How Wheelchair Athlete Todd Robinson’s Life Changed When He Realized That God Is in Control

Editor’s Note: Paraplegic Athlete Todd Robinson of Alpharetta, Georgia, is a sales representative for At Home Medical, based in Suwanee, Georgia, which specializes in urological products, incontinent supplies, wound-care, ostomy and general medical supplies for patients who are making cash purchases.  As a follow-up to Todd’s interview about his IronMan competition, we also talked with Robinson about some of the concerns that people in wheelchairs have.  Part 3 of a four-part series entitled “The 10 Most-Often Asked Questions about Living with Disabilities.
Todd Robinson shares his thoughts from the perspective of a wheelchair user.

Todd Robinson shares his thoughts from the perspective of a wheelchair user.

Question : What motivates you to compete in Triathlons?

Robinson: I never really stopped to think about that until recently. When I was first injured, although I never admitted it, I was angry and frustrated. I did many things immediately after I was hurt just to prove that I could.

In recent years though, I’ve come to understand that God created everyone for a purpose, and He’s always in control. Even though I went though hard times and struggled with my frustrations when I was injured, I always knew that He was still with me, watching over me and helping me get through all my problems.

Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that I should have been working on setting a better example for others with disabilities. You won’t find any hope for a better world on the news, and too much news will make you begin to wonder why, if the world’s such a terrible place, you even  bother to get up every day.

As my own faith has grown, I understand that everyone has problems to deal with. I’d rather have a physical disability than an emotional or a mental disability. I worked in a psychiatric hospital and know the anguish those patients experience. I’ve always had a sense of hope and have never believed in quitting any task that I’ve started. I’ve also grown and come to understand that God can use anyone, including people with disabilities.

I like that everything is a challenge for me. I’ll never be as fast as the athletes in the Paralympics. However, I enter a race not necessarily to be first, but to make sure I don’t quit until I reach the end. I don’t have to be the best; I just never want to be labeled a quitter.

Todd strives to use his disability as a symbol of accomplishment when he competes in athletic events.

Todd strives to use his disability as a symbol of accomplishment when he competes in athletic events.

So, when someone asks why I compete in Ironman competitions or other triathlons, my answer is simple. I want to see if I can do it without quitting, and I want to compete to know that I can. And that’s enough for me.

Question: Now that I’m in a wheelchair, what do I do?

Robinson: I’m asked this question a lot by people who are new to their injuries and who recently have gotten their wheelchairs. This question is hard to answer, because the answer lies within you.

However, the generic answer that seems to fit everyone is you need to set goals for yourself and your life. Think about what you’ve been planning to do before your injury and determine if you still can do those things now with your injury.

 Some people may think they can’t and haven’t researched the possibilities of still achieving those goals they’ve set before their injuries. I was lucky, because my family believed that you worked toward a goal until you couldn’t possibly do it any longer. Whether you were hurt, sick, tired, depressed or injured didn’t matter. You went after that goal until you couldn’t any more. That’s how I was raised.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have that same support system. So, get a good support system, if you don’t have one. Talk to the people in the hospital and the rehab centers, and they’ll help you find a support group where you can recieve encouragement and support. Peer support can be the magic ingredient that helps you achieve far beyond your wildest dreams.

Looking for a fantastic peer support program? Join Life After SCI on Facebook - just click the Facebook link at the top right on this page.

Looking for a fantastic peer support program? Join Life After SCI on Facebook - just click the Facebook link at the top right on this page.

You also will find a good form of support at your local church. Remember that most people have some type of struggle in their life, but the challenges they face may not be as visible as yours.

Many times able-bodied people have greater struggles and challenges than people in wheelchairs. Most people are afraid of life, of losing their jobs and their health, of death and of the unseen future.

My paralysis is there all the time, so I don’t worry about it, nor am I afraid of it. I’ve learned how to deal with my injury and accept it. I’ve found that many people who are having problems in life don’t mind talking to me about their problems, because they can see my problem. So, I believe one of my purposes in life at this point is to listen and help other people with their problems.

Next: Paraplegic Athlete Todd Robinson Encourages People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers and Participate in Sports

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

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

2 Responses to How Wheelchair Athlete Todd Robinson’s Life Changed When He Realized That God Is in Control

  1. Pingback: Athlete Todd Robinson Explains Wheelchair Accessibility and Insurance « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

  2. Pingback: Athlete Todd Robinson Explains Wheelchair Accessibility and Insurance

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