Thursday, August 19, 2010

Must See SCI TV: Breakthrough with Tony Robbins

One evening a few weeks ago I was working at the computer while peeling through my DVR and I got an out of the blue text from my good friend Kurt, who also doubles as one of my two co-founding partners of the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association nonprofit we’re starting, that read, “Are you watching the Tony Robbins special on NBC?” I’ve never been a fan of those “inspirational speaker/life coach” types who charge people oodles of money for their books, seminars, etc. so I very facetiously replied, “Not a fan, is he going to work a miracle or something?” A quick reply came back simply saying, “Turn now to NBC.”

So I obliged him and immediately flipped the channel to NBC to find fifteen minutes left of a “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins” episode that featured a quadriplegic named Frank and his wife Kristin. Frank broke his neck and sustained a spinal cord injury diving into a hotel pool on his wedding night, and the couple had been struggling both independently and collectively with their new, unexpected lifestyle ever since. I’m not going to do a blow by blow account of the episode in this space since you can just watch the episode yourself, but the premise is that Robbins puts them up to a handful of challenges, again both individually and collectively, that changes their outlook on how they can live their lives in light of everything that Frank’s new disability brings to the table (e.g. skydiving, spending time apart for the first time since his accident, playing “murderball” (aka quad rugby) in front of his family, and working on and driving a desert truck since racing one was his dream). Then there’s one other big surprise at the end.

Of course, some of the thoughts that Frank (and Kristen) shared hit home for me since I parallel them in a lot of ways: second guessing his choice to dive into the pool, grieving the life you should have had, having a loved one have no choice but to help him with his personal cares, not having the ability to sense his wife’s loving embrace, feeling like he’s holding his loved ones back, self doubt about the ability to start a family, the frustrating strive to be self supportive, hesitations about getting outside of his comfort zone, etc. And then yet despite all the hard struggles and emotions of living with paralysis, gaining that strong sense of pride and accomplishment for the things you can do as well.

If you live with SCI or know someone with SCI it is a pretty powerful piece. Heck, I recommend it to anyone interested in checking out an inspiring personal journey about overcoming personal demons and adversity, and ultimately achieving potential you didn’t know that you had inside of you. And dare I say it: a new found respect for Tony Robbins, if you are like me up to this point.

However, the caveat is that the clock is ticking because it is only available to be viewed online until September 4th. Here is the Hulu episode link, or click the link above to go to the NBC show site. I would have brought this to people’s attention sooner but I actually just got around to watching the balance of the episode that I missed tonight. So tune in before it’s too late. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of Tony's. Whenever I got in trouble as a teenager, my dad would make me listen to one of Tony's audio tapes and write about his message. I grew to really like him also. Thanks for sharing.