Inspiring People You Should Be Following if You Have Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial Plexus Injury is the disconnection of spinal nerves, specifically the nerves that send signals from your spinal cord to your arms, hands and shoulders. It’s a known fact that we all have bad days, Brachial Plexus Injury or not. Having this nerve damaging injury sometimes though definitely doesn’t help those days that are already hard enough. The days where the bad thoughts just can not be stopped by anything and it seems that everything was made to just go wrong. BPI is almost like the cherry on the top because damn, it somehow has the ability to make things even that much more tough. What you surround yourself with on those days plays a massive part in how quickly you get out of that funk.

Social media is a huge contender in how we feel and the frame of our mind. By just getting a quick glimpse into the life of someone else, you can automatically feel down on yourself and what you’re doing in your own life. It’s hard not to compare yourself when it’s literally right there at your fingertips, just begging to be dissected and analyzed. But there’s something very important to remember, social media is a place where you can choose who to follow and who you surround yourself with. It also is a place where people choose what to show the world; you create the life you want people to perceive that you have.  If your feeds are full of people who are motivational, inspirational and make you feel good about yourself in someway, you’re sure to see an immediate difference in your mood.

On top of affecting bad days, Brachial Plexus injury is a complex injury that can make your head spin by doing too much research on the different extremities of it. While we, the people who have it, may understand what the injury is and how it actually affects us each, there’s a lot about it that we may not know. For instance, I know absolutely nothing about what would be good for my arm and what wouldn’t be good for my arm in terms of working out. Sure, I have a general idea of what I can and can’t do but I don’t know specifics (if that makes any sense whatsoever). Instead of doing my own extensive research, I figured going through some of the people that I had come to know after they reached out to me/followed me after viewing an article I wrote two years ago called, “To The People with Brachial Plexus”, would be a good idea. And unlike most times, I was actually right.

Here is a short list of people that you actually need to be following if you have Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb’s Palsy so you get some inspo and great vibes;

  1. Kyle Stokes (kylestokes) - Kyle is the ultimate motivator for getting into the gym and working on building up that arm! Not only does he post incredible and inspiring transformation pictures but he also posts videos of how he does things in the gym. Adding a free weight underneath his right arm to level himself out while doing push-ups is something that I don’t think a lot of us would have even thought of going for. (I know I personally wouldn’t have!) He writes out what he does in a work out along with meaningful, inspiring and honest words pertaining to BPI and life. His tagline #1in1k, I Am One In A Thousand, reflects on the 1 in 1,000 babies that are born with Brachial Plexus Injury. Check out his site, team1in1, or instagram for more info on Kyle and his seemingly endless workout tips!

  2. Matt Parsons (beatingbpi) - Matt is a fantastic motivational speaker and life coach who was born with Brachial Plexus Injury in his left arm. He has a blog where he has written posts about different topics pertaining to BPI. He is also in the process of working on a documentary about Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb's Palsy where he has spoken to many different doctors and people living with it.  Matt massively contributes to the Brachial Plexus Injury community by sharing posts by others with the injury on his instagram, making videos talking about different things involving life with BPI, like a short video he made containing advice from people with BPI to young children who suffer from it. Keep an eye on Matt’s instagram, beatingbpi, for more updates on Matt and his progress on the documentary!

  3. Joe Hughes (joehughesboxing) - Joe is a professional boxer from the UK and is a European Boxing Union champion. On his Instagram, he has shared many videos of himself training in the ring and it’s so encouraging to see! Not only is it difficult to actually tell the difference in his shoulders but his form seems to be damn near perfect. It is incredibly inspiring to see how far he has come within a hands-on, combative sport like boxing while he has Brachial Plexus Injury. Joe is the perfect example of #goals and it’s absolutely amazing to watch him go with his fists. It’s nearly impossible to have BPI and not feel proud of him.  

  4. Diana Maddalon (dianamaddalon) - Diana appears to be your average, proud mom with BPI from birth at first glance. But then, you realize that damn, she does crossfit training and Jiu Jitsu! Like the others I’ve mentioned, she shares videos and pictures on her Instagram of her training in the gym and her achievements in Jiu Jitsu. She shows how to modify deadlifting with a strap that connects to the bar and her torso, making it easier to lift with her upper body strength. Who would have thought? Diana also has inspirational posts about the challenges that she has faced throughout her training and the limitations that her arm has supplied her with (though it seems she’s pushed passed them all!). Diana shows that when there are challenges in life, you grow and sometimes, you want to be challenged enough so you truly grow tall.

  5. Wynnikka Matthews (wyn_inspires) - Wynnikka is a gorgeous, intelligent young woman who recently released her memoir, “Brighter Days Ahead” with hope to share awareness of BPI and share love within the community. She uses her Instagram page to spread positivity and inspiring quotes about life. It seems that she has an endless amount of quotes to spread to her followers on her Instagram Story that gets them to look at things in a good way and focus on only surrounding themselves with good vibes. With each quote that she posts on her feed, she has an entire follow-up beneath it with her own personal take on it. Whether she’s spreading good thoughts to her followers on how to view their future and handle hardships in life or, she’s sharing thoughtful information on BPI, Wynnikka is a total sunshine and great motivation!

While these are just a few of the amazing, inspiring people with Brachial Plexus Injury that are on Instagram, they’re a great place to start! From their insightful tips on working out to watching their successful journeys through life and beating the odds against us, you’re bound to feel motivated to go out into the world and take it by storm! There’s a whole community out there that is dedicated to making us all feel like we aren’t alone. So instead of allowing your injury to make your bad days worse, use the people that it’s introduced you to to help make it a better one.