The Power of Adaptation + Exciting News (along with 3 Shameless Plugs)!!!

Ordinary Hero begins with me sitting on the living room floor reluctantly assembling my walker, dubbed Sir Johnny Walker, as Maggie May wags and watches.

Exciting news (and shameless plug #1) in 3…2…1…

It’s Here!: The “Ordinary Hero” ebook is now available for pre-order on Amazon for just $.99!

In my sophomore book, I attempt to answer the age-old question, “Does adversity build character?”

Shameless plug #2 in 3…2…1…

Now, even though I recommend buying Ordinary Hero on November 1 for yourself and 100 of your closest friends, the short and simple answer is: yes.

However, building character with the hammers of adversity, is complicated and hard and occasionally soul-crushing, like assembling your walker using the foreign language side of the instruction manual.

One thing I learned about building character while writing the book, is survivability hinges on adaptability.

There isn’t an instruction manual to follow to become more adaptable. Learning how to adapt is on us. Adaptation is our responsibility.

Becoming more adaptable begins with us accepting life is chaotic– where negative, painful, unfair, and unexpected things force us to glare at the heavens and ask why.

Why did I get sick?

Why did she have to die?

Why did the accident happen?

And so on. In fact, if we’re not careful, we can spend our entire lives asking “why” and never changing the question to something like, “I got sick, now what am I going to do about it?” or something defiant and declarative, “My disease is progressing. And so am I.”

I know sometimes, when I have to deal with these ugly parts of life, I feel like I’m the only one, in the history of the world who has ever had to deal with it.

But truth is: every human has faced dramatic changes in their life. And how we choose to adapt to these dramatic changes, in often our toughest hours, decides our fate.

Unfortunately, adaptation is not a quick fix. It takes an everyday commitment and extraordinary effort to transform yourself into a more pliable soul.

Despite all the doom and gloom that surrounds life, there’s good news: we can all adapt. We just have to choose to. When life becomes unfair, we can discover new interests, new talents, new foods, new books (#3 like “Ordinary Hero” 😊), new music, new people, new exercises. We can realize we have the extraordinary power to let go of all past and accept the present. We can use change to discover something new about ourselves.

“Adversity introduces a man to himself.”~ Albert Einstein

Sometimes I have to remind myself, adaptability is a strength, not a weakness. That it takes tremendous strength to not just find new ways to face challenges, but to also find purpose and joy in spite of those challenges.

I’m 43 years old. A former collegiate soccer player. I want to play soccer with my kids. I want to run with Maggie May across suburban lawns.

I want to be okay.

I want to heal.

I don’t want a walker.

I don’t want to learn how to adapt.

But I know I have to.

I know I have to accept certain truths.

If I can’t play soccer with my kids, I want to be there to see them play. I want to be there to see Maggie May run and jump and enjoy dog-life until her little legs ache.

An ordinary hero accepts hard truths.

An ordinary hero appreciates what is, instead of longing for what was and worrying about what might never be.

An ordinary hero does something extraordinary, they adapt.

Be well,


Greetings to everyone who found me on the University of Pennsylvania’s Ataxia Clinic’s website! Thanks for stopping by. I have ataxia and though I’m not a doctor, I hope my words comfort, encourage, empower, and serve as good company on your journey.

Pre-Order Now: Arriving Gracefully on 11/1/23!

September Book Promos for You:

Are looking for inspiration? Are you searching for a better version of yourself?

This month I joined literary forces with some best-selling authors in two awesome book promotions. Click the link below:

New: Become Inspired. Become You
New: Free Non-Fiction

NEW: Memoirs, Biographies, Self-Help Books and More!

Buy Here!

Recent letters you may enjoy:

Celebrating My Worst Day; Year 10

Celebrate the Little Steps

Life is Change

Adversity Also Builds This


Jay Armstrong is a speaker and an award-winning author. Despite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. The leader of the Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group, he hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life.

For Jay, a good day consists of 5 things:

1. Reading
2. Writing 
3. Exercising
4. Hearing his three children laugh
5. Hugging his wife
(Bonus points for a dinner with his parents or a drink with his friends)

Jay hasn’t had a bad day in quite a long time. 

You can also visit Jay at


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