Our Observations

Making A Choice To Be A Hero

Weekends often present a variety of commitments or options. It was our good fortune this weekend to spend time with an inspirational cast of a new documentary film, “The Current,”  which held its premiere in Boulder, Colorado on February 16.

Olympic swimming sensation Missy Franklin undoubtedly was a major draw for a packed house that included a significant number of young people. But, by the end of the program, we all were inspired by the rest of the cast who have overcome disabilities in a big way. The film, produced by Make A Hero and directed by Kurt Miller and Hans Rosenwinkel, takes Missy and individuals with disabilities into the ocean where they are free to move around in a weightless environment. Underwater, Missy notes, "everyone is the same."

The cast included Mallory Weggemann, who walked into the hospital on January 21, 2008 for a final epidural injection for back pain. “I just never walked out,” she explains in the film, while sitting in her wheel chair. Mallory decided to take up swimming again and set her eyes on the Paralympics, where she won a gold medal at the 2012 games in London.

Anthony Robles, who was born with one leg, won the 125-pound 2011 NCAA National Championship in wrestling. The next year, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In the film, despite a fear of sharks, he dove into a part of the ocean called “Shark Alley.”

Perhaps the most poignant moment is where Leo Morales, who lost his leg to cancer, talks about reaching a moment where a person has to make a choice to live or die. His thoughts were echoed by others in the film and also in the audience question-and-answer period afterward.

We all have our disabilities. Some are physical. Others are emotional. As the cast demonstrates in the film, life is precious and should be embraced. What separates us is the amount of passion we put into that life and deciding how we use it.

Weggemann said her father told her every night, “You’re the best, you can make a difference, and you can change the world.” These are words we should say to ourselves and to our children every day. Let’s make that choice and make the world a better place.

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