It’s 8:45 P.M. on New Year’s Eve and while most of my friends are out partying and ringing in the New Year, I’m sitting here at my computer reminiscing on this past year alone. As social as I am on the outside, and as blessed as I am to have an awesome family and have always been blessed with the best of friends, the reality is, that I don’t like crowds and being around a lot of people and that I’m quite a loner and prefer spending most of my free time by myself. It’s calming and peaceful. So as I sit here in my office reflecting on 2014, I can’t help but to think how blessed I’ve been this year.
This year was a special year for me. Back in May, I had the opportunity to baptize and confirm my oldest grandson Jaycen Tyler a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, my second only baptism in my life, the other being his mother, my daughter Brittney. Also at the end of May I had my first Rockcrawling competition in 5 years. We took a second place that weekend down in Delta, UT at the Old School Rockcrawl and my friends through a party for me to celebrate my 20 year anniversary to my accident.
The following weekend on June 1, was my 20 year anniversary on Sunday. In honor of that, I wanted to do something big this year. So with the help of my close friends, Kelly & Suzanne Edwards, Larry Gibbons, M. Bridget Cook Burch, and Curtis Marsh, I was able to get back on a dirt bike and ride it for the first time in 20 years. It was such an exhilarating feeling to concur the very thing that put me in my wheelchair in the first place.
In September I was able to spend a lot of time in the mountains and bagged a good bull elk. I was able to film the hunt and edited my first hunting trip into a short film. Filming and making movies has always been a passion of mine, but to be able to learn how to film and edit film myself, it brought on a whole new level of awesomeness! It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time but never took the time to learn how. So that was another goal that I had accomplished.
The last thing this year was the Clay Egan Racing 4x4 Charity Drive for The Road Home Homeless shelter that I finally organized and accomplished last week. It proved to be a huge success.
The whole thing was inspired by a movie I was in about 5 years ago called Elizabeth’s Gift. It was written and directed by a good friend of mine by the name of Rob Diamond. In his film I played a homeless character named Kegan.
That film did two things for me, first, it cured me from ever wanting to pursue an acting career. Those long, boring, twelve hour days, sitting outside in the freezing cold, to film your one minute part, was NOT for me. It was miserable. The second thing that experience did for me, was sitting out there being cold like that, made me think about our local homeless and what they have to go through each and every day just to survive these harsh winter conditions that we have here in Utah. It changed me from that day forward. I am so grateful for the small challenges that I do have and would never want to be faced with those kinds of circumstances.
I wanted to do a fundraiser drive back when the film was done for our local homeless to help promote the film, but I never got around to doing it. This year on Thanksgiving Day, I was sitting at home alone and it hit me like a ton of bricks, I needed to do something for our homeless. It came out of nowhere almost like divine intervention. So I hopped in my SUV and drove down town to the shelter to see firsthand what was really going on. I was blown away by how many people were down there on the street in front of the shelter that day and I was shocked at how many were children. So I drove home and started the ground work for the 4x4 Charity Drive. It turned out to be one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of.
This has been one of the most rewarding and successful years of my life. It seems success most of the time is measured by ones financial security or gain. That kind of success has never been a measuring tool for success to me. I’ve always measured my success by the blessings I’ve received and plain out just the awesome people I have in my life. This year has proved both to be nothing short of triumphant! I have been truly blessed this year and for that, my heart is full and I am grateful, but mostly grateful for all of you. Without you, my close friends and family, none of the things I accomplished this year would have been possible. So from the bottom of my heart I want to wish you all a happy and a prosperous New Year!
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