Being a disabled single parent has taught me much about myself, strength, courage and patience to name but a few. One of my most cherished lessons is watching my greatest creations grow and become warriors of their own. My youngest, Jacob, has inherited my disability.
But the real challenge lies in believing in oneself, even in the hardest of times.
An old man asked me once, ‘do you believe in magic?’ Pondering the question, I suddenly realised he was referring to the magic within. The power to achieve things, even with what little you have.
Since learning of my heritage as an Armstrong, I believe it’s helped me believe the magic from within.
My disability has created many hurdles but my attitude is to see through the challenges that present themselves. Take the word impossible – nothing is impossible. Break the word down it says I’m possible. I look towards the moon at night and think, ‘nothing is impossible’. Neil Armstrong certainly proved that. One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind – inspirational.
I’ve started horse riding, training maybe for the paralympics four years from now. I’ve become a standard bearer for my namesake and kin at every Armstrong gathering. I’m a businessman and father and I have the best support network around me. Friends and family. I fall, they fall. Every step, every worry, they’re there supporting me.
I get to teach my children the importance of believing in the magic from within. I still go through periods of wanting to quit. But I look at my children and realise they’re watching and learning. Get up, brush myself down and push forward. Get knocked down, get back up.
Every time I meet someone I ask them that all important question – do you believe in magic?
I have a few projects going and I refuse to quit. My friends and family watch, sometimes with their jaws dropping because they didn’t expect my next move. One day I want to look back and say to my boys ‘we did that.’
So next time you feel trapped, ask yourself that question. Do you believe in magic?
You know what they say here in the borders. SHAKE LOOSE THE BORDERS.