Friday, September 21, 2012

School hosts Motivation on Wheels by Del Bartels

School hosts Motivation on Wheels

by Del Bartels
      An assembly at the Philip school gymnasium called Motivation on Wheels was held Monday, September 10, at 9:00 a.m.

      Philip senior Thomas Doolittle volunteered to hold a small clay pigeon to be shot from his fingers by an arrow shot from a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic who had to draw back the bow with his teeth.
As part of the Dakota Assemblies program, Aaron Cross gave a motivational presentation about staying positive and going after one’s dreams. Cross is a three-time paralympian in archery. According to his Dakota Assemblies program promotional, he has visited schools in many states, giving a down-to-earth message that is meant for all ages.

      Cross first told of the bicycle race in which a support van stopped directly in front of him. At a speed of approximately 38 miles per hour, he struck the van and snapped his neck in several places. A medivac helicopter ride, an emergency room, a surgeon, his father ... all blended together. On that day in 1991, the doctors told Aaron and his family, “The best thing you can do for him is get him a good color television and a good remote.” He was a 15-year-old Olympian bicyclist hopeful who could run a mile in 4:50. “Just like that it was all gone.”

      “You cannot feel your best friend’s hug, you cannot feel any hug ever again,” said Cross. Admitting that he was probably depressing the audience, he related that his friend reported back to his school, “Don’t worry. Aaron is a little shorter and gets better parking, but he’s just fine.” Upon returning to a reconditioned home, he found out that his own school wasn’t going to have him back and he would be going to a rival school. His friends got 375 signatures of fellow students who would transfer as well if Cross had to. His school allowed him to stay. Later his friend stated during a school concert that honored Cross, “You’ve brought us together. We are closer as a class than we have ever been.”

      After the accident Cross began working on getting his arms to function. Back then, it took him three hours to get undressed, showered and redressed. Now, it takes him 28 minutes to do that and get in his vehicle to drive somewhere. “Twenty-one years of focusing on your target; twenty-one years of believing in yourself,” said Cross.

      Using humor, Cross told of his learning to swim, “It’s pretty simple; sink and swim.” Because of his friends, he has learned to parachute, scuba dive, hunt and do other activities. He told the audience, “Leading the pack or coming in last – it’s about finishing.” He also stated, “Remember, someone always cares about you.” One day his friend even thought it was a good idea to put a weapon is his hands. Cross has been shooting the bow and arrow since.

      As well as the Olympics, he dreamed of being a Navy Seal. A while back, the Seals invited him for a visit. “The Seals brought me into a training course. Beat the living snot out of me! It was beautiful!” said Cross.
According to his website; Aaron Cross, born in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1975, graduated from Augsburg College in 1997. He competed in the 1996 Summer Paralympics and in the 2000 Summer Paralympics, but did not medal either time. He went on to compete in the 2002 wheelchair archery world championships in Nymburk, Czech Republic. Finally, as a member of the American team he won bronze in archery at the 2004 Summer Paralympics.

      Cross told the Philip students of his FOCUS – friendships, obstacles, caring, unity and self-esteem.. His website states, “Always sitting, but never not in motion” and “Because life is about living, not wondering.”
Newsweek (09/13/12)
Photos by Del Bartels

Special Thanks goes to Philip H.S. Staff and Students

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Celebrating Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Cross receives award for entrepreneurial spirit

Aaron Cross a local, self-employed businessman was nominated and selected to receive the 2012 Judd Jacobson Award for entrepreneurial spirit. Nomination and support for Cross came from the Cambridge Minnesota Workforce Center, Cambridge, Minn., along with Accessible Homes and Midwest Stair Lifts, St. Paul, Minn.

The Judd Jacobson Memorial Award is named for the late Minnesota business leader who became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident. The award is administered by Courage Center, with funds made possible by Daniel J. Gainey, a lifelong friend of Jacobson.

Established in 1992, the Judd Jacobson Memorial Award recognizes pursuit or achievement of a business entrepreneurial endeavor by a person with a physical disability or sensory impairment. The award recipient receives a special plaque, a $5,000 cash award to advance his or her entrepreneurial business endeavor and is honored at a special event October 3rd at Courage Center in Golden Valley, Minn.

Cross, a quadriplegic resulting from a bicycle accident at the age of 15, owns and operates and nationally known motivational speaking company, Motivation On Wheels Professional Public Speaking. In 2011, Cross added Life Skills Training to his business; and in 2012 he added Assistive Technology Training, working with persons of any age and ability to learn, create and become successful in all they do.

Cross will use the grant to obtain specific certifications enabling him to work with more clients and create more opportunities for them.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Walking for the first time

Sand Pines Pheasant Preserve is an official rep for Action Trak Chairs and as you can see, I was standing and rolling.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Motivation on Wheels Keynotes for Disability Awareness Month at St. Paul College

July 25, 2012
Contact:  Aaron Cross

Motivation on Wheels Keynotes for Disability Awareness Month at St. Paul College

St. Cloud -- St. Paul College has booked GL Berg Entertainment’s Aaron Cross and Motivation On Wheels Professional Public Speaking for the keynote presentation kicking off Disability Awareness Month at St. Paul College, St. Paul, Minn. Aaron’s nationally known and award-winning presentation “FOCUS on Your Target” will target the stage Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
For the last 21 years Aaron Cross, in some way shape or form, has been entertaining and leaving audiences inspired with his power-packed performance of overcoming adversity and disability, by creating opportunities through his abilities.
Many people around the country say that, “… if Cross’ accident happened to me, it would have easily been a life-ending accident.” However, this is where Cross is different than most. “It was not a “life-ending accident; it is a character-building accident,” Cross says. He goes on to say, “My chair didn’t end my life; it helps me create my life.”
Cross, all be it “jaw dropping” at times while on stage, tells a story of tribulations to triumphs, heart breaking moments, to heart pulsing, you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me emotions, and his archery shot will make you stand on your feet to not miss a single millisecond. Aaron’s performance of persuasion and personal power will keep you at the edge of your seat.
Aaron Cross takes passion, performance and presentation to a whole new level of inspiration — 60 minutes to change the way you think, feel and live your life.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

focusonyou: “It is going to be a great day!”

focusonyou: “It is going to be a great day!”: “It is going to be a great day!” It is going to be a great day! I did something yesterday which most people think I do eve...

“It is going to be a great day!”

“It is going to be a great day!”

It is going to be a great day! I did something yesterday which most people think I do everyday; no it is not walking (my friend Carisa says I’m faking this whole thing.) No, I actually followed my calendar and finished everything that was on it for that day, including all my chart notes — “It is going to be a great day!”

Most people look at others, myself included and ask questions such as; how do they get everything done, what are they doing that is so different than me, how do I become better at this? These are valid questions for anyone and by anyone that wants to be great at something.

Answer: Are you sure you are ready for this answer? You might be shocked to what it is, you might even say something to the affect of “What! That can’t be it!” My response to that would and will be, “I’m sorry, but that is the answer.”

Here it is — Ask for help.

“It is going to be a great day!”

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Told you, it is that simple; just ask for help.

PS. Carisa, yeah I really can't walk

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tosca Reno: Eating Clean is a Life Changer - For Family Too!

Tosca Reno: Eating Clean is a Life Changer - For Family Too!

It has been awe inspiring for me to watch my friend create a new world of opportunities, not only for herself; which in my opinion is the most important, but also for others.

Yes, I might be slightly biased, however, having first hand experience of watching Kristi's passion help others to create, excel and bring to fruition is nothing short of life altering.

The choice to change is a hard one. One of my closest and most cherished friends made the decision to work with Kristi. Personal drive made my cherished friend want to change; and with Kristi's guidance, I believe she has made it.

Always Sitting Always in Motion

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

“Because it Feels Good”

Lately there has been something eating at me; a sense of, well, dare I say disgust. Not towards others but towards myself and as many of us know, having a negative sense of self-worth only leads to a negative lifestyle.

I have always said that I would be brutally honest; not to mention outspoken when I write these blogs. My writings are not to offend, but to actually give people the clear vision that life is not always satisfaction and glory. In fact, like many things, it’s a real pain in the ass! I know, shocker, right? What most people do not know about me is, I have a very low self-image of my appearances — particularly my “Quad Belly.”

In the past, I eat right, done/do athletics; from swimming to racing, weightlifting to shooting sports; but it never seems to be enough. Meaning, I have yet to accomplish my desired look (weight.) So like most people, I start out like gang busters train eat right and try and get myself to my desired look.

For the last two weeks, I have been going out in my racing chair with a long life friend of mine — we will call him Brad. I have got to be honest — IT SUCKS DICK!
All the hassle, getting up early, adding something more into my schedule, the frustrations of getting in and out of the chairs and to top it off; being out there and having to keep going and it not being like it use to be. “It just SUCKS!”

Yet for some reason, Brad and I are out there trying to better ourselves for many different reasons. What it came down too today, I had no speed, I felt way overweight and it was just damn frustrating — but we finished.

Finish because it makes you feel better; Finish, because you started. Finish because, had we not gone out this morning, a sense of failure would start to set in; and of course, that leads into missing another day, then another and then we get to start all over again.

My ramblings today might be confusing, but today, I wanted all of you to know, that everyone has crap days, everyone has bad performances; everyone at some point starts to think about stopping; don’t! Just get back out there again. You started for a reason — “Because it Feels Good.”

Bad day, Bad week, Bad year, we all have them; just get back out there, “Because it Feels Good” in the end.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

True Spirt, Ture Love

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Have a Fantastic Day

A new day a new dawn and life is great - challenges are going to arise and set backs are in the future; however, knowing that, and accepting this fact makes it so much easier to move on.

Become the success you want to be and "Have a Fantastic Day!"

Today, see all the positives in your day and life; taste your morning coffee, hug your family, call your kids, laugh with your parents and friends, put a caring note in your loved ones car, send flowers — not because you have too, but because you want to; surround your self with positive emotions and thoughts.

"Thoughts create emotion and emotions create your attitude." — Unknown, but I say it a lot

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Monday, June 18, 2012

Stories Parents Find Out Later

So as I write, I try and write about topics that persuade my readers to try harder and live better; well, sometimes that comes from "Stories Parents Find Out Later."

When I was 14, I wanted to drive, like most kids do — seeing their older sister/brother driving just drives you nuts as you want to follow. On a cold October night, my parents went out for a night on the town, my brother was off somewhere and I was left at home. Snow had fallen already and there was plenty of it; so yes I decided it would be a great idea to go practice driving up and down my parent's driveway —After all, my parents let me pull in and pull out the car so what's the big deal?

After playing for, oh, I guess 20 minutes, I looked at the car clock and thought I better get this high speed Dodge Omni racing car back in; now I'm not sure what I did differently accept to say, uhm, yeah, I did it wrong!

I backed the car right into the snow that my father had so neatly plowed — just missing the huge pine tree getting the car stuck, and I mean stuck! After some futile attempts to get the car out and the clock ticking till my parents got home, I did the only thing I could think of, I called my best friend over to assist me. Now in order to protect the innocent, I am just going to say, he was huge, strong and his name was not Woody Sanky.

My non descriptive friend gets a call and (tidaaaaaaah) the calvary to the rescue; but since he could not drive he brought his mom — one problem at a time please.

My Non-discriptive friend tried and tried; but nothing was going to work the Ferrari of which I was driving was toast, I was soon going to follow. Yes, I was going to have to take my situation and face the fact, I was, well I was in trouble — big trouble.

I took one look at my best friend, the same one that vowed to be there in time of need and vise-versa; and he said a (cuss word); he then proceeded to walk behind the car, lift with all his "HE-MAN and the Masters of the Universe" strength because, yes, YES! "He Had The Power!" Out of the snow came my jet blue Ferrari of a car.

We, nope, sorry about that, I put the car back in the garage and proceed to wipe off the marks from the pine tree. My non- descriptive friends mother asked me "Your going to tell your parents the truth right?" I looked my second mom in the eyes and said "Oh yes, I've learned my lesson." Side Note: ARE YOU HIGH? As my now accomplices left, I saw the cluster of mess in the what was a neatly plowed driveway.

Yes, I took the snow plow out and cleaned it all up making it look nice and neat; stored the plow and got back inside before my parents got home (6 minutes WHEEEW.)

Parents where happy to see me and like normal gave them hugs. I set my plan into action by asking "Did you see the driveway has been re-plowed?" My dad, said "Yes, whats that all about, did you get in trouble at school?" "No", said with a convincing voice as I did not get in trouble at school. I proceed to tell them that I, in fact, had to get a stuck car out of the snow bank and had to call my Non-Discriptive friend over to help. "Dad, I couldn't believe it, the Jehovah Witnesses stopped by and when they were pulling out, they drove right into the snow bank; just missing our tree. Dad's response was, "Are you serious? (laughing all the way) some people don't know how too drive in the snow.

Moral of the story: We pull some stupid stunts in our lives, making bad decisions; but yet we also make good ones; thus forging our selves to who were are today. Take some time for good laughs today, and remember the tricks you use to pull — laugh and have a great day.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Practice What You Preach

Wow, I can't believe it is Thursday, oh how the time flies by when you are playing catch up. I'll make this short and sweet; the Endeavor Games were amazing to watch and learn, but not really satisfactory for me shooting wise.

I have some great excuses for why I did not shoot well, but it all came down to, "I didn't shoot well." I am taking my own advise, I am doing what I told all of you that read my blogs, "Assess and Move On."

As I sat in my plane seat working on items for my clients, I found myself thinking of what I did right at the shoot; notice I wrote, "what I did right." After my list had more than 20 or so items of success on it I started to think of what I could have done better or might need to change in the future (shooting wise and travel wise.)

When I got back home, I did something completely opposite of what I use to do, meaning, if I shot badly, I would come home and devised a painful and very lengthy training schedule to figure out what I did wrong. However this time, I took time off (said with a smile on my face and light hearted "no worries" attitude) and focused on work, which I had plenty of.

Last night I had leagues with the St. Cloud Archers Association (1/2 900 round; four days since I looked at my bows) and you know what, I shot relaxed, with a smile, I even laughed when between ends; next thing I knew we were done and I had shot my average again and I was happy.

"Practice What You Preach," I "Took Five," I realized "It's Okay, It's Just You," "Assessed and Moved On" and that brought me to my good/great shooting again; not to mention a new relaxed drive inside me to get things done.

"Practice What You Preach" success comes from many set backs and dare I say, from some very  unenjoyable moments; but learn from them and successes are right there in front of you.

Today, "Practice What You Preach!"

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's a SIGN!

Over sleeping, not being able to wake, thinking about what needs to be done right when you sit-up in bed in the morning; "It's a SIGN!"

Time to go back and reread,  May 8th, 2012 blog "Rest for Five."

No matter how hard we try, there is still only 24 hours in a day and we need 7-9 hours every night to rest.

"It's a SIGN!"

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Monday, June 4, 2012

"Its' Okay, Its' Just You" Part II

Yesterday I wrote how a great many of us want to blame something else for our, shall we say, substandard performances; wether it be at work, sport, family issues any of them. I went on to list my top 10 excuses I have heard and dare I say used.

Id like to just give you a quick story about how I learned "Its' Okay, Its' Just You — Assess and Move on."

1998-99, I was having one of my worse years of shooting, (archery) nothing was working, I had the top of the line equipment; but no matter what I did, it didn't win me podium stands. In my midsts of being emotionally beat, I decided to take the plunge and purchase two new bows as I was not trusting the ones I had.

I started to ask myself these three questions:

1) How did that shot feel?
2) Was it the same as the shot before?
3) What did I do exactly the same?

(Look and focus on what you do the same every time, not what you do wrong; with practice, all the right steps mold your perfect shot, or success.)

I answered all three of those questions in my mind, but at the end of the day, I would not only write it down, I would try and draw my "Sight Picture" (what I see when I am at full draw about to execute a shot.) By doing that, I started to See, Feel and Do the same thing over and over again; it was no longer a finesse shot, it was consistency, comfort and confidence. Scores raised, records started to fall and I was back in the game.

My team mate at that time was freaking out as less than a year ago he was killing me and now roles had reversed. He asked the U.S. Coach, I shoot 300 - 500 arrows a day and Aaron is shooting, at max, 200 a day; how can he be beating me? Response: "You can shoot all the arrows you want in a day, but if you don't learn something from each practice you are not doing yourself any favors. Aaron learned his shot, if he pulls up and it feels different, he sets it back down until he feels his shot. You are just shooting because you are at full draw."

To this day I ask myself the above three questions when I am shooting (archery or trap), racing, speaking, working with clients, whatever, (obviously they questions change for speaking etc., but it is same principals.)

By asking yourself simple questions, you are not only making the choice to change, you are realizing that "Its' Okay, Its' Just You." Do yourself a favor, ask yourself these questions:

1) How did it work for me today (be brutally honest)
2) Was what I did today matching my success from yesterday? (why or why not — be brutally honest)
3) What did I do the same that made me succeed today and can or do I need to change it to make it better?
(again be be brutally honest)

Answer those questions and remember at the end of the day "Its' Okay, Its' Just You" assess and move on.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's okay, Its Just You — Part I

Over the years I have made plenty of excuses for my poor outcomes/frustrating days, and I have also heard plenty of excuses from others. What I do know about excuses, they never fix what happened, and they are all bad; some really funny, but still bad. In fact, 99.9 percent of the time, there was never anything wrong at all; the only screw, bolt, action, sight, whatever that was loose, was the screw trying to do the sport, — "It's Okay, It's Just You."

Yesterday, I was working out at Deltone-Luth Gun Range for the Viking Shoot — anyway, I was watching the body language of the shooters (AMAZING) and extremely entertaining. I have never seen so many people look at their ammo, gun, wind/sky so many times in my life (in one round!) "It's okay, Its Just You!" It happens to everyone!

It comes down to these three steps and these three steps alone:
1) Champions are champions because they know their shot or whatever sport, job, parenting skills whatever; they know themselves, they assess and move on; that's why they make it look so easy —Assess and move on.
2) They are there to do what they know, and they know what they do — and then, move on.
3) Revert back to numbers 1 & 2, again,  — move on.

Other shooters, including me, want to blame something instead of ourselves; the old saying, "Not me did it!" SIDE NOTE: There are "Not Mes'" all around the world; he/she sure does get around. Just trust me on this; "It's okay, Its Just You."

Blaming something else for a bad day (shooting, parenting, sports, work) can and will only bring you down again in the future. Why? because the one thing you did not do after you were done for the day, was to look at how not too have this situation occur once again; you just stayed with an excuse.

Top 10 excuses (no particular order)

1) My stabilizers were not in the same spot which made me off balanced,

2) I had the wrong shoes on today. Side note: I did respond to this one with, your an amputee, you aint got no feet!

3) I didn't have the right shims in my wheelchair. Side note: Yeah, I responded to that as well, but I was nice enough to keep it to myself,

4) The down draft from the helicopter was pushing the clays down.  (The damn thing was 600 feet off the deck going 60 MPH; down draft my),

5) My belt was too tight which was cutting off my circulation to my legs; which made me get weaker as the day went on. (see my response to above number 2 — and yes same person),

6) The wind cost me this whole shoot,

7) My sight moved,

8) Food poisoning,

9) The guy on my bail was watching me,

10) I don't understand it, I just can't find anything wrong with my bow, nothing has moved. (this one did shock me and made me laugh out loud),

Readers, trust me "It's okay, Its Just You." tomorrow is a new day.

Stay tuned for some answers and tips tomorrow.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Update on shooting! Move on to more Successes

So, we all know that I am the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Alternate in the W1C Archery Class (W1C means Wheelchair shooter, 1 means quadriplegic, "C" stands for compound bow.)

Now I have to be honest with you, in years past 1996 - 2004, I believe, I just might now be done licking my wounds from not making the squad.

However, I find myself being more motivated now (get over it and move on to the next) to not only stay on my game but as they say "Soldier On!"

With this beautiful weather we are having I find myself driving to my secret locations and shooting every second I get the chance. Done with work for the day, well, there is still 3 hours of light left; lets go shoot.

What all does this mean? It means just what I said after the team was named: "Champions don't always stand on the podium, they just continue on." So I practice, I keep my head in the game and I prepare for upcoming shoots; like the Endeavor Games this June 6th - 10th in Edmund Oklahoma. (Stay tuned for results on this shoot)

I am more than excited to meet up with the team again and fling some arrows on the field of battle with them. Shooting is starting to feel smooth again, controlled, and most importantly, exciting! Something I had not felt in over seven and half years.

Move on to the next shoot, Endeavor Games here I come! Move on to your next success. Look out world, here you come.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Friday, June 1, 2012

Work Skills Day 2012 Lindstrom, MN

Remember where you started & what got you through it!

I remember:
My dad saying to me "Skiing is going to be on hold this year Aaron",
My Uncle being there in a matter of hours,
My best friend Shawn sitting next to me saying "You just fell asleep, its' only been 5 minutes buddy",
My friend Matt Z. asking me the day after I got hurt "How are you doing?" and my response "I've had hornier days",
My waking in the hospital and my brother sleeping next to me in a very uncomfortable chair with his hand on my arm,
My mom telling St. Cloud Tech H.S. exactly how and when this was going to be done,
My friends creating a new life for me and my family,
My friends Kelly W. & Kristine H. and 5 lbs of Gummy Bears and 5 lbs of Sour Patch Kids,

My first time I was able to push my chair by myself (2 inches and I was wiped out),
My OT putting 1/4 pounds of weight on my hand and me being barely able to lift it,
My first time I dressed myself (1 hour 47 min) yes, I timed it; now 7 minutes 9.5 minutes including shoes,
My first movement of my left index finger (my picking finger — Thank God),

My first romantic kiss to a girl after I was in a chair,
My first time being able to hold a baby after I got hurt; 8 months post injury baby was 2 weeks old, I was in heaven,
My first time I wet my pants (won't be the last; watching a movie with my girlfriend at her house — I was so embarrassed we offered to clean the couch the dad said "No, but you come back anytime." Maybe he was thinking if I pissed on the whole couch they could just get a new one)
My first skydive,
My first archery shot,
My first track practice (went 100 meters in 25 seconds and I had nothing left) end of my first summer I was pushing 15 miles a day.

Many other things got me here, many other things take me places, just "Remember where you started & what got you through it!" and do it all over again. It's never easy, but it can be easier if you "Remember where you started & what got you through it!"

"You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be GREAT!" — Les Brown

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just Act

Did I get that done yesterday, oh man, I forgot all about that, there is that to do as well, when is that money coming, how am I going to pay for this now?

Waking at night is bad enough, but having those questions run through your head like a freight train is worse.

In most cases, we fight it and try to stay in bed wishing the Sandman will come back through and knock us out cold. However, we know one undisputed fact — that is not going to happen, so, "Just Act!"

Get up, make a cup of coffee or tea — whatever— face what your brain is telling you and "Just Act!" Many of us say, tomorrow, I will get it all done tomorrow; we all know that is not going to happen, so, "Just Act!"

Your adrenaline is already pumping, use it! By staying in bed I guarantee you will be dragging the next morning, hurting by the afternoon and begging for forgiveness and the night to come by 5 p.m.; yet you are now further behind and what you were worrying about is still there — "Just Act!"

This morning it happened to me, waking at 4 a.m. laying in bed, trying 101 different positions to fall back asleep, I heard my neighbor start her treadmill; and I said to myself, "If she is up bettering herself you can too." "Just Act!"

Look, even if you don't get all that is needed done, at least you have started and you are not laying in bed stressing yourself out; which we all know causes more stress and anxiety, so  — "Just Act."

Accomplish today so you rest easy tonight!

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Setbacks, to Tasks, to Goals!

Readers, I do apologize for not having some blogs this last week; it turns out that last Sunday, my computer felt it was time to visit that big Apple Tree in the sky.

Setbacks: It is never fun to start your day off with something as frustrating as your computer dying; and it never fails, something else seems to just plop right on top of it. As all of you know, once one thing goes more are soon to follow; yes, the world is conspiring against you and you just want to go to the store and buy all the double chocolate fudge brownie ice cream there is — because we all know that is going to fix the problem.

Tasks: As we typed in my credit card information (purchasing a new computer), adding a charge I did not want to have, a sense of worth came over me, a sense of focus and drive. My task for this week/two weeks, was now focusing on this simple question: "How am I going to get more business to pay this off and not go back into debt?"

1) Take 5 hours this week to find solutions — keeping in mind that the charge on your card, well it's still going to be there and the credit card company is okay with that — really, they really are okay with that being on there; so if they are, so am I.

2) Stay driven, your mind took you to a place telling you find solutions, so follow these steps:

            - Come up with your goal and time line, write it on a pice of paper
                        "pay off computer within 3 months"
            - How am I going to do it?
                        Make a list of any and every idea, (all ideas are good!)
                                Write any pros and cons to the ideas
                                      Choose the top three ideas that work for you and get you excited

            - Write up a clear cut goal on a 5x7 card or whatever you have around you and keep it with you
                        Read it everyday, multiple times a day, until you have reached your goal; and most importantly,     

                                                        start now!

Setbacks are not always bad, take a look at them and make them into positive tasks which turn into goals.

"Setbacks to Tasks to Goals"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Change is what you make it

Wow, this is sort of surreal, in just a few short hours (1:15 p.m.), my life changed forever, along with my family's and my friends (past, present and future.)  21 years ago, my dad and I were up at Giants Ridge Ski Resort for a simple bike race. A simple out and back race that was to only take 90 minutes (give or take), it took a lot longer.

20 years have passed and my family and friends and I are starting our 21st year together. Throughout this time many things have come and gone, ups and downs and whirlwinds; but change is what you make it. Good or bad, happy or sad, it is your choice to decide how you are going to live it — "change is what you make it."

I am truly blessed to have the family and friends I had/have/will have. Friends that have gone separate ways got me through one of the toughest times I've ever been through, friends I have now keep me feeling like anything is possible and the friends of my future will have who I am and I will take their ideas and change with the day.

"Change is what you make it," make today your day to change for the better.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finding Your Way

“Finding Your Way”

It’s amazing how fast things can change, “for the better, or for the worse.” I believe, I truly believe, that we focus on and remember the bad, due to the fact it is so scary and overwhelming. However, I’ve realized this weekend, we, later in life, laugh, talk and teach others from our bad times; which means, our “bad times” are also invaluable experiences. So, when we are going through a crossroads, we need to keep in mind, that it will end and we will regain control of our lives and start to feel better. Embrace not only the good times but also the bad — both show us our paths and how strong we are.

Over the last few years I have had my fair share of scares, losses and overwhelming moments where I just was not sure what was going to happen. However, I recently sat down and asked myself how did I get through those unbelievably overwhelming times and this is what I came up with.

Filled my days with family and friends,
Allowed myself to be sad until I got pissed enough to say, “STOP!”,
Realized I did laugh many times during the down times,
Realized that if I am going through this, others have too, and there are a lot of people standing around me right now,
Realized that my true friends will look at me and say, “Man, you screwed up, but I’m right here brother; lets’ get through this,
Realized that I am not perfect, (there, I said it) but I have learned, and it has made me a better person; better, not perfect (oh crap I’ve said I’m not perfect twice now and now I’ve published it.)

Finding your way is not, nor will it ever be easy. More importantly, what comes next might not be even slightly close to what you wanted or thought your life was going to be.

When you are ready to take that journey, always remember these true statements:

1)    There is nothing more valuable than a friend or loved one who truly loves you, (you will know what that means and who it is when the time comes.)
2)    Each day gets easier, not easy,
3)    You learn from your mistakes, but more importantly, remember to recreate, enjoy and examine our successes, 
4)    Laughter, hugs, love, family and true friends will see you through.

Walt Whitman wrote, “Re-examine all you have been told, dismiss what insults your soul.”

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Try it!

One thing that my parents have always made sure we knew, well there were several things that they ingrained into my brother's and my brain; but one thing that sticks out on a regular basis is try, do, taste and see things  that are foreign to you — in short, "Try it!"

Challenge from me to all of you, "Try it!"

Try going for a walk today,
Try Laughing with your kids,
Try sitting with your significant other outside and feel the warm sun on your skin,
Try going for a bike ride,
Try making a plan to make a change in your life and if your ready start acting on it,
Try a "Healthy eating recipe (i'll bet you will be surprised),
Try a new hobby,
Try to save money,
Try talking to a long lost friend,
Try to forgive,
Try to understand,
Try to sit down and listen to the stories of your Grand Parents,
Try to sell the items you no longer use (you can't take them with you and others may need them),

There are too many wonderful things to try in this world.

"Because life is about living, not wondering" — Aaron Cross

"You don't have to great to start but you do have to start to be great" — Les Brown

Always Sitting Always in Motion,


Friday, May 11, 2012

Time to do, do what you teach

It has been a great week, full of great surprises, friends and opportunities. However, there has been some stresses, forgotten bills, unforeseen expenditures, getting distracted by events that may or may not happen — you know, life!

Waking this morning I felt a sense of urgency, not because my love of my life was gently waking me saying "I am waiting for you, let me start your day off right." Seriously, my coffee really says those things to me. Waking this morning, I just felt like I was loosing my path, loosing the ability to be more in control,  it made me feel I was starting to add more to my plate than I should; but wait a second, I am Aaron Cross, i've been in worse spots before I can handle this — Go get it buddy!

Yeah, well two memories popped into my head, one was a statement my dear friend Ezra said to me the other day. Ezra and I were working on a last minute project and I said I need to go to two more meetings, then to practice and finally home to do paperwork. Ezra turned to me and said "Aaron, your in a wheelchair, act like it! " I was shocked, then he clarified, he said "you do too much stuff in a day, there is no room for mistakes in your life. You need to practice what you teach."

Last night one of my private clients cancelled our meeting today which made me frustrated and then I though okay I can call three clients and get them into my schedule. Thank goodness I did not do that! Today, I am "Taking five" and following "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to take a look around once in a while you might miss it." —Ferris Bueller.

I posted a picture onto my Face Book; it says "At any given moment you have the power to say this is is not how the story is going to go."

"Take five" "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" and now its' "Time to do, do what you teach"

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mischievous Intentions

Photo Title "Mischievous Intentions"Photo by Ken Bieganek (Ride design Aspen Seating)

Before going on stage in Grand Rapids, MN Wheelchair Plus 2012 Health and Wellness Expo.

Slow is smooth

Yesterday I reminded people to "Take Five" and I did receive some kind notes that they, in fact took that advice. Yet, although we schedule in time to take five, do we really take the time to enjoy it?

There is a saying in shooting, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." So many of the people I work with say they don't get that phrase; well, that's okay, because you soon will.

In shooting just like in our everyday lives, we are always against the clock and when we focus on the clock, that is when things start to get out of hand. For example, in shooting, we drop things, forget a step to our shot process, which means we force a shot and that means a cuss word is about to come out —it happens. In everyday life, when we rush, we forget lunches, bills, paperwork that needs to be turned in, small things that just make us more stressed because it just spirals out of control.

Now, when we slow it down, see it, feel it, move with it, that is called the "Zone" which is exactly where you want to be. Do your steps!

By doing each one of your steps, just like you do in practice, just like you do every other time, there is plenty of time. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

Champions make it look easy because they do their steps, slowly and smoothly, which makes them look fast and God Like.

"Slow is smooth and smooth is  fast."

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rest for five

Last week was a whirlwind week! Coming back from trials, going straight back into work, which consisted of two seminars, conference for UCP and meetings with my clients; not to mention events on the weekend.

Is that something new, no, but I didn't take five minutes for myself to fully look at my calendar or how to plan better, which left me mildly overwhemled.

We are all moving too fast, between kids, work, the "little things" the "big things" I mean — AHHHHH!

Just stop! Yes, there's time! Take five, see what needs to be done, lay it out and say okay. However, remember to look at your schedule and make sure these things are on it for this week.

         Spending time with your family (making sure hugs and kisses are there) "Yes, there's time!"
         Evening for you to sit and listen to nothing or something you like "Yes, there's time!"
         Evaluate your goals, knowing, it's okay to change them, and it's also okay to not always have anything planned for the weekend accept to do nothing. "Yes, there's time!"

Take five today everyone, "Yes, there's time!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tap-it seminar

Today is the last day to RSVP for the "TAP-it" seminar hosted by UCP of Central MN and performed by Tierny Brothers staff. Tap-it is an interactive touch screen that has been hitting the US like a wild fire.

All you need to do to be apart of this seminar is read the poster bellow and sign up; it is free to the public, and might change the life of someone you know.

Yes it says that yesterday was the last day to RSVP, I have extended that to today.

Pass this link on to your family and friends
Success at the "2012, 2nd Annual Wheelchair Plus Health and Wellness Expo" in Grand Rapids, MN. Even with the threat of bad weather, a  great turn out was had. Before I went on stage, I was working with Ride Design — Aspen Seating (specialists in the best seating system for everyday use and sports in the world) at their booth.

The presentation was fantastic, I saw tears, I heard laughter and most of all, I had a very happy client and the young lady that helped with the archery demonstration was ecstatic, to say the very least. I guarantee, that she is going to be showing off that pen today at school.

Remember friends, family and readers, "You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great."  — Les Brown

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heath and Home Accessibility Expo, Grand Rapids, Mn

Aaron will be here all day speaking and enjoying the beautiful city of Grand Rapids, MN

Monday, April 30, 2012

No rest for the positive people

Flight landed at 22:50 hours, all my luggage and my wheelchair are safe and sound. My dear friend picked me up from the airport,  and took me back to my car. As I sat there, in the car, it occurred to me that it was going to be 01:00 a.m. or later before I would got home and into bed. Moreover, I realized that it was soon going to be Monday and it is game on for the work week.

Today I am catching up on e-mails for work, doing final touches for the "TAP-it" conference this Thursday at the Great Regional River Library, St. Cloud, MN, doing laundry, and packing my car for the Wheelchair Plus Expo that I'm leaving for on Monday and speaking at on Tuesday in Grand Rapids, MN.

Over the years I have spent to much time wondering why I didn't win, etc. It has taken a lot of years but I have realized, not to do that; in fact, I know look at it this way:

Make a list and answer these questions
1) Did I give it everything I had?
2) Would I have changed anything, i.e., equipment, training, and if so, why and why do I feel it would make any difference?
3) What are the key things I learned from this past event?
4) Think about it for a few hours, not days or weeks, and then make a decision. Move on, don't pout, I hate pouting, even though I am good at it. Move on!

Make another list:
1) What do I need to do today, tomorrow, this week, for work and personal — prioritize such as:

  • Bills
  • Work
    • Clients
  • Personal Time
I use to dwell on what went wrong, now it is time to FOCUS on what went right, and what needs to be done; you can't change yesterday, but you sure as hell make a difference in today and make it a success.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Final results of 2012 US Paralympic Trials

Friends, family and readers; it is all done, the 2012 Paralympic Team Trials are complete. Lets recap what has gone on, just over a year ago, I decided to give the 2012 a run for the money. Most my family and friends thought I was crazy, but the dream of having a Gold Medal laid across my chest brought me to the trials.

After being out of the game for almost 8 years I shot incredibly well, but in the end I am officially the 2012 US Paralympic Alternate. Although it was not what I wanted, I gave it everything I could.

I just wanted to thank everyone who has supported me in my journey of the GOLD, but at this time, I need to wait.

The biggest thing people don’t realize is, a “trip has a start and a end, a journey only has a start.”

Am I done shooting? No, absolutely not, I have an obligation to the team and myself to stay on my game.

One thing I am taking from this, champions don’t always stand on a podium, they just continue on.

Thank you all for your well wishes, belief and strength, without you I would have had a tougher time getting here.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 Trials Day 5 Second Day of Competition

Standings as of 4:00 p.m. I am in second place; and tomorrow, it's going to be head to head arrow for arrow. It is coming down to it; and as I was hoping to be way out in the lead, things don't always go the way you planed.

Tomorrow it will come down to seeing the center of the target and shooting every single arrow I got right into it. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I want more than anything to take this home for me and my family and friends.

Always Sitting always in Motion


Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Trials day 4 first day of Competition

Hello everyone! Okay here are the standings after day one, I’m tied for second score wise, but the person I tied with beat me on “X” count (the dead center of the target.) So technically you could say I am in third.

Tomorrow is another day and I have had a wonderful session with my dad, and my dear friend Carisa; both whom basically said to me you can and will pull this off; get out there and do what you do when your back is against the wall, fight harder shoot smarter, stay in your game. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

I would like to thank all of you that contacted Nelson Photo and Home Depot, saying a special thanks to them for their assistance. Nelson Photo took another 1.75 hours today trying to assist me with the scope issue. We unfortunately had to many difficulties and had to admit we did not have the right stuff. However, I need to say Nelson Photo is truly amazing what they did shows there is still people with amazing compassion, not to mention people that believe in service and going to the extreme for the success of the client.

Stay tuned for a great update tomorrow.

Always in Sitting Always in Motion


2012 Trials Day 3, Stress to Success

Hello friends and readers, well yesterday turned out to be a very stressful yet unbelievably successful day. Tuesday, I was told that my spotting scope (allows me to se at a quick glance where my arrows are) was not within regs; so I was going to have to fix it, not use it, or shoot under an official warning.

So, my dad, who arrived on Tuesday night, thank goodness as without his help I would be physically exhausted by now, were going to have to create a whole new system that allows me to utilize this very important piece of equipment.

Wednesday we went to Home Depot, and with the help of four very excited employees we created a system we thought would work. Unfortunately, it didn’t. So, after the equipment inspection (which I passed minus the scope) and after a very good practice my father and I set out to find a solution to the situation.

Nelson Photo to the rescue! Just before their closing time my dad runs in and explains the situation, and as I got in there they basically locked the door behind us and came up with a great solution, (they worked with us for an hour.)

Now, it’s Thursday, morning as I write this we are getting ready to leave and all I am feeling right now is success for the day. I can’t wait to show off my new system.

Thank goodness, for Home Depot, and bless Nelson Photo of Little Italy, San Diego, CA.

Do me a favor and “Like” both of them on FB; if you can, write a special note of gratitude, you might not ever get to these two stores here in San Diego, CA., but you can let them know how they changed my life from stress to success.

Stay tuned for today’s shooting report.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Trials Day 2

Okay, so today was a bit rough, but was only a practice day so that is good. Yes the shots were falling in today, but they seemed not as clean as I want, thats okay tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow is the official practice and equipment inspection; which means, they look at our bows, arrows the whole gambit, and they say "yes you are good to shoot, no you are not." Why you ask, RULES, and there are a lot of them; yes makes me want to spit as well.

We are getting close friends, Thursday is the start of the shooting and it is going to be fantastic shooting I can feel it.

Signing off as I need a lot more sleep.

Always Sitting Always in Motion


Monday, April 23, 2012

Trials 2012

Today was great! An unofficial practice, but the arrows were falling perfect. Tomorrow, is another unofficial practice day and is to be a beautiful day. Stay tuned to my blog to find out how things are progressing.

2012 US Paralympic Archery Trials, ARCO Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, CA.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week of March 27th 2012 Aaron is speaking

Week of March 27th, 2012, Aaron Cross will once again be apart of the incredible Assistive Technology Network Team. The team will be speaking in Alexandria, MN on the 27th of March an Sauk Centre, MN on the 28th. These free and open to the public seminars are courtesy of the Assistive Technology Network of Mid-MN. These seminars and discussions are on products and ideas that will enable you and your loved ones to stay in your/their homes.

The Assistive Technology Network of Mid-MN is made up of:

Aaron Cross Motivation on Wheels (St. Cloud, MN)
Tom Ardolf of Cybermation (Waite Park, MN)
Kathy Truman of SPOT Rehab (St. Cloud, MN)
Carisa Rasmussen of Accessible Homes (S. St. Paul, MN)
Karen Matthees of Financial Consulting (S. St. Paul, MN)

Success at Oak Hill Middle School

What a day on Friday! Two performances and both of them successes; not to mention, I was paid one of the greatest compliments I have ever been given. "Best show I have seen in 29 years" Oak Hill Staff member.

I will post the pictures when I get the all clear to do so.

My dad use to have a poster in his office that simply said "Have you hugged your kid today?" There is nothing better in this world than having a young student come up to you, give you a huge hug and say "I'm going to try even harder today." In short, take the time to "hug your kid today" and remember to "try harder today." You never know how it will change your life or others.

Always Sitting Always in Motion

Aaron Cross

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Performing at Oak Hill Middle School

March 23rd, 2012 Aaron is performing for Oak Hill Middle School (St. Cloud, MN.) The entire school will hear Aaron's nationally known, award winning presentation "FOCUS on Your Target" Aaron will be using Oak Hill's word of the week "Determination."

Aaron got the honor to speak to a 2nd grader from the school earlier this week; Aaron's laughter could be heard for miles when he heard the young student say, "It's really him."

Aaron is very excited for a morning of laughter, motivation and "Determination."

Start Time 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 US Paralympic Archery Trials

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 2012 US Paralympic Archery Trials 
Arco Olympic Training Center Chula Vista, CA 

23 April 2012 Monday Official classification is available for any athlete that may need to do so.

25 April 2012 Wednesday 12:00pm – 5:00pm Official Practice - ALL
12:30pm – 5:00pm Check-in
1:00pm – 5:00pm Equipment Inspection

Day 3 QUALIFICATION 70 meters
26 April 2012 (AB-CD Format) (72 arrows) (all 6 arrow ends)
Thursday 8:00am Warm-up/Practice – All Competitors
9:00am 70m x 72 arrows All Competitors

Day 4 QUALIFICATION 70 meters
27 April 2012 (AB-CD Format) (72 arrows) (all 6 arrow ends)
Friday 8:00am Warm-up/Practice – All Competitors
9:00am 70m x 72 arrows All Competitors
(Up to the top 8 archers in each event, combined ranking round scores, will advance to Round Robin matches)

Day 5 ROUND ROBINS 70 meters
28 April 2012 (7 matches) (6 arrow ends)
Saturday 8:00am Warm-Up/Practice – Top 8 Archers per Event
9:00am Scoring First Set - 4 Matches
12:30am** Lunch (Approximately 1.5 hours) **Lunch break will start immediately following completion of the fourth scoring match.
2:00pm Scoring Final Set - 3 Matches

29 April 2012
Sunday TBD-am Paralympic Ambassador Program for all athletes named to the team