My present life.
My life has changed immensely ever since October 16, 2010. My dream was always to make it to the NFL and be able to play the game I loved. I have come to realize that what happened to me was for the better, because I have been able to touch so many more people in my life than I would have ever dreamed of if I was still playing football. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I plan on doing great things in my life.
Let me fill you in on where I'm at in my life right now.
I go to therapy every day for three and a half hours. I walk on the Christopher and Dana Reeve NeuroRecovery Network treadmill every day for an hour. I do some occupational therapy for another hour, where I work on trying to regain any type of functional arm movements. After that, I work on sitting and balancing for a half hour in physical therapy, then go back to occupational therapy to work on the arm bike. The arm bike simulates pedaling a bike with your arms, while electrical stimulation pads shock my muscles to make them contract. I have been doing so well that another patient in Kentucky with the same level of injury and I are now case studies for all spinal cord injury of our level and higher. It is our job to set high standards. I plan on setting the bar at walking eventually. We just all have to keep believing and praying and a miracle will happen.
Other than therapy, last year I had the opppurtunity to work with the Rutgers radio crew on the halftime and postgame show for every game, and I plan on continuing that this year. I am on track to graduate next summer, and I'd like to get into the big-time broadcasting at a network like ESPN, FOX or CBS.
I just recently signed a deal with HarperCollins for two books which come out on September 25. One book is for adults, and the other is for children ages 9 to 12. The book explains my story leading up to the injury. I also just partnered up with Subway, as I mentioned earlier. Justin Tuck and I did a couple commercials a few weeks back, and it was a great experience. I have been eating Subway my entire life and I truly believe in them, and they believe in me and my journey to walk again as I continue to train and fight my battle every day. As I filmed my commercial with Justin, I also filmed a segment with The Office star Brian Baumgartner for his Road to Tahoe, which will be airing on July 21 at 2 p.m. ET.
After everything I have found out about spinal cord injuries, I have started The Eric LeGrand Foundation, which will help benefit people with spinal cord injuries who cannot afford the proper equipment necessary for rehab, funding their expenses. My foundation will also be helping to fund spinal cord research so we can find a cure for this injury, allowing paralyzed people to get back on their feet and begin walking again.
I hope you enjoyed this brief look into what's going on in my life. I want to thank Peter King for giving me the opportunity to be able to write Monday Morning Quarterback this week. I hope that it will help you motivate yourself through this week and the rest of your life.
1. I think the Saints made a great decision by re-signing Drew Brees.
2. I think the Boston Celtics made a good move by re-signing the heart and soul of the team, Kevin Garnett.
3. Regardless of Kobe's comments, I think there will never be a better team than the Dream Team.
4. I think the Baltimore Ravens should pay Ray Rice. He is easily a top-three back in the league, and should be compensated as such.
5. I think this new BCS system will work well for now, with more progression in the future.
6. I think the steal of the 2012 draft came in the third round, when the Bengals selected Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is versatile, he is a matchup nightmare, and he is a football player, which is a real compliment.
7. I think Dwight Howard may end up someplace he is not happy, because he missed his chance to opt out of his contract with the Magic.
8. Take it from someone who has gotten injured on a kickoff: I think kickoffs in the NFL should return to the way they used to be, because lots of football players can make a career out of playing on special teams, and the new system takes some of the thrill and excitement of the game out.
9. I think Tim Tebow will have a much bigger role with the Jets than just as an up-back or Wildcat quarterback.
10. I know I will walk again.