When I was 14 years old, I met a boy in the grade above me who recently had returned home from rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, just in time for Christmas. His promising future of football and farming was disrupted by a complete T3 spinal cord injury.
His locker was around the corner from mine; over the next few months we became better acquainted and found ourselves paired up at the high school Sweetheart Dance. I was impressed by his ability to spin around in his wheelchair while sustaining a wheelie. I was even more impressed when he kept his balance in a wheelie for entire classic rock songs with me sitting side-saddle on his lap. I was having the time of my life and was not ready to leave the dance with my brother and girlfriend, who had driven me there.