I CAN DO ANYTHING BETTER THAN YOU!
I can do anything better than you, believe me! When I put my mind to something watch out! Yea, that’s what we are looking for!
“You can do anything you put your heart, mind and soul into. Far more than you can imagine.” LL Cool J
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If you are returning subscriber, that’s a mouthful to say. Welcome. Welcome back to our show. Thank you for watching. My name is Tina Ginn. I am an emergency preparedness coach, a best selling author of in the blink of an eye.
Yes, everything happens in the blink of an eye. That quickly. It’s that fast. Yes. Things seem to happen that quickly.
I am an emergency preparedness coach, a best selling author, a financial expert, and an app developer have your backup plan app. And if you are asking me what is Your Backup Plan APP, it puts your life all in one place in case of any unpredictable circumstance while taking the painful Aftermath out of that tragedy.
And what does that mean? Well, one thing we can count on in our life is that we’re going to get sick or injured or disabled or even pass away or lose everything or lose something by a tragedy or a natural disaster, which is so common these days and this last month with wildfires. Going from California, Oregon, Washington State all the way up to British Columbia and Alberta, Canada this past month. It’s been tragic. A lot of evacuations. A lot of firefighters a lot of natural disasters of flooding around the world. Lots, China, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, it’s unbelievable. hurricanes, tornadoes. Not to say that there aren’t car accidents Of course, as well and strokes and heart attacks and cancer. Wow, this sounds so gruesome, doesn’t it? But it’s been this month of craziness I find with all these strange, strange things that have occurred in the world. And I want everyone to be better prepared for the unexpected, because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.
So let’s talk about our show today.
I can do anything better than you, believe me!
Our show today is called I can do anything better than you. We have a very special guest from Florida today. I’m so excited to talk to him. Our interview is going to be absolutely mind blowing. We talk about cerebral palsy and how this journey and David’s life has been up and down obstacles but absolutely inspiring as well all at the same time.
I’d like to welcome our our United States and Canada listeners. I’d like to welcome our German listeners which are increasing by the day. Thank you Germany, Thank you so very much my German listeners. And Ireland is next in our listeners. So if you guys beat Sweden, then I will either try Swedish, or I will try my Irish accent, which I’ve tried in the past and it hasn’t worked out so well. But we’ll work on that. We’ll we’ll find some help in that regard. So welcome. Let’s tell you about these. This wonderful podcast that we have. We talk about real and raw conversations on our show. our listeners. about their journey from their life changing events. Let’s get right into it. Let’s see if we can find David backstage.
Welcome, David. Hi, thank you. Thank you for having me on teen I’m super excited to share my journey and hopefully by the end of it, many people are motivated and inspired to pursue their own goals and dreams.
Absolutely. I love your, your energy. I just I love it. David is brought to you here from close to Orlando, Florida. For those that know Florida a little bit, his story and journey of being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at that since birth, highlighting many struggles successes in the education system, of course, and triumphs. He is a former three sport athlete, a three time state champion cyclist and a current middle school teacher with cerebral palsy. He shares his story with others around the world to show that there is light amongst all the challenges behind it. I am so looking forward to talking more about how, how this is affected him what challenges he’s overcome. He is an avid podcaster talks about cerebral palsy and fitness for anybody his link is down below in the description box. And I love David’s quote, If I can do it, so can you absolutely lovely. Thank you so much, David, for coming on our show. Where did it all start for you? Where? When did your journey start?
I can do anything better than you, believe me! Well, to begin, my journey began 20 epic actually began 2022 years ago, when I was around the age.
Well, well, let’s backtrack a little bit more than that. So let’s start from the very beginning. So very beginning, when I was born, I was born four months premature. I was the size of a water water bottle or the size of your microphone. Like take a look at your microphone. That’s how small it was. I could be held with the palm of someone’s hand. So it’s very small. I had to be you know, hooked on IVs and, and a respirator because my legs were fully developed. doctors had said Oh, you have three months to live so you might not live but thankfully, with the help of doctors, you know, my family, I survived and then I struggle with not being able to read write or walk doctors I said I’d never be able to live a normal life. And then came the age of eight where around that time I had. I had suffered a family tragedy, I lost my biological mom, she was 22 he was 16 years old and she had me 23 when she passed away.
Um, and fortunately, I had a stepmom in my life who, who actually had to make a decision she she had to make a decision whether to take care of take care of me or finish out the rest of your youth, you know, being you know, being this young, vibrant. Individual with goals, of course, she ended up she did everything she had to do with taking care of me she went to school she did, she did it all with my, with my father, of course my father was always in my life as well. So, and the beautiful thing about this is all three of my parents coexisted. So there was never any malice or hate towards each other. So and and nowadays in today’s society, you don’t really see much of CO parenting. It’s really rare. Because nowadays, it’s about, oh, this is mine. I don’t want you know, my son to be raised like this. Want to be raised like that. Why not? If it’s a positive environment on both sides, why not allow the child to share both, you know?
Absolutely. I don’t know why people don’t try to get along better for everybody. each other, you know, doesn’t happen very often.
And then I had my my fight my was my second surgery, which is the surgery that defined my life and defined the beginning of my journey with As I had my legs drag you down, which allowed me to walk, and I began walking, three months after my mom passed away. So I was, I was one of her dreams was a sweet walk.
Unfortunately, it happened three months too late. So she never that’s his he never got to, to see it. But, but I know that deep down inside, she is very proud. And I’ve continued to achieve a goal that she never got to do. With the help of family and friends, awesome. That’s beautiful. I’m sure she’s up there, looking down saying, Wow, you go, David, you go.
And then fast forward to my education. I began and a special ed classroom because I teachers believe that I would make it past that. Because, as you know, in society, when you think of when people think of CPE, they think, Oh, well, psychologically, or mentally, he’s not fit to be in a normal classroom, you’ll always be delayed, he’ll always be delayed. Fortunately, my stepmom wasn’t having she’s like, I’m not going to have my son be stuck in a special ed classroom when I see more potential in him and what people think. So she pulled me out of those classes. She She taught me how to read and write. And then when I got to school, she placed me in regular education. I made straight A’s did very well in class. Unfortunately, this is the time where I was in Puerto Rico getting my schooling. So unfortunately, the teachers there were very discriminate towards me.
They did not want me in the classroom, they’re like, you’re too slow. You know, we don’t we don’t want them I don’t he’s a burden to the classroom to the students, even though students weren’t. They weren’t mean to me, it was just the teachers, you know that. You don’t expect that when you’re a teacher, you expect the teacher to see the positive role model sees not somebody who’s against you. Yeah, you know, or give you the chance, it’s a chance, right? Exactly. Teacher supposed to give a talk supposed to be open minded and give the child the chance. And if you have some comments like that, keep it to yourself, or at least try and be in their shoes for one day. or discuss it individually. With the family. Right, exactly. And then I want to move to Florida fully when I was eight years old, and then I finished my schooling there. So my level of schooling elementary, middle school, I became the first one and my biological mom side of the family to finish and get my high school diploma.
I can do anything better than you, believe me! My project monitor finished high school or anything like that, because she was raising myself. And then I have a younger brother who I who, who basically, for the majority of my life, I wasn’t able to, we weren’t able to be to get together because we had different were different dads with the same mom. But we we’ve kept always a healthy relationship. So we’re really close. And we’ve always had a good bond together. And that’s one of the things that that’s kind of how that helped us move forward. And one of the things I give people to deal with tragedy and death is when you when you deal with a situation such as mine, and it’s really a negative, and it’s really tough. Think about the legacy you can leave behind, you know, think about the things you could do positively in your life. And that was one of those moments is either either my stepmom saves my life and I have a normal life and I have this feature or there’s this path, this deep dark path that possibly you can’t get out of and it can cause a lot of damage. So I was fortunate enough to get out of that cycle before it could have gotten any worse. And that’s awesome. And then I I went to college I got my degree in sociology from UCF. And I remember going through going through going through college and scoring general and you know I struggled with reading still and with the basic skills and sometimes I felt like giving up but I realized you know if we give up so easily. What what’s what’s all the work you’ve done what what Does it mean to you all the work that you’ve done?
Does it mean anything to you, if you just give up? No, you can’t just give up, you got to keep moving forward. You got to keep moving forward, because you have not just yourself to, to be to make proud but you have your family and your friends. So I would always carry that chip on my shoulder. That, you know, if I give up, I’m running down, not just myself, but everybody around me. So I don’t know how myself to get out level. And I finished. My when I finished college, I finished a week before I turned And I was actually born on Mother’s Day. So the beautiful part of this is, um, you know, they had asked me whether I wanted to walk this stage. Awesome. Excuse me. Or if when they go up, they go up the stairs, go up the ramp. So I said, You know what, I want to go up this this stairs, because I’ve waited 17 years for this moment. I was never supposed to walk. I’ve had people doubt me my whole life. And I want them to see that. I did. I’ve accomplished all this, despite all those challenges. So I remember walking up the stage. And those are pretty it was a really big crowd. You know, we’re talking about 10,000 people in a stadium. And what role meant you must have been so nervous.
Yeah, it was it was very, very quiet. Like, you could hear a pin drop. And I’m like, I’m thinking to myself, these people are probably tired of clapping so much on stage. And, and, you know, I told myself, you know, even if I hear my family at least shouting, I’m cool that, you know, I’m on for encore that. So I remember going up the stairs. And as soon as I take that last step, and I went up to stage and I was at the crowd, and they were pretty quiet. And I looked it up a cane. That bad place, a place that place erupted. I mean, I was literally, I stood there for five, they had to hold up a graduation for a good five minutes, because it was so loud. Oh, really? I’ve never seen the support that the support that I cheers that was for me, that was probably the most emotional I could ever feel. Because I had realized that, you know, I had I lost my mom. I was never supposed to feature nurses have any of this. And now I have it.
I’m looking at you go. And there was like fireworks and everything. Everybody just exploded, right? That’s just amazing.
Yeah, no, um, it goes to show that, um, no matter what obstacles you face in your life, that you can achieve what you put your mind to, if you have the right people around you in the right mindset. And if you take that negativity in China and the positive energy, there’s your potential is limitless. Absolutely. Because I mean, it just keeps getting better, right? It keeps getting better and better. I mean that and that. Not only do I teach children get back to my community, but I also have my own podcast, you know, and I have my own fitness blog. I was, you know, as you mentioned earlier, I was a three sport athlete, I was a football, baseball, baseball player and cyclist. And all those experiences I use that to motivate others that are trying to find themselves. And for me, it wasn’t until I was 25 years old, that I began to embrace my disability that I became, I became proud of it because before that, before that time, I struggled identify with myself, I always ask myself, who am I? I’m not, I can’t be just as individual with CP but I have to be something else. There has to be a purpose in my life. And that purpose was to give back to people and to motivate people. And that’s kind of what brought me to teaching and the motivational speaking. And to just be able to influence so many people is the best part of what I do. And I’m definitely proud of what I’ve done so far with my life and I see a bright future ahead.
Absolutely. I How can someone not be proud of you, David, it’s amazing. You are amazing. What do you how do you find the kids respond to you when you’re working with them?
So far, for the most part, it’s always been a positive reception. Like it’s, it’s, it’s pretty crazy the amount of respect that these kids have for me because I’m In our teachers are like half the time they’re really disrespectful towards me towards towards myself. But when it comes to you, the kids seem to respect you. And I don’t know how that’s possible. And I guess it really, really depends on your, your demeanor, you know how you treat the kids. And you know, when you get the total kid your story, they kind of see you differently and they see a hole, they kind of see hey, you know, he’s been through a lot too. And he can relate, you know?
Yeah. versus somebody up there just yelling and screaming, I guess at them nor what they used to from a teacher, right? Because you’re, you’re more personable, maybe? Or did they act up for you? Or have you found that a problem at all? It’s rare that they act up Really? I don’t really get many, my students add up too much.
And do you see their progress increase? drastically?
you first saw for some PR summit stress, like a PR summit takes it takes a little bit longer? It varies on the student.
Yeah. Do they get extra work done with you then on the side, right.
Oh, yeah, some of these students benefit from one on one because there’s no distractions and there’s a lot more attention that you’re giving them when you’re doing the assignment or just going over things with them.
Do you do other subjects other than reading?
I do work with Spanish speaking students, which I know I know Spanish fluently as well. So I’m, I work with them as well on their their work and their assignments. Oh, nice. So you work on their assignments that are in English, but with working with the Spanish? Yep. I try to work on their on their English while we do the English assignments are that way that they learn? And they know what they’re reading about?
Oh, nice. Nice. Did you grew up with Spanish right up until you moved to Florida them? And
yes, I was. It was always emphasized Spanish in the home English at school. Now now that now that we’re older, with my two other siblings that I have. It’s mixed now. It’s English and Spanish. There’s no you know, no restrictions really.
Whatever goes at the time. Yeah. So what are you focusing on now? Have you didn’t you just get recently an award? Or nominated for something?
I actually I’m actually going to do a conference in August in New England, probably doing very soon. Sounds exciting. That’s Southern Avenue. I am doing that. And then I was recently given. I was one of the longest serving members or as the teachers in the program. So for years, so I stayed with him for four years. And now it’s been wonderful being able to teach these kids and giving them a positive environment,
especially some length of state gives them staple, Miss, I think within the program, knowing that you’re there. Have you considered doing any TED talks?
I can do anything better than you, believe me! Oh, yeah, I’m actually I’m, I’m doing my best to try to secure any any contacts or any information I can. So that’s what that’s one of my main goals. For the future has to do TED Talks.
Yeah, absolutely. What did you find? Are you around 25 Now then, I’m actually 30 Oh, you’re 30 now. And so you’re still avidly working on the fitness. And that’s your main purpose Really? To?
Definitely I have my main purpose isn’t just about fitness. But it’s just also to motivate people and to inspire others to achieve their goals too. Despite whether you have CP whether you’re just able bodied anybody you know, to be, and I use my platform to have them share their stories, so that they can have a voice. You know, they can have somewhere to speak and somewhere safe, but they can share their story without being judged.
Are you working towards any new marathons now? sometime in the future? That’s what I’m hoping for. Have you had fun with that? Run for cancer at all with the way they do the powder colors? They throw the powder color, so yeah,
I’ve heard about it. I’ve actually never I’ve never done it before, actually. So that’s interesting.
Yeah, it looks like fun actually. Yeah. Everybody comes out with by the end that you’re all mixed up colors. It looks like fun. I’m not sure what the distances are, if they’re all the same. I’m not 100% sure, but what do you like to do for sports?
Um, I want to, to lift weights run. I love football, baseball, cycling, any kind of sport that’s, um, pretty much keeps you active. So I’m not very picky. Yeah, that’s awesome. Do you like the cycling part? Or are you? Yeah,
it’s one of the first sports I actually started with. That I’ve kind of excelled in very well. Yeah, that’s, it’s an actually. It’s hard not to do cycling. I think it’s one of those sports where it’s, it’s enjoyable for all different levels of fitness. Right. That is? What about swimming? Did you get any help with that? Part Two?
I’m pretty much from from my own parents. So pretty much. They taught me how to swim. You know? When I was younger? Yeah. Especially living in Florida. Oh, yeah, it gets really hot. As for sure. Yes, for sure.
That’s awesome. Did you have any extra stories to tell about your experiences of, of helping kids or, or an experience where you’ve helped someone else with cerebral palsy.
One of the things with kids is, each and every child has a different story to tell. And you have to adapt to how to help them, you know, you have to kind of go on, on their level go into their their world to understand what they’re going through. And then that’s how you can help them. You know, I try and talk to them about about things that they like, you know, things that they want to work work at. And then it’s up to you, as a mentor as the assistant as the teacher to come up with a plan for them to be successful.
That’s nice, you find solutions that you can work around? That’s beautiful. Did you have any experience with other cerebral palsy doing people that were doing some fitness that you could help?
Um, I’ve met a few. And I’ve, I’ve reached out to to actually, they’ve reached out to me. So I’ve always tried to come up with plans and things. I’m, I’m a person that doesn’t believe in charging people for for fitness advice. I do it out of the kindness of my heart, and I want to help people really do better for themselves and their health. So I don’t believe in that and charging people for for service. I could help a lot of people in need.
That’s lovely. You were you have a lot of goals ahead of you, don’t you, David? I do. And is it just keep getting bigger and bigger for you? Do you think?
Little by little, that’s all I can say, you know, take it day by day, step by step. Success doesn’t happen overnight? No, it could take years months, you know? Just just work on it. Continue. Yeah. Did you have any final messages that you’d like to say to the listeners? Um, well, definitely, this. Keep pushing forward. Stay positive. stay humble. Be honest, yourself, be realistic with, with what you can do and what you can’t do. successes don’t happen overnight. It takes a takes a long time. But if you keep working at it, you get to where you’ll get to the goal or the destination you want to be today. So keep moving forward. Stay positive and believe in yourself.
I think that’s special. Believe in yourself. That should be your quote. I must start using it actually. It’s a good one. Yeah, it is good. It really, it really makes you who you are. And I think that’s what’s so special. Oh, that’s awesome. David, I could talk to you forever about this because I think I think your goals are going to be we’re going to watch out for you because you are going to hit some awesome things in this world and help people. You’re very, very special to everybody. Thank you for. I’m very honored to have you on our show today. Thank you.
Thank you for having me on. I definitely had I had a lot of fun being able to share my experiences.
Yes. Because you never know who might be out there listening to, to how it can help them. Exactly. You never know really, it’s just, it’s just unexpected. You know, I had a cat who had cerebral a form of cerebral palsy, and I didn’t realize that it’s in animals, bunny rabbits and cats and, and everything too. So. And yeah, it’s it’s crazy, right? Yeah. Yeah, it is. And it was his back legs wouldn’t work. So it was a bit like having a puppy I was having to take him out to the washroom and but he was the most adorable cat sitting on your lap and just gave you all the love that you could ever want. He was amazing.
That’s, that’s, that’s wonderful. And I’m glad that you’re able to care for him. Or for them is.
Yeah, cuz it’s an extra. It’s work. That’s work. You know, you can’t deny that but it’s still beautiful. They’re they make wonderful cats. I’m not sure about dogs, but I’ve never met one that had cerebral palsy. But I’m sure they’re out there. Well, thank you, listeners. Thank you. I, I hate to come to an end with our show today. Thank you, David, for coming on to our show. Please take a moment and subscribe. We always get the handout for our subscribers, because you have to click on the link down below, and subscribe to our channel. And click on the like button. If you’ve watched some more of these wonderful shows with our wonderful guests like David, who is full of motivation and inspiration for all of us. He’s really doing you know, I have to say God’s work because you are put on this world to do lots of wonderful things, David, but thank you so much for the kind words and everybody out there. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, you’re welcome. If you aren’t, as you know, no one’s Superman. David’s not Superman, I’m not Superman. So expect the unexpected. Because when you never know what tomorrow might bring, when you’re thinking about someone special during the show. Make sure that you reach out to them. Pick up the phone, text, Skype message, message that person, tell them how much you love and care about them today, because you never know what tomorrow might bring.
And I always end thank you for sharing and our time with us today. And watching I love each and every one of you. I always end our podcast with Carol Burnett. Do you know David who Carol Burnett is?
I don’t actually Well, you have to look her up on YouTube. Maybe for some rerun shows that that are probably on there. She was a wonderful or is a wonderful comedian. makes you laugh. And so I always use her beautiful kind words at the end of our show. I’m so glad we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started. And before you know it comes the time. We have to say so long. So long, everyone. I’m sending lots of love and kindness. Be kind. Be safe. Until next time. Bye for now. Thanks, David. You’re welcome. Thank you. Bye for now. Take care of yourself. Be Safe, Be kind
David Figueroa shares his story and journey of being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy since birth. Highlighting many struggles/successes in the education system, and triumphs a former 3 sport athlete and 3 time state champion cyclist, and a current middle school teacher with CP; He shares his story with others around the world, to show that there is a light among all the challenges behind it. David is also an avid Podcaster on Cerebral Palsy and Fitness.
David’s Link : https://bit.ly/2UI1XHN
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