Mind OVER Matter

It is no secret that the journey through life has its fair share of choppy waters. It can rough you, swirl you about, and come pretty darn close to knocking you right off course every now and then. What do we do, however, when life delivers a knock-out punch that topples us over all together?  We get right back up, of course. As our guest this week attests, there is nothing that can stand in the way of your vision. Believe in it, trust it, and set your mind over the matter.          


          Graduation – {from high-school} – couldn’t come soon enough!!  Now, do not let that statement mislead you into thinking that I was some introverted kid, just “going through the motions” to get-by. POLAR-OPPOSITE of that, actually; I had always been an A-student, taking Honors & AP courses. Not only that, but I was Captain of both the Soccer and Cheer Leading teams, Vice-President of Student-Council, and very involved with various ministries at my Church.

          When it came time to start the most consequential search of my young-life,
I found Marist ~~ {and by “found”, I mean “claimed as my own”}!! ~~ After that expedited search, I was now embarking on the journey of acquiring my two Letters of Recommendation, filling-out the Application, and writing my essay. While most of my classmates were planning to attend the same State-School only a highway’s drive from home, I could not wait to wave
“Goodbye/See Ya NEVER!” to my one-stoplight hometown.

          I moved onto campus a few days before the rest of Marist’s newest class since I, along with my fellow *Foxy~Ladies* were in the midst of preseason-practices. My initial feelings of belonging were only heightened as those first few weeks flew by. I felt more satisfied with all facets of life than I ever had; I loved my classes, and genuinely looked forward to each {with the exception of one of my cores - Math!} 

          Fast-forward to 2nd-Semester… I began the new-member process to become a Sister of Alpha Sigma Tau. All the while still being very involved in multiple clubs--Cheer Leading remained the “main” one. Then, on April 18, 2010, life as I knew it was suddenly changed. While performing with the Cheer-Team, I sustained a severe Traumatic Brain-Injury. After spending one month in St. Francis’ ICU -{two-weeks in a coma}- I was transferred to a rehab-hospital near my home to begin all of my in-patient therapies. It wasn’t until I had finished a total of eighteen-weeks in two different rehab-facilities, endured three operations on my head/brain, and countless hours of various therapies, that it was time for me to return back to the same hometown I vowed I would never be stuck in again. 


          I never had been a “Poor-Me”–type of gal, and I definitely wasn’t about to start when push really came to shove! I learned of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts [BIA-MA], and the opportunities available for me to begin presenting through their “Think-A-Head” Prevention-Program geared towards teens&young-adults, and [the group I enjoy presenting to the most]: Student-Athletes, along with Coaches & Parents. I returned to Marist for Fall of 2011, and graduated only one-year behind my originally “planned” graduation-year. 

          One of my frequently used ~*Ryanisms*~ is: “Mind OVER Matter”. That was one of the mentalities that kept me going, while hobbling through a Physical-Therapy session, or struggling to remember even the simplest of things during a Speech-Therapy session ~~~

-Ryan Farrell

Photo property of Disney/Pixar

Photo property of Disney/Pixar

This post has been edited for grammar. All other content remains the original thoughts & expressions of the author.