The story I'm writing is to tie my thoughts, ideas and projects all together, plus it'll give you, the reader a more concentrated understanding of who I am and what I feel I need to do in my life.
I'm sure there are many reasons why you have chosen to pick up this book and read it. Maybe your friend told you should, or maybe you were drawn to the front cover, or maybe I convinced you to read it. Whatever the reason may be, I hope that you finish my book feeling inspired with a refreshing new outlook on your life. We never know where our lives will lead us to, but I am confident we all have a good future ahead of us if that is what we truly want... Hello, my name is Timothy Maxwell. You can call me Tim when we meet in person, it's a little thing I do so I can tell if I know the person or not. I'm working on writing this book to tell my life's story and to help you understand what I had to go through, to become me. When I was 14 years old I was going through a RAMBO phase. The RAMBO movie just came out and everyone wanted to be like RAMBO, well most boys did. I, on the other hand, wanted to be a hero and do something for the world - something important. I was in with the bad apple crowd, and they were planning to steal a car but I wanted to join the army. I knew I could never join the army if I had a criminal record. I wanted to change the world. I remember calling for my mom to come into the living room to watch a television commercial. It was an army commercial telling how Marines could change the world. It also showed a really cool looking Harrier jet take off without needing a runway. At the end of the commercial it said "be a Marine, be a hero." From then on all I ever wanted to be was a Marine and do something about the mess the world had gotten itself into. I wanted to be a Marine, and getting to fly a Harrier jet was just an added bonus. I even started going on survival hikes with a friend, running, playing war, and learning battle tactics. Little did I know at that time that my life would take me in an entirely different direction. Before my accident I was a typical 15 year old teenager living in Nananaimo BC, in Canada. I was going to school and at that time I didn’t really have a girlfriend, I was sort of scared to go down that road. I had more important things to do. On a normal day, I’d ride my BMX bicycle to school, do my school work, and come home. Most days someone would call. On this particular September evening my friend called. He wanted me to come and hang out at his house with another BMX rider dude. In the 80's mostly everyone rode a BMX. My more mature friend Kevin and I were both big time Adrenalin junkies and our plan was to move to Vancouver and live and work with our bookworm friend Darren to keep us out of trouble and become bicycle couriers in the big city. Darren was my friend who I played war with. He wanted Kevin and I to join the Army with him when we got to Vancouver. I still haven't talked about it to my family. Back in my room Jamie and I were on the phone, and we had a brotherly argument. The argument over the phone was about whether the bicycle shop would be open or not. Jamie said the bicycle shop was open, but I swore that it was closed. We nattered back and forth about that for a good ten minutes, until I said "Put your money where your mouth is" and I bet him five bucks that I was right. That sort of shut him up for a bit, but he liked to argue! He said "let’s go down there and see".
I was hoping it wouldn’t take long because I was invited to the girl next door's house at 5:30. I was so excited because she and I were finally going to watch some television alone. I thought I could speed up our bet by calling the shop to find out if they were really open or closed but nobody answered the phone. I was convinced that they were closed. Not telling Jamie that I called, I rode over to his place anyways to pick him up. I told him if the store is closed we would turn around and come right back, he agreed. I also told him that I was going to Cindy's house and how I didn’t want anything to mess it up. She hardly ever had the house to herself, someone was usually there. Jamie said, "let’s go then". He made it there in a land speed record time just to find the shop was closed for the evening. By the time I made it there I laughed and laughed at him. He got off his bike for a little rest, he leaned his bike up against the storefront window to wipe his sweaty hands off. Because I listened to what Cindy said and didn’t ride like I was on fire, I didn't need to rest. As we were preparing to ride back, the train went by a block away. It must have sent fierce vibrations out because it shook Jamie's bike so hard that the store front window shattered from the metal handlebar being against the window. We didn't have time to think about what to do because out of nowhere, the shop owner pulled up in his van. Jamie hopped on his bike pointing downhill. I was pointing up towards my Mom's work, which was two blocks away. The van roared its engine 2-3 times, as if he was trying to scare us away. He didn't try talking to us or anything. Jamie took off like a rocket downhill. Without thinking, I just took off too, taking on the steep hill. My adrenaline was pumping so hard that I could feel it throbbing in my ears. My 185mm crank set and my enlarged front sprocket allowed me to manual ¾ the way up the hill. The van chose to follow me. I tried to use my crazy maneuvering techniques to escape the van. It was getting too tough to get up that hill, so I decided to turn around and go down the hill. As I was peddling down the steep hill with gravity on my side I found myself peddling for my life. I frantically made a wrong turn and found myself going up another steep hill. By this time I was getting tired and my legs wouldn’t move as fast as I wanted them to. Suddenly my rear wheel was nudged. I couldn't believe that the fool could keep up with my extreme peddling and power turns. By the time those thoughts were finished running through my head, he hit my back bike tire again from behind. I was catapulted into the back of a large parked car, hitting the bumper and the back of the car very hard. All I could see was a really bright light, it engulfed everything. I couldn't move, it felt like I was not even in my own body. I could hear the van stop and him getting out. I could sense him around me. Then it felt like I was flying. He rolled me over to take my wallet to find out who I was and then he was gone; he probably went to report the situation and just let the ambulance take care of the clean-up. All of this seemed like it took forever, but it was only a matter of seconds. Still to this day, I never got my wallet back. It baffles me as to why he felt the need to steal my wallet. Maybe he was trying to be Big Time serial killer and wanted a trophy to remember this event.
At the site of the accident I felt so alone, it seemed like it took forever for the ambulance to get there. I vaguely remember the ambulance drivers picking up my limp body from the cold cement. That night the Nanananaimo hospital was full and staff redirected me to a hospital in Victoria that was also better equipped to handle my injury. Later on, my mom said it was a blessing in disguise. The hospital is farther but I’m sure I could handle the drive. The drivers sounded pretty cool, laughing with each other saying that they hit 210 coming down off the hill. We were going so fast it felt like we were airborne. I wish I was more conscious then, I would have enjoyed the ride much more. I can’t remember too much of my stay at the Vic. General. I do remember a little bit, like my first drink of Coke or my first cheeseburger. My Mom was always there for me, I’m really thanking my lucky stars for that, but I don't know if she really realizes how grateful I am. I suffered from a brain stem injury. As a result, my voice was gone. It was really hard for people to understand me. I also struggled from not having balance. I could sit for 2-3 hours at first, but my back wasn't strong enough to keep me upright. After awhile of fighting for my life at the Vic. General and scaring the hell out of the nurses by getting out of bed and attempting to walk out of my room. I soon left the hospital for rehabilitation. One thing I learned early on in my injury is that you have to be able to do what you say, because with this injury people don't believe what you say anymore. I should rename my injury and call it "The Pinocchio injury" because it makes some/most people lie like a carpet. I was home for about 4 weeks, and after that I was on my way to the Gorge Road Rehabilitation hospital, in Victoria. It was mainly to work on my physical body, my brain was all there, thank Goodness. However, I did do some speech and voice lessons there. My mom was there all the time at first, but as I got more comfortable and independent in the hospital she came to visit me about 3-4 times per week. A nurse wanted me to learn to car-transfer, she said it was really important. A car transfer is just sliding your butt from your wheelchair seat over to the seat of the car. I told her that I could already transfer from my chair to a bench with no problems and that I was convinced I could manage a car-transfer. But she needed to see it herself, so I showed her a number of times in the gym. Back in my room I had a roommate in my room for the first time ever since my injury. I didn't really like the idea of having to share, but it turned out to be good. Morgan and I became inseparable; we even started smoking together, something I never ever wanted to do before. It was not good for my breathing while I was racing BMX and I was told that it stunted my growth. I always wanted to be a big boy so that I could stick up for all my smaller friends and be the hero. One day I sweet talked my Mom into buying Morgan and I pack of smokes each. I didn't like having her helping me kill myself, as Morgan and I were outside smoking. We met up with this hardcore patient named Darren. He refused all of his recommended therapies and that's why we referred to him as being Hard Core.
You'll have to wait till the book comes out to read the rest.