The Teen Insider- Guest Speakers Inspire

14 Apr

I’ve never had an inspiration before, well until today that is. Every year my high school holds a wellness day where we have guest speakers come in and talk to us about activities that may influence our lives, many from the perspective of those who have had their lives changed. Our guest speakers talk about many thing: drinking, drugs, gay/lesbian, disabilities, illnesses, nutrition, sex, cancer, holocaust, and many more. As a junior, this is my third time experiencing this day, the good part about it- new speakers every year.

So when we recently had such an assembly, I didn’t know what to expect walking in, I just figured a usual “don’t drink and drive” type of man, but then my teacher announced that he models and just that was a shock to me, who could they possibly be bringing in?

Onto stage walked a man, a very very cute man in all honesty, he got up there and the first thing I noticed were the crutches. Then I saw his missing leg. The only thing I could think about, was how did this happen? While the people around me were shocked or gasped, I watched him walk around the stage just as anyone else, and I watched him smile just as well as anyone else could do, and I didn’t pay attention to what was missing.

His name is Josh Sundquist and at a young age he had to get his leg amputated because of cancer. He is now seen with just one leg (and sometimes his prosthetic leg) and two crutches which help him throughout his daily activities. Yes josh probably looked down on himself when this first began, he probably wished that of all things that could happen to him- for this to not be one of them, however; he got onto the stage they set up in the gym for him and he smiled. He smiled!

For two 41 minute periods straight, Josh told jokes, he told stories about him having one leg, he even sang a song at the end, but; he always smiled. Josh lives a normal life even with a missing piece, he knows what’s missing, and he once knew what it was like to have it, he also knows what its like to have something so essential to life, not there anymore. Therefore, josh has learned more then any 80 year old who is healthy and still married; he learned importance. He learned life, and he learned that there is much more to it then sitting around and sulking. Josh taught me a lot while he talked, he found the benefits in having one leg and he doesn’t hide the fact that something isn’t there. Josh is very open, and expresses himself, trying to help people, especially teens who might be embarrassed about something, that this one thing should never hold you back.

Out of my three years in high school and hearing other speakers from middle school, had to have been my favorite. I have never heard someone so inspiring, and through the conditions he’s been in, so happy!

This day I realized through all the troubles anyone can go through, big or small, it is important to always look ahead because sitting around feeling bad for yourself won’t get you anywhere, and if you give up on yourself eventually the people around you will too.

Josh taught me.  Josh inspired me.

There are always people who will walk into your life, they may just be there for a moment and after many years you might forget their name or what they look like, but things they have said to you will stick like glue. Josh’s words will stick to me, his smile will let me know that there are always going to be obstacles but your the only one who can truly make yourself feel better about them, josh has learned this. Now its about time his words, his ideas, his wisdom, begins spreading; so anyone who has a problem can learn too- can learn for him and maybe even be inspired by him, just as I am.

If you want to check out Josh’s website


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