The most scared and most fearful I have ever been in my life was when I got a text message saying my brother (Elwyn) was in ICU after a car accident. I remember that morning constantly as I was talking to one of my co-workers going over what needed to be done and when on our projects currently in the shop when my phone made the incoming text message sound. I figured it was just one of my friends who I would have day long conversations with once we were both awake. I took my time to look at it as I finished my current thought with my co-worker and once I grabbed my phone and opened up the text… I froze, apparently wobbling, before dropping down to the floor. I didn’t collapse or go unconscious, but it was like my legs suddenly disappeared.
My co-worker helped me up and was like “dude! are you alright?” I showed him the text message and he responded simply with, “Go!” This happened when my driver’s license was currently under suspension so I started walking home while hitting up everybody that was on my phone book as I had no idea what to do. My brother was currently living in Scottsdale, Arizona so it wasn’t possible for me to head right to the hospital. I must have paced back and forth on 402 for an hour or so before making it to my house which is only 2 miles away from work…..
I fully believe in the saying that a parent should never outlive their child and I also believe that the oldest child shouldn’t outlive a younger sibling. Instantly after receiving that message, flashbacks of all the times from childhood to the present with my brothers and sister started going through my mind. Climbing that crabapple tree right outside our apartment in Boulder in our early childhood years, one time watching Elwyn slip and slide all the way down completely tearing up his back. The day after day after day, no matter what season it was, playing baseball in our on sandlot between the apartment buildings upon waking up until we went to bed. Only time we took breaks was to eat or being in school. The first time someone stood up for me was during a baseball game and I was punched for the first time in my life and I fell to the ground. My baby brother went chasing after the guy, who was older than me, taking swings at him. That guy never showed up again.
I could go on and on about this. But most everybody knows the story about Elwyn’s comeback and how much he was missed during some huge events happening here. But that’s not what this is about.
Elwyn was already shocking doctors and all of us in how quickly he got out of needing a wheelchair. One day as I was at the parent’s house, where he was residing during recovery, he all of a sudden just decided to stand up and walk to the bathroom. No crutches and no lending hand. We all just looked at each other with a huge smile. My words once he returned were “Dude! That was fucking awesome!”
Shortly after, I got Elwyn to join the gym I was spending most of my time at (Anytime Fitness). Then a couple of days later I swung by the parent’s house after work and picked him up to go to the gym. I was smiling all day waiting for this and once I got out of the changing room, I saw him on the bench lifting. He was back doing what he loves and it hit me hard that I had to go into the bathroom as I didn’t want anyone to see the tears coming down my face. 4 months after a horrific car accident where he shattered his hip, femur and had a collapsed lung…he was back in the gym.
Every day since then, my whole perspective of working out had changed. I never had a reason to do what all I was accomplishing other than just doing it for the hell of it. Whenever I felt tired, I remind myself of that moment seeing my brother do what he had done, and I go longer. He will no longer be able to lift the same way he did before the accident but he is finding ways of still doing it and finding a different reason to workout. I never had it in my mind to train for a competition but I am doing it now and Elwyn is my reason why. Even though I believe we are going to be training for the same competition, I am going to be fighting for first. Or at the very worst, second to him.
There is nothing I won’t do to help my brothers get where they want or just generally need help in. When it comes to money, I know I am lucky enough to be in a situation with my job where I can come back from a situation that would not be as easy for my brothers to accomplish, so without thought I have lent them money. When they needed a ride, I did everything possible to be there for them. I show up to support their dreams whenever I could. I stopped coming up with excuses not to do so and told myself I will deal with it later since nothing is going to keep me away from being there for my family. Especially after having done the opposite in my early twenties.
Anything I have or will accomplish in the gym will be for Elwyn. I love him. I love both of my brothers. I love my sister. I love my parents. Elwyn is my motivation for what I do in the gym.