Last month I enjoyed the opportunity to interview Paralympian and fellow author Brent Poppen (@booksbybrent) for The Mobility Resource (TMR). Poppen proved an interviewer’s ideal subject, thoroughly answering questions in great detail. In fact he provided so much wonderful insight, I decided to split my TMR article into two parts (links below).
Even while extending the published piece into two parts, I didn’t get to share everything I wanted which leads us to today’s exclusive interview extras post. However before I proceed, I wish to mention The Mobility Resource’s book giveaway. You can enter to win either a SIGNED copy of Brent Poppen’s autobiography Tragedy on the Mountain A Quadriplegic’s Journey from Paralysis to Paralympics or his kid’s book Playground Lessons: Friendship & Forgiveness: Harley and His Wheelchair. Here are the rules.
1. Follow The Mobility Resource on Twitter at @SweetMobility
2. Tweet @SweetMobility letting us know what book you want to win, using hashtag #PoppenAutobiography or #PoppenKidBook
3. On Friday, January 4th, 2013 TMR will select two random winners for each book.
Moving on, the first part to my TMR Brent Poppen interview features the athlete talking about his journey from newly disabled to Paralympian. Something the word count prevented me from incorporating includes a reoccurring debate amongst Paralympians. Poppen explained, “There’s a lot of athletes born with disabilities and a lot of athletes who have disabilities later in life, like myself, and we always have that discussion. What is harder?”
He continued, “Is it harder to be born with a disability like CP or something where you never get the chance to compete in able-bodied sports? You never get to tackle someone in football, or pitch in baseball from a mound. Or, you know play able-bodied basketball or stand on a surfboard. Or, is it better to at least have that like myself for 15 years and then have that snatched from you?” Overall Poppen admitted, “I don’t have the answer to that but it’s something we debate a lot.”
The other story I plan to reveal in this special Off Balanced blog post corresponds with my second TMR Brent Poppen article. Regarding his work in schools, Poppen recalled one specific experience following a two-day, 10-assembly series. “At the end of the second day a third grader came up to me when we were the only ones left in the room. He came up to me, shook my hand, and said, ‘Mr. Poppen I acknowledge that last year I was a bully and after you being here and hearing your program I’m going to choose to not be a bully anymore.’”
Instances such as the aforementioned keeps Poppen motivated to work with kids. He noted, “That kid can affect 10 or 20 kids at his school and that is going to just spiderweb out.” Brent Poppen’s books can create a similar affect. So, to wrap up let me take a minute and encourage you to enter The Mobility Resource’s book giveaway. Who knows, you could start 2013 off right by winning a signed copy of Tragedy on the Mountain A Quadriplegic’s Journey from Paralysis to Paralympics or Playground Lessons: Friendship & Forgiveness: Harley and His Wheelchair.