It is a very big day for Roll Models, and I hope you are prepared for the magnitude of this announcement. Today is my 28th birthday! Not only am I pumped that the Earth orbited the Sun another time since I was born, and I really didn’t think that it would make it this year, but this is also the 25th anniversary of another important event in my life. When I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in 1988, the doctor told my parents that I would not live to be more than 3 years old, because my lungs would be too weak to support me once I grew to that size. Not only was this inconsiderate doctor’s timing in delivering this information tactless, but it was also a very bold prediction to make in the first place. And obviously, she was just a hair off in her prognostication as well, because today marks the 25th year of living passed my expiration date.
Along with helping me celebrate my birthday, I would also like to have you join me in savoring the fact that for the last quarter century that doctor’s words have been coming back to bite her in the ass. Since I cannot find a way to contact this alleged medical specialist to inform her of her massive miscalculation, we will just have to make due with something else to commemorate this special day. With today being my day, I thought that a good way to celebrate would be to share with you 5 little known facts about Scott Drotar (5 because 5 is the square root of 25, and I am a numbers guy). Some of these factoids are funny, some are a little embarrassing, and some are just weird, but they are all things that you didn’t know about yours truly.
- From the ages of 4 to 8 my favorite thing in the world were “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” I had a bunch of action figures, the sewer hideout, and the pizza shooter toys that I played with constantly. I had the movie memorized (who am I kidding, I still do) and beat the original Nintendo video game. I also went as a Ninja Turtle for Halloween more than once.
- I can hum and whistle at the same time. You probably think this is a myth, a legend, something that only happens in fairy tales, but I assure you, I can do it. It is not easy, and it took hours of practice to learn, but I eventually figured it out. I won’t reveal my secret method, but it is all about knowing which muscles to sync together. Oh, and to answer your question, yes I do realize how useless and strange this skill is.
- My first grade teacher taught me to hang a spoon on my nose. She was also my neighbor from a few houses down the street, but yes I was still her student when this happened. I guess you could call it extra credit. I would go visit her occasionally to play with her dog, which eventually became my dog, and one day as I was sitting on her couch she taught me yet another useless ability to add to my arsenal.
- I am a huge “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan. It started when I was 15 years old, while I was recovering from my near death experience and getting my trache. I spent a lot of time in bed watching television healing, and one day I flipped on Buffy, and I was hooked immediately. Luck would have it that this channel aired three episodes Monday through Friday, so I was able to quickly watch the entire series. The show had everything going for it as it was really well written, and Joss Whedon is a brilliant director. It didn’t hurt that Sarah Michelle Gellar is smoking hot either. I now have the box set on DVD, have watched the entirety of the spin-off series, “Angel,” and have a poster of Buffy that has been a fixture on the wall of my childhood bedroom for years. I even took a class in college that looked at feminism through episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
- I own over 50 pairs of shoes. I know that shoes are an ironic thing for someone who cannot walk to have an addiction to, but I just love shoes. Specifically, I like sneakers. I get way too excited when I get an email from Foot Locker or Finish Line announcing the release of the new Jordan’s (if I only had the money to afford them). When I do manage to scrape together enough money to buy a new pair, the next day when I put them on I feel an absurd amount of happiness and confidence from my new kicks. Also, one of the perks of being in a wheelchair is that your shoes never touch the ground, so they always look brand new. This means that anytime you see me in public, or on stage, you can be sure that my feet will look fly.
You have now gotten a glimpse into the depths of my life and know a little bit more about your favorite Roll Model. I want to thank you for celebrating this momentous occasion with me and making the last year one of the best I have ever had. I found my true calling and through an enormous amount of hard work and your support, I was able to make Roll Models a success. I now get to pursue my mission of helping people learn to live happier, more fulfilling lives. I hope you continue to accompany me on my journey for year 28, as I have some big dreams brewing, and I would hate for you to miss me making them a reality. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for me.