Friday, May 13, 2011

courage personified

I had the absolute pleasure last night of attending an event full of awe, audacity and inspiration. The 13th annual Courage to Come Back Awards were presented to six incredibly deserving individuals from all around British Columbia who have overcome seemingly-insurmountable challenges and in turn reach out to help others. They are people from all walks of life who define what it means to be courageous in the face of adversity. They have found a way to fight back, to live their life to the fullest and to help and inspire others. It was a night full of unbelievable stories, inspiring outcomes and handfuls of tissues!
{award recipient Jerome Bouvier via}
What struck me hard last night was how real these inspiring individuals are. It’s one thing to see a video or read their story but to watch them accept an award in front of 800 people as they speak of their emotional journey is humbling beyond words. Real life stories of illness, injury or adversity and the courage to truly come back from what may have been the bottom hits close to home but is not easy to imagine. It had me thinking though, what would I do if I was in their shoes? What would I do if faced with such adversity, if the odds seemed stacked against me? As easy as it might be to say ‘It won’t happen to me’, we can never predict the curveballs that life may throw at us and we most certainly can’t be sure of how we would react. And as tough as it is to imagine yourself living a life like one of these incredible individuals, the hope and optimism that radiated from each and every one of them is inspiring in itself. It’s inspiring to know that even if you’re down, there are ways to get back up. Even if you feel like the world is against you, there is always someone rooting for you. Even if you feel like you’ve got nothing, you’ve got something. And as one of the recipients said, even if your life doesn’t always go to plan, your Plan B can still be a success. So to all those who have stood up to adversity, to all those who didn’t back down to being down, to all those who have truly had the courage to come back…thank you for sharing your stories.

Who inspires you? How do you define courage?

8 comments:

Anna Elder said...

that's really touching. i think i can speak as someone who has faced somewhat seemingly insurmountable adversity. being told that i couldn't run again and that surgery would be impossible and then going through the depression of that, and then meeting a dr. who could do the surgery 2 years later...it's hard. i gave up for awhile and i'm suffering the consequences now. i always love a good, touching story about someone who overcame the seemingly impossible. i probably would have cried at this event. :)

p.s. i can't believe you won $1500. that's freaking highway robbery right there! haha.

Tara said...

I've never had a major illness or issue that I didn't cause by my own crappy decisions, but I definitely had a plan A - get married (young - which ended up being too young) and spend my life making a life with that person. Needless to say, plan A backfired/ended when my Ex became extremely controlling and abusive about a year after we got married. It took a long time, too long, to leave him, but I did - and plan B was to sustain myself and my own life and once I could do that, maybe find someone else to share my life with. Maybe. Thankfully plan B has worked out just fine so far ;)

la petite coquine said...

How amazing. My family has always been a huge source of inspiration: no matter what, they celebrate the joy that can be found in anything.

kimbirdy said...

that sounds amazing. i love that there are awards for these courageous people. so often those who face extreme adversity get no recognition for how truly hard they work to fight and overcome. i know for my own struggles with clinical ocd, it often feels like a huge war with my own brain. i think this kind of struggle, when there isn't a person outside of yourself who can be the enemy, is the hardest form of adversity. so to give recognition to people for carrying through a more abstract form of emotional fighting, is just beautiful!

Tee, Passports and Postcards said...

I always find great inspiration in the stories of people who overcame major adversities. It makes whatever problems I have seem so small and makes me believe that I can overcome them too.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow that's awesome! I find my inspiration from blog posts like this for sure!

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

How amazing. My two best friends were and still are my inspiration. Although both succumbed to cancer at way to early an age they fought through with such bravery and dignity. They were the strongest people I've ever known.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

that sounds like a lovely event-
one of the most inspirational books I ever read was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
So touching.