Today’s episode is my conversation with Paul Schulte, a wheelchair basketball player. He has played in five world championships, and three paralympics throughout his career, and also happens to be a childhood friend of mine. Paul and I grew up in the same little town in Michigan, and our families were/are very close.
I remember the day that he talks about when he and his mom and brother had their accident. I was very young, but it is one of the only times I ever witnessed my big brother cry. Yet, looking back over the years, I don’t think I have ever felt like Paul let his wheelchair limit him, or make it an excuse. His story is inspiring, to say the least. One fond memory I have is the year our church had a pioneer trek for the youth in our area. We hiked over twenty miles over two days in sweltering heat, up and down hills, across plains with no shade, and through forests. A lot of people struggled with the heat, and blisters, and even a giant storm that blew around our camp one night. Paul never missed a beat and trekked along with the strongest of us.
A few nuggets I got out of this discussion:
Paul’s parent’s support matched his excitement for a sport.
Paul was fueled by his excitement when he saw himself getting better at a sport.
He liked challenge.
Mentors were in front of him, living life in an active way that inspired him to follow.
Life is a product of your own decisions. Your life is what you make of it, and is a reflection of your daily decision and habits.
Everyone’s passion has value.
When looking to see what a child’s passion is, wait, watch, and see what they gravitate towards.
Visualize the future.
Today’s patterns shape your tomorrows.
Paul’s dad was his mentor, he got Paul excited about his goals, and fostered a vision for Paul rather than create one for him.
The one thing that inspires athletes when it comes to family…
Listen and find out.
Resources mentioned in this post:
Paul’s “Real Life” video: