When I wake up in the morning I always check my Facebook feed to see what’s going on with my friends.
It never takes long for me to find a post from my great friend Anthony M. Winston. The M in his middle name stands for Michael (that’s a cool name-haha). Anthony is so many things. He’s hard working, hilarious and courageous. Each day Anthony makes some kind of uplifting post that can make you smile, laugh or cry. There’s one commonality in each post; Anthony’s words make you think.
“I believe that my purpose in life is to inspire other people,” Winston said. “It drives me.”
Anthony has cerebral palsy, just like I do. I look up to Anthony because he is my warrior brother. We deal with the same struggles and that bonds us together. He has been one of my good friends and role models for as long as I can remember.
We are friends because of our interests as well. Anthony, some other friends of ours, (Nate Scott, Cory Miles, Christian Kapp and Josh Benedetto) and I discuss the NBA on Facebook from time to time and our conversations can be so passionate that they sometimes get out of hand. But it’s all in good fun.
Anthony’s number one influences in his life are Michael Jordan and his mom.
“Watching Jordan play taught me to dream big and work hard to make my dreams come true,” he said. “My mother believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself at times.”
Anthony, Mitchell and I were able to go to a Bulls-Cavs game during the Cavs championship season at the Q (now Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse). It was Anthony’s first Cavs game and it was an awesome experience. I wouldn’t have wanted to go with anyone else to watch LeBron James go to work.
We also have fun watching wrestling. WrestleMania was a yearly tradition at Anthony’s place. We would devour Anthony’s favorite food; pizza. I remember watching WrestleMania 30 when Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker, ending his WrestleMania win streak. We were in absolute shock. I will never forget those fun times.
Anthony will graduate from Ohio Valley College of Technology next week with his associates degree in applied business medical office administration. He will help with all areas of office management like talking with insurance companies and billing and coding for medical procedures. Anthony explained that since his CP has made him a patient all his life, he thought this career field was intriguing.
Anthony reflected positively when I asked him about his college experience.
“The process of obtaining a degree has been like a whirlwind,” he said. “Going into a whole new world, learning different things and pushing myself to work harder and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Anthony said that he hopes his first job will be at a doctor’s office or hospital.
I am incredibly proud of him for all that he has accomplished.
At the end of the day, Anthony wants to be known as a guy who lives his life to the fullest.
“I want to be remembered as a person who looked for good situations, looked for lessons in hard situations and did his best to love everyone in his path,” he said. “That’s what I want my legacy to be.”
As time goes on I will continue to ask Anthony for life advice so that we can stay connected. I will always cherish our friendship and the memories we’ve made together.
And yes Anthony, I agree that your hero Michael Jordan will forever be better than LeBron James. Case closed.
Contact Michael Reiner at email@example.com.