"I have been meaning to write about something for a while now and now that I’m on my bike and back doing what I love to do again it seems like the right time. As you know life can be a rollercoaster sometimes and BMXers often know this all too well. The feeling of fun and freedom you get on a bike can sometimes be halted by injuries. It’s emotionally/physically taxing and sometimes leave you feeling sorry for yourself.
Some of you may remember that feeling when that bell rang in June and you were done with school for the summer. You slam your locker one last time, turn in your text book and walk outside into the sun basking in the next few months of freedom. In fact, many of you reading this might be living that feeling right now. Congrats on finishing the school year to those whom this applies! Now imagine if that feeling was suddenly taken away and you were told that you can’t play, you can’t go play your friends, and have to spend the foreseeable future in a hospital. Your parents and doctors are telling you they don’t know when you’ll be able to play again and that you must remain in the building connected to hi-tech monitoring systems and given medicine constantly. For any person, young or old, this is devastating. Especially to a child.
A couple months ago I was on the brink of being able to “play” again after a long knee recovery but was at an all-time low emotionally because I wasn’t able to do what I loved. I found myself not smiling as much, not joking as much, not enjoying life like I knew I should. In one day, that all changed.
I was given the opportunity to visit Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago from a friend who works there. They had told me there was some kids there who were into BMX and action sports. I instantly wanted to check it out. I knew it would be a hard scene to swallow but I was ready for the challenge. My visit to was nothing short of inspiring. From the staff, the parents and most of all the kids, everyone was more upbeat and positive than I’ve ever experienced. There were kids from all ages and all walks of life all battling challenges that many of us, including myself, could not even begin to relate to.
After an afternoon of co-hosting their weekly game Bingo, chatting with the kids, goofing off, reading some books and laughing I was quickly brought back to my childhood. The best part was seeing these kids challenging themselves, challenging eachother and best of all laughing life all kids and adults should do. I was happy to broadcast my cheesy jokes, X Games medals and slight insight over the hospitals closed circuit television system as I played Bingo along with dozens of kids whose spring days might not always be filled with excitement.
Thanks again to everyone at Children’s Memorial Hospital for allowing me to be a part of this action-packed afternoon. We can all learn a thing or two from these kid’s strength and positivity. I was silly for even beginning to feel sorry for myself but luckily these kids set me straight and taught me how to live. If they can laugh and have a good time despite their setbacks, we all can. Enjoy your summer and beyond. Most of all, don’t forget to have a fun." -Brian Kachinsky