Failing Down but Sitting Back Up

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Failure and cerebral palsy correspond. For example, consider the developmental milestone walking. Most kids walk by one-and-a-half years old, according to Parenting. I first walked at three years old. That means I endured an extra year-and-a-half failing to walk. Many with cerebral palsy never walk.

However, I am not here to dwell on failing. Rather I actually possess a reality check. Everyone fails. You and I with cerebral palsy fail. Those with other disabilities fail. Non-disabled people fail. Everyone!

Perhaps no one demonstrates this better than my friend James Schleicher. Maybe you recognize the name from my memoir Off Balanced. In fact I refer to James as “the real life Zack Morris.” Such a moniker serves as a compliment.

“Real life Zack Morris” remains a way to say “I’m popular. People like me. I’m involved in activities. I enjoy a nice dating life,” just in less words. Given so, you might expect the title to a possible James Schleicher teen memoir to embody triumph. A title like An Awesome Life or Life On Top.

WRONG! How do I know? I asked. James recently joined me for a Youtube video. Said video starts a series geared towards Off Balanced readers. Each video allows you to learn more about people I mention in my memoir.

Zachary Fenell and James Schleicher rocking out at Notre Dame College's 2007 Spring Formal.

I searched my archives to bring you the first picture featuring James and I. At this point James remained in his maturing Almost Kid stage.

With James I asked him. “If you were to write a teen memoir about your teenage years, what would the title be?” His answer may surprise you, The Almost Kid. “Almost,” a kind way to say failing. When you “almost” complete a goal, you still ultimately fail.

Okay, I admit the above came across harsh. Ironic since I aim to encourage. You will understand if you watch my video with James. His insights will change how you think about failing. Watch!

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