In the interview excerpt below continued from an earlier blog, Mike Jacobs who worked with Victor Webster - teaching him what it took to play a disabled athlete, talks about Victor's journey and his own.
Sadly, Mike Jacobs passed away before seeing the film completed but his contribution to the movie and the lessons learned by all lucky enough to have crossed his path, will never be forgotten.
Q. What’s the biggest challenge facing Victor in learning what it's like to be in a wheel chair? Is it physical or intellectual ?
A. Victor has already picked up a lot about the chair on his own. So the physical stuff and the mechanics of it, I'm not too worried about. We still have to do some finessing, some fine tuning of things physically but its the head-trip, the psycho-philosophical, emotional and spiritual aspects we must work on now.
Most people's personality is set by the time they are around 18, so if you suffer a traumatic physical injury after age, it shouldn't change your personality much but it will bring out the characteristics of who you really are.
The old greek philosopher said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. I've added a tag line to help Victor better understand the lives of people like me who believe “the un lived life is not worth examining”. I’m a firm believer in both ideas and in a balance because you have to be able to go inside yourself and ask, “alright, this is my life, what can I do with it?”
Q. Is that option available to everyone you work with?
A. I sure hope so. You choose how to see the world and your place in it. Iv'e heard a lot of guys say, “hey life was unfair, I gotta bad deal. These people sit back and believe others are supposed to compensate them. Maybe they’re not thinking about it all the time but that's how they are living. And then there is another other group who see the world differently. I joined that group, so did Rick Hansen and from what I know about Victor, he joined the same group. We look in the mirror everyday and say, "okay this is my life, what can I do with it? "
Q. Were you ever afraid or fearful about being disabled?
A. Everybody is afraid sometimes. The only difference between a hero and a coward is that somebody with courage can face the fear and go though it. There is saying,"the way out of your problem is by living through it. " No one wants to go back over something traumatic, or frightening that results in a tremendous loss. But in my experience, the people who do understand the problem manage to find a safe way through it and became less fearful.
Q. You are teaching Victor to 'stand on the shoulders of giants', what does that mean?
A. To be continued...