The other day, while perusing Caitlin’s blog, I came across a video of Josh Sundquist.
And I liked what I saw.
Ok, that sounds a little creepy.
I just mean that he seemed really cool. And since I had never heard of him before, I checked out more of his stuff.
Including his book, Just Don’t Fall: A Hilariously True Story of Childhood, Cancer, Amputation, Romantic Yearning, Truth, and Olympic Greatness.
Turns out, we have a lot in common. He’s missing his left leg, I’m missing my left forearm. He likes making people laugh and I like making people laugh. He liked girls growing up and so did I. The similarities are eery. And I think I just found a new “weirdest word” nominee.
Seriously, Josh has an amazing story. He lost his left leg to cancer at the age of nine and yet, he overcame the odds to make the paralympic skiing team in 2006. Honestly, though, the skiing part isn’t what I loved about his book. It was all the other stuff. The family stuff. The girl stuff. The faith stuff. Josh has such a clear voice and a vulnerability that sucks you in. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Ahh! I’ve felt the same way!” And he’s hilarious, too. His recounting of the first motivational speech he gave is priceless. Painful, but priceless.
I loved the part when Josh shared about getting counseling to help with his “grayness,” or depression. Perfectionism had taken over and feelings of failure and hopelessness moved in. Finally, after a lot of help and soul searching, he came to a point where perfectionism and the fear of failure had to go. So he kicked them out. “It was enough [trying, not only winning], because I was enough. Either way. I was enough,” he says. It took a lot of guts to share that experience and I know, I know it’s helpful for countless people struggling with the same thought patterns.
This is not just a book about a guy with one leg who learns how to ski. That actually sounds incredibly insulting as I write it. It’s so much more. It’s a story of a boy and his family. It’s a story of a young man trying to figure out how his homeschooling and his Christian upbringing fits with the real world. It’s a story of loss and heartbreak. It’s a story of love and hope and triumph.
It’s a story you should read.
[FULL DISCLOSURE: This book is NOT for kids. There are a few parts with very strong language, so be warned.]