An unexpected path to greatness - An few questions with Craig Towler
For those that don't know, Craig Towler is a guy that holds an extreme passion for fitness, endurance, and helping others succeed. Craig lives an extremely healthy lifestyle and lives for adventure and being healthy. He works out twice a day, he doesn't drink and barely even is willing to eat sugar. He works hard to give to others on a daily basis.
Craig started working for BBSC Triathlon and Your Cause Sports so he could work with a company that values catering to others.
On July 4th, after putting on a successful race in Colorado, Craig was struck by a reckless drive that resulted in him losing both of his legs. After he was pinned between two cars, Craig had to instruct his friend to lay him on the ground and create tourniquets out of their belts until the paramedics arrived. Doctors told him if he wouldn't have done that, he would not be alive.
Craig is now going through physical therapy and is recovering very well. I got a chance to ask him a few questions about his thoughts on the accident.
Craig, how do you stay so positive with everything that has happened to you? I've heard this question time and time again, and my answer is always the same. There is no other option. This is my life and there is nothing that can take away my happiness and will to succeed.
There are very few things in life that we have 100% control over and our perspective is one of them. How we choose to use the precious time we have is another. No matter what obstacles or tragedies come our way, we have the opportunity to decide how much time, energy, and effort we put forth into making positive changes for ourselves and others. Time is always moving forward, regardless of the emotions we carry. We can choose to focus our emotions on anger or pain or we can spend that time with a more productive attitude, with a dedication to continuously improving and strengthening the mind and body.
I am lucky to be alive today. Every second is a blessing. I will use my life experiences to spread positivity, and hopefully help motivate people to understand and value the time we have. The only constant in life is time, so we need to be very conscious of how we use it, and live our lives with a sense of urgency to do good. I didn't fight for my life to be alive today so I could sit around feeling sorry for myself. I fought for my life because I'm not done here, and I've got a lot of living left to do.
Can you tell us a little about the recovery process, how difficult has it been?
The recovery process is very slow. I would say the most difficult part is the waiting, by far. I’ve never had an injury where the recovery process is longer than a week, a month at most. To be going through a recovery that will take months to years, and dealing with everything that goes with that for the rest of my life, is a test in patience and mental toughness. One of the most important things I did for myself from the very beginning of this recovery process was decide to accept what happened, and just start from scratch. Everything I do these days is new, and I have to relearn everything, even the simple things. This can be a challenge, but I also get a certain type of satisfaction with the little day to day accomplishments. It’s actually very hard for me to describe the difficulty level because I have never experienced anything like this before, so the best way to describe it is just different. And different is not bad. Different can be good, and different can be changed with practice until it’s no longer different and becomes normal.
What are your plans moving forward? Have you come up with any new goals? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Moving forward, my only plans are to heal first and foremost. Until that is complete, my world is very small and focused. Once I’m healed, I can move on to the next steps of rehab with confidence. I’m sure if you check back in with me in a few months this answer will have changed a lot. Right now I have so much to learn about the new world that I am in that a few years from now couldn’t seem further away. I do know that wherever I am, and whatever I am doing, I will be living my life the same way I have always done, and in no way picture myself at a disadvantage.
You have the opportunity to inspire the world on a level that you probably never realized before, how do you plan on taking advantage of this opportunity?
I truly hope to inspire people to overcome adversity, and recognize that we all carry strength and have the power inside to succeed. I am sharing my journey with hope that someone may be inspired to take on their challenges full steam and with a positive attitude. Or to just help someone smile and get out of bed when they’re feeling down. Other than that, I have not had the time to fully realize the reach that I may have, or the true magnitude of what is actually going on. The number of people supporting me every day is enormous, and I am overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness. Just by seeing this, I know I have a great opportunity to spread awareness and inspire change. What that means exactly, I do not know right now, but just the idea gives me energy and motivates me every morning to wake up and work hard every day! The future is so bright not only for myself, but for all of us. This question actually ties into the first question a little bit, because I think a lot about the future, and want to do whatever I can to be an inspiration. However, I really have to stay grounded, and reel myself back into the present so I can remain focused on my healing. Everything that is waiting in the future, will still be there waiting for me when the time comes.
Have you always considered yourself a very positive and motivating person? Or has this accident completely changed your belief system in the way that you approach life?
I have always considered myself a very positive and motivating person. This experience may have changed me physically, but my core values and life goals have not changed. There are things in life that can be taken from you that are beyond your control, and there are things in life that no one can take from you. I will not allow anyone, or anything, to affect how I see good in the world, the people around me, or my attitude when I wake up in the morning. Yes, my life may be a little different now, but I don’t have any more challenges than anyone else, and all we can do is persevere and continue to live the lives that we are blessed to have. I’m excited for the future, and I hope you check back in with me in a few months, or a year, so we can look back and see how far we’ve come in this amazing journey we are so fortunate to experience.