Thursday, May 1, 2008

Now here is a rebooter for the books: Jason Poole

In November I wrote a blog that started like this:

Are you hesitating to reboot yourself because you’re afraid you might have lost your edge, let your skills go stale, or become unable to do what you used to do?This happens sometimes. Self doubt creeps in like an unwelcome visitor, displacing self confidence. You’d go out and really do something new and exciting, but … you are worried that you don’t have what it takes any more.

Well, I just met a guy who suddenly became unable to do what he used to do. Only we’re not talking about playing sports or managing complex projects or creating works of art. We’re talking about the basics:

• Speaking
• Walking
• Reading
• Functioning in society

This is a reinvention story that will amaze you, inspire you and get you to think about the rebooting process differently. It’s Jason Poole’s story, and it’s posted on at [link]

Jason, a corporal in the U.S. Marines, was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq. Half his face was blown away and he suffered severe brain damage. He was unconscious for two months. When he awoke he was blind in his left eye, deaf in his left ear and unable to control the muscles on the right side of his body.

But four years later, thanks to superb medical treatment and extraordinary physical, neurophysical and speech therapy, he has made a recovery that borders on the miraculous.

He continues his recovery today, literally reinventing himself from the ground up. He has had to learn how to talk, read, walk and think all over again. He is providing inspiration to fellow veterans, friends, doctors and therapists, and anyone who comes in contact with him.

And here’s the truly amazing part of the story: Jason is the most positive, optimistic, hopeful and sunny person you’d ever expect to meet. Please read his story at [link].

When I started, I was thinking it would be mainly about rebooting at “retirement age.” Most of the articles and resources on the site are in fact keyed to people who are reinventing themselves relatively late in life.

But web expert and RebootYou collaborator Hugo Evans, who does a lot of behind the scenes work on the site, suggested that I seek rebooting stories of people at earlier stages in life. “What about an Iraq veteran?” Hugo said. “Some of them probably have great stories to tell.”

That turned out to be a terrific idea. I contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, a few miles from where I live, and through the help of VA spokesperson Kerri Childress, was introduced to Jason Poole. Meeting him and talking to him was an inspirational experience I’ll never forget.

And yes, I am definitely expanding the scope of to include inspiring stories about reinvention at any age. You’ll be seeing more in the future.


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