Three years ago today, I embarked on a journey that would eventually change the course of my life for the better. On February 26th 2013, a simple project began that later grew into something so much bigger than what I could have ever imagined, and I’m here to tell you a little bit of what you might not already know. This is the story of Dare to be Remarkable.
It was an early morning in January when my brother, Adam, reached out to his friends asking if they would be willing to help in spreading my story as a way to raise awareness for SMA. Many people responded affirmatively, but there was one person in particular who reached out to Adam individually. His name was Justin, and we had met at a wedding that previous summer. Justin’s best friend had married my cousin, and being in the wedding party, he and I were paired up to be partners. I could go on and on about meeting him and how we totally killed it on the dance floor that night, but I’ll save that for another day!
In his message to Adam, Justin explained how he worked at a film company (later known as Animus Studios) and that he and his partners would love to volunteer their time and services in any way they could. So, on this very day in 2013, we began filming for (what we thought would be) a short 5-minute video about my life for a website called HooplaHa. However, after receiving such a positive response, we realized that this “project” was meant to be so much more.
We are now on year 3 of filming for Dare to be Remarkable, a full length documentary about living with SMA, and this journey has been nothing but fulfilling and humbling as we work to spread the message of what it means to choose to live remarkably. Despite the everyday challenges and obstacles we face in life, we are capable of anything we set our minds and hearts to. We have the power to choose strength, to choose happiness, and to choose to live beyond our limitations. We have the power to dare to be remarkable.
We are very excited to announce that Dare to be Remarkable will be released THIS SUMMER, so please stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, though, I thought I’d share a few facts you may not know about this documentary. Enjoy!
1. The thought of having a camera around terrified me at first.
I remember waking up for our first day of filming feeling incredibly nervous. My palms were all sweaty and my voice was shaky, and I remember attempting to lessen my nerves by cracking a wheelchair joke along the lines of, “at least I can’t trip and fall on camera. Ha, see what I did there?” Knowing this got me through the first couple of filming sessions before I actually got comfortable with the camera there.
2. Dare to be Remarkable was a gift…sort of.
Several years ago, my friend got me a wall decal for my birthday that read…well…Dare to be Remarkable, and it’s been on my wall ever since! Justin and I both thought this title perfectly embodied the purpose of this documentary and the message we wanted to send. It is encouraging, inspirational and a poignant reminder of how we should live life every day.
3. I almost cried watching the first cut of the film.
Watching the last three years of my life unfold was a very surreal experience. It was almost as if I was watching someone else’s life. Having these moments captured on camera reminded me how fortunate I am to have the most remarkable and supportive people in my life and how far I’ve come in just three short years. It’s easy to forget to appreciate all that life has to offer, but seeing it right before my eyes made me count my blessings twice that day.
4. My friends are super camera shy.
My friends are a big reason why I consider myself to be so blessed, and without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Having them be a part of Dare to be Remarkable was so important to me, but I just wasn’t sure how receptive they would be to this idea knowing they were a little uncomfortable around the camera. Fortunately, you will see some shots of them in my documentary- just know that I had to bribe them with food. 😉
5. I am working with some of the most talented guys in the biz.
Producing a documentary with Animus Studios has been one of the best experiences of my life. Their hard work and dedication to Dare to be Remarkable has far exceeded my expectations for this film, and I can’t wait to finally show you this summer just how talented they really are. Getting to work with Animus these past few years has been an opportunity of lifetime, and I am forever grateful to each and every one of them.