Hector Picard—Riding for Baby Jameson, Because He Can!
I was in Florida recently for a combination of business, vacation, visiting family and friends. Along with a few runs on the beach (my favorite place to run) I looked for a race to run while down there.
Hector Picard was one of the inspiring people I met at the 5k and today I’m sharing his story with you. Hector not only survived a traumatic work-related accident, but he has gone on to thrive and to do what he can to help others.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Born and raised in Miami, FL to Cuban immigrant parents in 1966. I have two daughters from a previous marriage, ages 22 and 19. I’m married to Wendy and I have two step kids, ages 11 and 9. I was recently blessed with a granddaughter.
When and how did your world change?
On March 31, 1992, while working as an electrician on a substation transformer in Hollywood, FL. I was hit with 13,000 volts of electricity twice. The electricity entered through mind right hand and exited my right foot then entered my left hand and exited my left hip. I fell two stories and on fire.
I wake up one month later with my entire right arm gone and half of my left arm as well second and third degree burns over 40% of my body.
What was your recovery like… physical, emotional and/or mental?
My recovery process was mostly physical and emotional. I had to deal with life without my hands. I had a wife and a one year old daughter to think about. No time to feel sorry for myself. I moved forward and had a second daughter who recently blessed me with a grandchild. The positives in my life far outweighed the difficulties.
I love hearing what makes people do what they can… was there a defining moment that inspired you to push your limits or was it a slow realization of seeing what you are capable of?
It was a little of both. The first twenty years was about raising my kids and being a good husband and provider. I did work around the home, coached my daughters softball teams, went on vacations and sold real estate.
Life was good, but then my wife decided that she wanted out. This was tougher than dealing with my “disability”. That was 2008, the defining moment in my life. This is when I started pushing my limits.
What do you do that others are surprised you do?
I love it, when I stop at an intersection while cycling and I start to stretch. Every driver making a left turn has to do a “double take”. They can’t believe what they are seeing.
In what ways do the obstacles you face affect your daily life that others might not be aware of?
The little things are the worst. I can lift a 100 lb. bag of cement a 100 feet with not much trouble, but picking up a quarter from the floor can be a major endeavor.
What goals have you reached that you didn’t know if you could?
I became an IRONMAN (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles) on August 11, 2012. In March, I will be completing my fourth. As a kid I thought that those that completed an Ironman were crazy.
What goals do you have for yourself in the future?
My immediate future goals are to compete in IRONMAN Hawaii and to (drum roll, please!)
Do my second cross country cycling trek,
“Hands For Baby Jameson – Cycle USA”
On June 8th, I will ride my bike from Miami, FL to Spokane, Washington, 3200 miles in 36 days to raise money for a little boy born without hands and forearms.
(Janet here: I asked Hector if Jameson was a family member and he said no, but he wants to do what he can to help him. Seriously, who volunteers to not only ride 3,200 miles for someone else, but to organize it into a fundraising endeavor?! Naturally Jameson’s parents want to offer Jameson the same opportunities every able-bodied child has, but the high cost of prosthetics makes that difficult, so Hector is doing this to raise funds for Jameson’s prosthetics.)
Other goals include building my motivational speaking business and being able to tell my story to people all over the world.
(info about his speaking engagements here)
What does a well-lived day look like to you… or in other words, if you knew you were dying tomorrow, what would you do today?
Waking up and kissing my wife and interacting with my kids (two step kids included), I live each day as though it were my first. I approach it with excitement and anticipation.
Not only is Hector accomplishing great things for himself and for others, but he’s a genuinely nice person… I’m so glad I got to meet him.
Follow his ride from Florida to Washington (seriously FL to WA—that’s across the whole freaking country!) by liking his Hands for Baby Jameson Page.
Click over to see Hector’s schedule for the ride… he might be riding through your state or town. If so, grab a bike and join him, he’d be thrilled to have you bike a few of the 3,200 miles with him. (and take the man a pizza or homemade bread or something!)
Also, consider supporting this adventure for Hector and Jameson. I’ve never been so grateful for my two arms/hands as I’ve been putting together this blog post. I kept thinking about how I would type, click, drink my coffee or scratch my nose!
Hector is a true example of doing what he can,
with what he has, where he is… because he can!
So what was your excuse again?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. More of Your Inspiring Stories Chris—Climbing and Encouraging Others, Because She Can!
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Nik Toocheck—Running the World for Children, Because He Can! Russell Selkirk—Enjoying Life on a Roll, Because He Can!
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Beverly Shantz—Living and Laughing, Because She Can! Chris Kaag—Doing What He Can, Because He Can!
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