Jan 16, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

Many people contributed to the “fairly wonderful” life I enjoy today; emergency medical teams, doctors, rehab professionals, family, friends…

The examples of determination and perseverance in particular of Art Berg and Christopher Reeve have encouraged me each and every day. I knew Art Berg personally; Christopher Reeve I did not. However, I consider them both mentors and friends.

Reading their books, respectively The Impossible Just takes A Little Longer by Art Berg and Still Me by Christopher Reeve, helped me along the incredibly difficult path of an increasingly wonderful journey, which seemed impossible ten years ago, as I lay in a hospital bed fighting for my life.

I discovered we shared many similarities, both personally and professionally. It is my hope that my book, Doing What Must Be Done, will inspire others to move beyond their perceived limitations into a rich and rewarding life, just as the writings of Chris and Art inspired me to survive and prosper.

Christopher Reeve was amazing, not just because he accomplished so much, but because he did it with an attitude of compassion. Before his accident, he was a consummate water sports enthusiast. He loved swimming, sailing, scuba diving, and skiing. He was also an accomplished horseman. It was, in fact, while riding in an equestrian event that he had his near-fatal accident that left him completely paralyzed from the neck down.

The world was shocked. Christopher Reeve was an accomplished actor, happily married, a real life “superman” admired by millions. He had a wonderful life and many dreams yet to fulfill.

The other “Superman” in my life, Art Berg, also had wonderful dreams at the time of his accident. He was driving with a friend to Utah to finalize marriage plans with his beautiful fiancé, Dallas. His car went off the road in the dead of the night. Art was thrown headfirst from the vehicle, his neck was broken and he was instantly paralyzed. As he lay in the dark unable to move, he wondered if his dreams were over. They weren’t.

Art and Chris have passed on. I feel they watch over me. From time to time, I seem to hear them whisper, “You can do a little more.”

Do my abilities actually improve or just my ability to figure out how to do things differently? Have you ever felt paralyzed? Not necessarily physically, but perhaps emotionally or financially? Are you willing to question your perspectives and perceptions? Are you willing to consider doing things differently? Challenge what you are told you cannot do. Do what needs to be done. You will go faster, stronger and even higher.