Growing up, Travis Roy had one goal: To play Division I college hockey like his father. In the fall of 1995, his dreams were realized as he enrolled at Boston University on a scholarship to play hockey for the Terriers.
Unfortunately, 11 seconds into the first shift of his collegiate career, Roy took an odd fall headlong into the boards, cracking his fourth and fifth cervical vertebra. This paralyzed him from the neck down. His college career and hockey dream were over.
However, he vowed that it would not end his life. Roy went on to graduate from Boston University in four years. He became an author. He became a sought-after motivational speaker. And he became a tireless advocate for people with spinal cord injuries.
Travis Roy’s story offers a lesson. Yes, life will hand you setbacks. It might even give you tragedies to deal with. Despite that, don’t stop forging ahead and making a great impact on the world.
Jacob Givens really wanted to play hockey for his high school, the Hancock Bulldogs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Unfortunately, competition was stiff. As a result, Givens failed to make the team his freshman and sophomore years. And that was likely going to be the case his junior year as well. You see, the team was fully stocked with veteran players at his position.
Nevertheless, Givens really wanted to be a Bulldogs hockey player. So, he did something unconventional. He did something he really didn’t want to do. He tried out and made the team as a goalie, as the team only had one other person at that position.
And because of this, one weekend he had a chance to shine. You see, when the starting keeper was injured, Givens stepped in, provided a heroic effort, and helped the Bulldogs defeat two top-ranked opponents. The lesson is simple: In life, often to do the things you want, you have to do the things you don’t.