I’m personally not a great believer in dwelling on the negative experiences and challenges that life often throws at us, however every so often a captivating life story materialises, that is so poignant and inspirational, it demands your undivided attention.
The combined power of self belief and raw determination prove beyond doubt that with the right mindset anything is possible, however one man has pushed beyond the boundaries to ascertain just how true this statement is.
David Andrew Smith is an outstanding athlete and pivotal member of the 2012 GB Paralympic Rowing Team. His determination, focus and drive are un-resolute, however none of these qualities are the ones that make this gentle Scottish giant stand out from the rest.
In 2010 this once world champion bobsleigh brake man, karate competitor and national ski coach, was diagnosed with a tumour in his spinal cord the size of a golf ball, that resulted in double spinal surgery and a gruelling recovery programme.
His positivity, mental attitude, inner strength, self belief and determination to overcome this setback and re-enter the professional sporting arena were truly remarkable. Going from strength to strength as every day passes, David’s recovery and achievement of winning a gold medal at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Slovenia last summer, are nothing short of miraculous. His down to earth attitude and continuous praise for the medical teams and coaches who supervised his recovery, in addition to the support given by his team mates, family and friends make him a true inspiration to many.
Now in full preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, he continues to help others through his affiliation with the Spinal Cord Tumour Organisation and by documenting his story and experiences of how sport saved his life through his regular blogs. I’m privileged to know a man who in his own words – ‘kept my mind strong in the face of adversity’ and feel that it’s important to draw attention to his outstanding courage and determination, both of which have encouraged others to follow their dreams and ambitions.
To read more of David’s incredible story and follow his progress in preparation for the 2012 games, go to his site – http://www.davidandrewsmith.net/ and follow the entire GB Team at www.britishrowing.org