Active. Leader. Outspoken. Outgoing. Motivator. On October 16, 1984 I was born into this world with Spina Bifida and there was little hope of me living. My life was seen as either very short lived or a life in which I’d live as a vegetable. That was one of numerous statistics I would defy, including not needing a shunt in which at that time, my parents were told that 80% of babies born with Spina Bifida have to have one to control the hydrocephalus, water on the brain, which occurs at birth. My parents welcomed me into this world with open arms and raised me with unconditional love and support that they continue to give. That’s how I became the active leader I am today. I became outspoken because they spoke up and fought for me when it seemed like the odds were stacked against me. I became outgoing because they went out of their way to help me adapt to the real world. They did not allow me to be an outcast, a person labeled by what happened at birth. They did not let society categorize me. They did not shelter me from criticisms and judgments, however they defended me against such negativity and that sort of protection enabled me to be an individual that developed into someone with a positive attitude and persona. There are people that follow a trend, blending within society. My parents did not want me to just be a part of something without pursuing my own dreams, reaching my own goals. They did not want someone dictating what was best for me. They did not want me to just follow something because that is what others did, that is what was supposed to be, and that is what’s right for the majority of individuals with Spina Bifida. They pushed to have what was best for me to be at my best. They didn’t know everything, but I mean who does? What they did know and continue to believe in is that what was best for someone else did not necessarily mean the same for me.
Their way of thinking, their motivation for me to become an independent thinker, with a no quit attitude, motivated me to want to spread that kind of personality to everyone else. I am a motivator because I think it is important for others to learn from people like my parents. Living a life with confidence, self-esteem, and positivity is essential day after day. Being a person who has the determination and will to keep going has been beneficial in me staying happy and I feel blessed that I not only was raised by a mom and dad that I could never show as much love and support they’ve given me, but since birth I am surrounded by other dear ones and friends who have accepted me, are there for me, and make me feel that they are blessed to have me in their life.
On November 7th of 2016, I decided to try something new, and I came up with something that I’d be able to share with the world. I decided to spread the positive attitude and strong will that my parents instilled in me. In doing so, I combined from what I learned earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, my love for fitness, and gift of gab and went live on Facebook to the public. I showed everyone one of the exercises I perform and talked about a topic to get everyone motivated! I felt so proud after the live streamed video. I was motivating the world and myself because I felt as though that this could actually help in continuing to live a positive life. So, I decided I would go live every Monday and call it #motivateumonday! The feedback has been very positive and encouraging! I’ve been featured on Fox 29 News, the Langhorne Ledger, recognized by a politician, during a family vacation this past July I was put on the air at Nashville, the official radio station for the Grand Ole Opry, WSM Radio 650 AM and October 2017 EB Reynolds Studio did a video shoot with me, giving me a chance to share my story and spread my message! Other opportunities I had include an invite by Bex of TDY 96.5FM to interview me sharing my story on her Facebook and my Facebook page on January 22, 2018 and a few opportunities in February 2018, being front page of the Langhorne Times and featured in Feasterville Trevose Times. My first motivational speaking gig was at Pennsbury High School on February 2, 2018. I’m looking to continue to grow from my social media presence. I’d like to gain more connections and collaborate. My purpose is to make #motivateumonday as epic as I can to make the most impact and making a difference in as many lives as possible! I encourage everyone at any age to follow me. What I would really love is to be hired for more motivational speaking gigs. I don’t mind speaking in front of large audiences. It’s nice when I go live every Monday, but to see the faces of people while I’m in front of them would be special to me. Anyone can learn from me and my videos, even if you just watch one! My service as a motivator is to motivate and show everyone at least one way how you can stay that way! Exercise helps you stay healthy physically and mentally no matter what level of your capabilities! After all, we weren’t born into this world to do everything, but we were born into this world to do something! My motto that I came up with in high school is, “Never give up; quit your crying; live by my motto; keep on trying!” My goal is to achieve sponsorship to help keep my concept growing! I will never stop reaching for my goals in life and I’ll continue to do my best! It’s not about me becoming famous, that’s a bonus. My hope is that someday I am remembered for this because that’s how important making a difference is to me. Please follow me Jed Henderson on Facebook and @slim_jim020 on Instagram! Stay motivated!