Matt Blaylock Discovers What He Can Do After His Accident

Editor’s Note: Twenty-one-year-old Matt Blaylock from Canton, Georgia was a strong, healthy, talented, three sport athlete, with a college scholarship in his pocket until his accident. Part 3 of a 5 part series.

When I got out of rehab, I was still paralyzed. I’d been highly successful – both physically and athletically. I realized that in the condition I was in, that was all gone. The one thing I did have left was my mind, so I knew that then was the time for me to start using my mind and discover all the things I could do with it. The time had come for me to grow mentally and spiritually. The first thing I had to deal with was what caused me to be in this situation. I’d made some bad choices, I’d done things I shouldn’t have done, and I felt that I had a responsibility to tell others not to make those same bad choices I’d made. I never would have thought that one or two decisions I’d made on the day I got hurt would change my life forever and dramatically impact my future.

I began to understand that if I could help other young people not make the same choices I’d made, I had the potential to prevent other young people from having accidents like mine. As I began to share my story with high school and college students, I believed I’d had a positive impact on their lives and their futures. This helped me grow tremendously as a human being, learning what was important and what wasn’t.

Matthew shares with other young people how important it is to make good decisions.

Matthew shares with other young people how important it is to make good decisions. Photo source.

Today I know I want to continue to learn and to grow. Right now, I’m in a better place mentally than I was right after the accident. If I could get my body to be in the same place as my head, I think the sky would be the limit. I realize that if I’m going to be a public speaker and be able to deliver my message in the best form to positively impact people, I need to learn more about how to be a good speaker. I didn’t have any public speaking classes before my accident, but now I’m going to Toastmasters, an organization that teaches people to be better speakers. I speak on how the decisions young people make now can affect the rest of their lives and also other people’s lives.

Matthew is learning to become a better public speaker so he can continue to share his story.

Matthew is learning to become a better public speaker so he can continue to share his story.

To learn more about Matt Blaylock, contact turcotteba@windstream.net, or call 770-380-1432.

Next: Matt Blaylock Learns About What Really Matters In Life

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

What’s Next For Paraplegic Frank Barham’s Music Career

Editor’s Note: Fifty-six year old Frank Barham is living his dream. Frank has learned that a musician never stops learning and never reaches the pinnacle. Jazz is a never ending journey of study; trying to become better, and learning to share your feelings through the music you play. Part 5 of a 5 part series.

I realized that teaching wasn’t the career for me. I thought, “If I have to start all over, why not try to do something that I love. I have no illusions of becoming some famous rock star; that is not what I want.  I want to support myself doing what I love and that’s it. Right now, we have a very low overhead. I am choosing to live simply so that I can simply do what I love.  I view the embracing of the growth process and the pursuit of my passion as success.  I don’t think of success as some specific point I will arrive at one day. When I feel that I’ve played something well, I get a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  It is very gratifying when the crowd responds positively to my playing.

Frank Barham feels accomplished when an audience responds positively.

Frank Barham feels accomplished when an audience responds positively.

I was asked, “Frank, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” I guess the answer is pretty simple; I’d like to be happy, fulfilled, and playing music.  I hope to continue to grow as a person and a musician.  Financially, I hope I can survive doing what I love. Thanks to my wife, music and the people music has brought into my life, I feel revitalized.  While the future is uncertain, I’m excited about the possiblities my life has to offer.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, you can often find me on Monday nights at Northside Tavern on Howell Mill Road; Sundays look for me at the Family Dog on North Highland. I also look forward to playing on the International stage at the Atlanta Jazz Festival on May 26th with Edy Martinez.

We hope you enjoy this clip of Frank rehearsing:

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than

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