Thank you Duracell for the making of the most inspirational video I have ever seen.
I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes.
Derek Coleman is music to my ears.
People close to us impact our lives but rarely do you find the greatest impact from a stranger.
Coleman is a Seattle Seahawk and is a big part of why the team is one step closer to being in the Super Bowl this year.
I LOVE this video for the amazing man Coleman has proven to be.
Coleman has been deaf since he was 3.
He has worn hearing aids since he was a toddler.
For the first time in my life, after watching this video, Coleman makes me proud of my disability.
I have not really been open about this before.
I have been hearing impaired my whole life.
I have worn hearing aids since the age of 5.
It has never defined me but I can say that it has affected my confidence at times.
While I have succeeded at everything I have tried to do, it does not mean there has not been adversity or self doubt along the way.
I was bullied. People still make fun of my speech impediment. Coleman was bullied.
Coleman worked extra hard to become a football player in high school, at UCLA and now for the ‘Hawks.
Coleman tapes his hearing aids to his ears. His mother found a way to stop the feedback of his hearing aids when he wears his helmet by using a cut piece of pantyhose over his head and ears like a skull cap.
Those of us with disabilities have to focus extra hard and compensate in other areas but we can do a lot of things people do not think we can or should do.
I have always hidden how much my impairment affects me on a daily basis. I think I have gotten well at hiding how hard it is for me to hear conversations and tones. I need to watch television and movies with subtitles or I miss alot. I cannot understand lyrics to songs without looking up the words.
But my impairment has never had an impact on my ability to learn.
Neither for Coleman.
I read lips. I sometimes need to ask people to repeat what they said. I avoid the telephone because sometimes I cannot hear well. My disability can make me feel abnormal when I cannot do the simplest of things like hear a bell or telephone ring. 99% of society can hear those things and this probably explains where some of my perfectionist tendencies came from early on.
I thank Coleman for making me comfortable in my own skin today for the first time. I hope this feeling stays with me. It has always been a constant reminder as to my shortcomings every day when I put my hearing aids in my ears to start my day. I feel like they stick out for the world to see since my hair is up majority of the time not covering them. I have always wanted to be normal and the same as everyone else.
Coleman says, “You don’t want to be the same as everyone else” and today, I love that I am different.
I have a new mentor in my life today. During an interview I watched after being sent the Duracell video, Coleman is shown as a solid optimist and grateful for all he has been through and how far he has come. He never has a bad day and is the perfect role model for all of us with disabilities or those in sports.
I wish I could meet Coleman face-to-face and tell him how much of an impression he has made on my life in this very moment.
I am wanting to learn to live my life proud of my disability and this will be my way of honoring this man for what he has given me today.