Guest post: Wheelchair Dad by Robert Costa

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(Robert Costa was injured in 2019 and is from the Boston-area)

In the summer of 2015, my wife, 3 year old daughter and I welcomed twin boys home. Up to that point in life, my focus was on being a good husband, father and successful with my professional life in residential building and remodeling.

At that time, if you were to ask me what my purpose in life was, I am not sure I would be able to articulate it or to be honest, even knew exactly what it was.

Sometime after the five of us settled down in our new home, around the age of 36, I realized what it was. Once I was able to figure out exactly what it was, it opened a whole new view on life and every circumstance for me.

I was going to change the world for the better! And the way I was going to do that was by raising 3 absolutely awesome human beings. So, on July 28, 2019, after having an accident at my local motocross track, that resulted in me being a T-7 paraplegic, my course of action moving forward was already set.

I had spent the previous few years, more so with my daughter, as she had already started elementary school, with my family as a whole, trying to constantly be the example.

It is a phrase I use often in our house, when dropping the kids at school or heading out to a social event, be the example. Be the person everyone else is looking to for an example on how to proceed or how to act.

The majority of what goes on around you is out of your control, but how you respond and how you act is not. Happiness is a choice, a positive attitude is a choice, working hard is a choice. There are always obstacles and reasons to fail. Your choice is to be a victim of a situation or to find a way to learn, improve or win.

So, while laying in the ICU back in July of 2019, I made a conscious decision to continue to approach life with a positive attitude and to never concede ever. I often fail, but am constantly trying to find the light, be positive, work hard, have an open mind and a blatant joy and love for being alive.

Leaving rehab and heading home was definitely the hardest part of this journey for me. There were some dark days in the first few months. Two months prior, I was wrestling, riding bikes, dancing and running around with the kids.

I had no idea how to proceed as a dad they could be proud of or look up to, but knew I had to be a positive example. I give a lot of credit to my wife and kids for the success I have had in my recovery over the first 2 years.

They have kept me accountable and because of them I am constantly trying to get better physically, always learning and doing my best to always be solution oriented and have a positive attitude. Things I was unsure I would ever do again with them, we do daily.

Things like riding bikes, swimming, playing basketball, wrestling, dancing or riding roller coasters. I may not be able to carry them on my shoulders anymore, but I will never say no to them sitting on my lap.

Having children has made my injury so much easier to deal with and overcome. My value is in being the best example to my kids. I will change the world for the better, by raising three amazing children.

– Follow Rob on Instagram @robcosta977

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Spinal Cord Injury
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