A near-fatal football injury at 16 left Arquevious “Que” Crane unable to walk. Faced with anger, fear and doubt, he turned his experiences into lessons. Those lessons are detailed in his new book, Wish in a Jar. As a motivational speaker, he’s touched the lives of thousands of schollchildren with his message of positivity and gratitude. Read more about Que below.
Take us back to when you were 16 years old on that football field, right after the hit. What went through your mind?
After the hit, everything in my body immediately shut down. As I layed face down on the field, I began to get this burning, tingling sensation in my hands and lower extremities. It’s crazy, but the first thing that went through my mind was a test I had the next day, which I had yet to study for. I knew if I had to spend all night in the hospital, then I’m screwed. At the time, I was unaware of what happened and the severity of the situation. I figured I got the wind knocked out of me because it was very difficult for me to breathe. The harder I tried, the more difficult it got. The sound then returned to my ears and I remember the on-staff medic asking me to try and move, but I couldn’t. At that very moment, I began to pray, which wasn’t easy because I hadn’t talked to God since my mother’s disappearance, but I knew something was very wrong and I might die on that field. It seems like the only time I seek God is when faced with a situation that only he can get me through.
What were some of the mental, physical and emotional hurdles that you experienced after your injury?
I tell people, to be paralyzed is like trying to move the hair on top of your head the same way you do your legs or hands. No matter how hard you try, not one strand of hair will move. That’s what I was going through while replaying that game over in my mind. The first thing I asked myself was, why me? Then I began asking myself, why didn’t I just go down or run out of bounds? I wished I could go back and do it all over again, but I couldn’t and that was eating me up inside.
The thing about focusing on the past is, it’s out of your control. That destructive thinking can send you down a dark hole that’ll be hard for you to climb out of. That’s where I was. I was in a corner, balled up, and screaming at the top of my lungs until I realized the reason I stepped out on that field in the first place. I was chasing after an opportunity. I then realized I’d been in this position before. I was paralyzed when I was homeless, during my mother’s disappearance, and now this. I used the same tools that got me through that stiff paralysis.
What made you pick up the microphone to pursue motivational speaking?
To be honest, motivational speaking was never something I planned on doing because my mind was set on law school since my family stayed in court. We needed all the lawyers we could get. However, during Christmas Eve of 2013, my football coach approached me with an opportunity. He told me I could inspire and change many lives with my story. I agreed to the opportunity but didn’t think it would be something long term. The thing is, I never saw a motivational speaker [who] wasn’t already successful, and I wasn’t rich or successful myself. I then came across a motivational speaker named Eric Thomas who wasn’t rich or successful either but made a difference. At that moment, I knew I could do this regardless of how hard or difficult it was going to be.
Walk our readers through your new book, Wish in a Jar.
After the disappearance of my mother, I became a real knucklehead. I was dealing with emotions as a young man that I had no idea how to express. Boys are told that certain emotions are a sign of weakness and that men shouldn’t express them, so I bottled them up and channeled them through anger. Wish in a Jar is a story of a young boy finding himself after being lost for so long. Through the discovery of himself, he found a way to turn his adversities into advantages. If you’re currently fighting something, and on the edge of giving up because you feel as though all is lost, or just need some inspiration to push you forward, then this book is for you.
What principle do you live by?
As long as you can find something to be grateful for, then everything will be OK. This was the principle I relied on my entire time during rehabilitation at the hospital. It silenced the negative self-talk because the two cannot operate in the same space at the same time. People wondered how I was able to smile after enduring something like that. Some friends and family thought I went crazy, but that wasn’t it. I just found something to be grateful for every day. The one upside about being in the hospital is there’s always someone in a worse position than you and whatever that is that you’re currently taking for granted is something you need to stop and appreciate. The power of gratitude is what I used to pull myself out of depression.
You can purchase Wish in a Jar on Que’s website http://quecrane.com/.