I Saw A Man Walk Yesterday...

Submitted by saveferris on September 5th, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I saw a man walk yesterday.  The steps looked labored and difficult.  They could only be taken with the assistance of canes on each hand, but they were steps.  Steps that doctors told this man he would never take again in his lifetime.  This man took these steps in front of 113,000 roaring football fans and when he got to midfield, he did this.

Touch the Banner, Brock

They had to dip the banner so that he could touch it.  Jumping to touch it was out of the question, but it was still as thrilling as watching all the great players of Michigan-past race out of that tunnel and leaping to touch it. 

And as I watched this unfold from my seat in Section 39, the tears came.   My wife looked at me and noted, "You're getting a little teary, aren't you?"  I merely shrugged and said, "I'm watching a guy walk who shouldn't be, and we helped him do it...that's amazing." 

I don't know Brock Mealer or anyone in the Mealer family.  I had nothing to do with Brock Mealer walking on Saturday.  I teared up just the same.  I shed a tear for the pain and struggle that Brock must have had to endure for the past two years.  I shed a tear for Shelley Mealer for all she's lost and hope that I would never have to face that kind of loss in my life.  I shed a tear for the display of courage happening before my eyes.  I shed a tear because it made me proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.

The past two years have been tough for Michigan fans, but it's nothing compared to what Brock Mealer and his family have had to endure.  Many have said Michigan turned it's back on who we are when we hired Rich Rodriguez.  To those naysayers, I want to tell them that I saw Brock Mealer walk onto the field of Michigan Stadium on Saturday.  He walked to midfield and touched the banner.  None of it should have been possible, but it happened.  Despite what most have said, the University of Michigan is alive and well.

Impossible is Nothing.  Go Blue!



September 5th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

I am not ashamed to admit that I shed several tears while watching Brock's miraculous walk, and then again when he touched the GO BLUE banner.  And as I write this, and think about it again, I'm again not ashamed to admit that my tear ducts are again doing what they do.



September 5th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

I don't cry very often, and when I do it's usually Michigan-related, but I absolutely lost it yesterday when Brock came out.  My memory of him touching the banner was with me for the rest of the day and still is this morning.  I hope I never, ever forget what it felt like being in that stadium and watching Brock do the "impossible".  God bless him.


September 5th, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

C'mon now, you don't cry very often? I'm not being mean when I say this, really, I promise I'm not. You are the only poster on here that I can recall multiple comments about crying over this or that. Seriously, I don't mean that in a rude way at all (please don't cry). Just kidding.

And this(Brock) is certainly an acceptable thing to cry over.

double blue

September 5th, 2010 at 12:41 PM ^

i think this type of thing will factor in brandon's decision (and after yesterday looking like ven talking about the decision seems even sillier).  this is what a Michigan Man does for others>


September 5th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

I spoke with Brock's 5th grade teacher before the game and asked about the shirts.  She said family and friends from his hometown made the shirts.   That being said I think they were just a one time thing.  Could be a great fund raiser for research into spinal injuries or something like that.  


For what it is worth Brock also often wears the Adidas "Impossible is Nothing" shirt while working out.  

What an amazing event.  So proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Go Brock...Glory to God!


September 5th, 2010 at 12:50 PM ^

Man reading your post, i think its getting dusty in my living room, eyes are watering.

I too have no connection to this family, but I'm happy for the character of the people behind the scenes that helped. A day I will never forget.

Just think if Elliot committed to another school. Would he have the support and resources to help his brother?


September 5th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

Thanks to God and thank you to the Mealers for giving us the opportunity of entering your story. Donald Miller writes of making better stories, yours has impacted more people than you could even meet. Continuing prayers of thanksgiving for your faithfulness to Him.


September 5th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

The way I look at it, if you didn't get emotional over Brock, there isn't much that would ever move you.  Our seats are just above the tunnel.  My wife and I were standing there with tears streaming down our face as Brock did his walk.  Looking around, we weren't alone.

Then there was the game.  Not a bad afternoon on so many levels.  Not bad at all.


September 5th, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

Brock Mealer's walking is what the combination of tremendous faith, hard work, family/friends/community support, excellent clinical/rehabilitative care and innovative strength and conditioning approaches can achieve. All credit to Brock Mealer, to those who have supported him in his rehab, to Mike Barwis and his team of s & c and to Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan athletic department for enabling this tremendous work. 

I have to admit, the tears came when he touched the banner.


September 5th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

I have seen many amazing moments at Michigan Stadium in the 30+ years I've been attending games but what I saw yesterday trumped them all. He made it all the way to the banner under his own power. I was misting up. I care about Michigan football but I care a lot more about Michigan's reputation for academic and research leadership. This was proof of the great work being done in Ann Arbor. Truly spectacular. Go Blue!


September 5th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

...moment, but I was confused by the shirt.  "Glory to God 1%" seems like an odd shirt for a religious man to wear.  Was 1% the chance he was given to ever walk again?  Or am I totally missing something?


September 5th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

I never thought that this 185 lb. man would need his 100 lb. girlfriend to hold him in order to calm himself...but it happened. Brock Mealer was and continues to be an inspiration for all of us to better ourselves and to not let us get too wrapped up the negative things that may happen.


After the game, my mother told me that she was extremely impressed by this young man's courage and determination, but most of all she was impressed by his faith and the faith of his family, and I have to agree. May God Bless the Mealer family, and may Brock continue to be an example to all of us not just for one game,or one season, but for as long as this memory holds in our lives.


Go Blue!

Sgt. Wolverine

September 5th, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

who was at the game, and the before any mention of the game, the first thing she mentioned was Brock's walk.  The win was a lot of fun, but Brock's walk was by far the best part of the day; I firmly believe it stands as one of the great moments in Michigan football history.  Honestly, I'm surprised some managed to hold back the tears until he touched the banner; mine started during the video and only increased when he touched the banner.  Absolutely incredible.

Put another way: not even Brent Musburger could exaggerate the emotional intensity and significance of Brock's walk.  No matter what hyperboles he might have used, they wouldn't have been enough to express what that moment meant.

The FannMan

September 5th, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

No doubt the best thing that happened yesterday.  Period.  Words just can't do it justice. 

RR, Barwis and staff deserve credit for what they did to help Brock and the Mealer family. 


September 5th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

...said, saveferris.  Brock's story is a testament to the power of strong families - nuclear and extended, and of communities who work together to make positive change.

LSA Superstar

September 5th, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

I said this yesterday and I meant it: if the devil had come to me immediately before the game and told me that I had to choose between Michigan winning today and Brock Mealer walking I would choose the latter without a moment's thought. As hard as it is not to become jaded by "amazing stories of triumph," I was amazed. It was one of my favorite Big House memories ever.


September 5th, 2010 at 5:11 PM ^

Brock is an inspiration to us all.  I was upset that ABC didn't feature his walk during the pregame coverage, but at least they got to it eventually.

It will be awesome if he can one day throw away those canes too.


September 6th, 2010 at 2:45 PM ^

Brock has demonstrated human courage at it's finest.  His determination and fortitude to come this far is totally inspirational.  I live in Toledo which is not far from Waseon and have followed this family tragedy since the news broke out on Christmas day. I too had a tear in my eye and lump in my throat as this fine young man walked in front of 113,090 fans cheering  his moment of triumph.  If that doesn't put our daily irritations or football game outcomes in perspective than nothing will. Anyone who says that RR, his coaching staff and the team is not a family is totally wrong. Go Brock, Go Blue!


September 6th, 2010 at 8:08 PM ^

To commemorate the new Big House than that.  I sat with my disabled brother and we both had a few tears.

Thanks Brock for showing us that 100% effort beats 1% odds.

I'm betting on Brock.

Go Blue.