was a three or four-wheel bicycle, his parents encouraged the purchase. When only two wheels showed up there was some consternation in the Brutus family. Moise asked his parents to chill and give him a chance to find his own independence. To their credit, they did just that.

Competitive by nature, it wasn’t long before Moise began envisioning a racing bicycle. After obtaining a racing bike, Moise began training at the Miami Velodrome and eventually made his way onto the road. It has been a trying road, one made difficult by the extra cost for special clip ins for his prosthetic legs; the need for assistance to mount his bike; and the sometimes difficult task of finding enough money to buy much needed equipment. Yet Moise has diligently persisted in chasing his dream of becoming a paralympic bicycle racer.

I was honored to meet and begin coaching Moise in November of 2013. To Moise, every day is a privilege; an opportunity to test not only one’s body, but also one’s mind against the various challenges we face each day. When it could be easy to give up, Moise chooses to pursue his dream. And along the way, he finds time to share his story of courage and determination with others including special needs children.

Aside from cycling, Moise speaks and guest lectures to audiences ranging from the Aventura Chamber of Commerce, Unversity of Miami, and The Foundation For Government and Accountability ECT. Moise delivers a passionate message that no matter how adverse your situation may be, there is nothing your mind and will power cannot overcome. Moise also attends college and will enroll at Florida A&M in 2014 to pursue an education in Healthcare Administration/Public Health.

Unfortunately, Moise recently suffered another setback as he was the victim of a hit and run accident, rendering his highly specialized racing bicycle useless. Moise did suffer a mild concussion and road rash, but otherwise remains intact. Driven by his paralympic dream and his desire to inspire others, Moise continues diligent core training until such time he can purchase another bike. Thanks to the folks at The Center for Government Accountability, a rally for Moise has been organized with the hopes of raising enough money to help Moise buy that new bike. More information on the rally can be found at the following link, and please consider making a donation to help Moise get back on two wheels.

https://rally.org/MoiseBrutus/c/gP64My3fSAh

In reflecting on Moise’s determination, Winter’s wrath seems much less insurmountable. Next time you consider skipping that trainer workout, contemplate all that Moise goes through every time he prepares to ride his bike.

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