This morning my wife showed me a Nordstrom Magazine clothing advertisement featuring a handsome young man with Down syndrome. The advertisement reminded me of one of my best friends, Fleming Fox, an extraordinary human being I would like to share with you.
Fleming was born with an extra 21st chromosome (Down Syndrome) however that has not stopped him from having an extraordinary life. Fleming lives on his own (staff supported community house), has a job he enjoys, friends, hobbies, etc.
The thing that jumps out about Fleming that I would like to share with you is his attitude. Fleming spreads love wherever he goes. Chances are if you meet Fleming you will get a hug, a smile, a high five, or a “have a great day!” Fleming is happy. I mean REALLY HAPPY. So happy that I had to ask him the other day, “what makes you so happy Fleming?” His answer blew me away. “Coach E I’m so happy because I love being alive. I don’t let little things bother me, and I am happy being me!”
I felt compelled to ask him about his disability, “Fleming it must be hard having a disability” Fleming replied, “Coach E I don’t like having downs syndrome, but I was born with it and there’s nothing I can do about it.” “I am happy anyway because I get to choose to be happy or sad.” “I choose to be happy!” “People sometimes look at me funny, but if I smile at them they smile back and know I’m a real person with feelings.”
To me Fleming embodies what it’s all about. Gratitude for life, spreading love, finding comfort in your own skin, letting go of that which you have no control, not sweating the small stuff, and playing your cards with grace, positivity and wonder.
Fleming is my hero. I believe is not disabled but uniquely abled. He holds a PhD in life. Fleming has inspired me to cease to “major in the minor” and be happy no reason.
I invite you to do the same.
Live Fit and Be Well,
About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher.
If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com