Hero of the Month
Welcome to our Hero of the month page. Each month we will recognize a nominated hero through the Splish Naturals, Heal Your Hero program. We are excited to share their story and spread hope, happiness and as much positiveness as we can possibly share.
Hero of the Month
Say hello to Petey. Petey was recently recognized as a hero by Gregory Storm due to his upbeat outlook on life and tenacity on the Pickleball Court. Here’s his story!!
My name is Peter Bruce, but my friends call me Petey!
I was born with no arms below the elbow and no left foot below the knee. I was adopted when I was 5 into an American home located just outside New Bedford Massachusetts in a little town called Dartmouth. I grew up with 9 other siblings but only 7 lived at home at the time of my adoption. My upbringing was on a farm, and I always tried and did, to keep up with my siblings with chores around the house. I grew up with very competitive friends and most of them either went to Division 1 schools and later went on to become pros in MLS and the NFL. Somehow, I kept up with these kids and beat them a time or two in games like football and soccer. You could say I was an athlete and an over achiever but truly I just wanted to prove to them that even with my limits I can still beat them at any game you challenged me in.
My parents brought me up to never complain and prove to them and myself that if I say I can't do something then I need to "prove it." So basically, I wasn't very good at not being able to do something once I put my mind and will into it. I am a funny guy and make a lot of puns and hand jokes and to be honest it's because I know God has a sense of humor and I believe He wants me to enjoy this life even with the circumstances put in front of me. I never used to believe in God until one day in Church when I was 20, I read the book of Psalms. David writes how God created us even before we were formed in our mother’s womb. So, I believe God knew I would be born into adversity but would be an overcomer in spite of it.
Fast forward 12 years later and I'm now 33. I moved to Florida because I believe God has a purpose for my life and after I couldn't pay rent and keep up with school due to lack of finances, I needed to find a job. I ended getting into a bad head space and truly wondered if I made the right decision in following what I knew to be true and maybe move back to Massachusetts. Then one day my friend told me about pickle ball and even though I didn't believe it was going to be competitive enough I went anyway because I didn't want to be stuck inside alone with my thoughts of doubts and regrets.
So, I went and brought my arms band with me because I knew you had told hold a paddle when playing and since I play the drums and I wear arm bands on both arms to hold the sticks individually I thought it was a great idea. Also, every time I went to someone’s house to play pool, I couldn't get my shots right because I couldn't hold the pool stick with one arm and line up my shot with the other.
Well ever since my first day on the pickleball courts I've been hooked ever since. Continuously growing in strategy and ball placements and serving hard serves that stun my opponents the first time returning them. And still a few more times after that. (Wink)
What makes me happier than being able to play and just be with friends? Be a service to someone's life. Whether it's our first-time meeting or our 20th. I want to listen to your day and what you like to do or not. I've always been a listener and when people open-up to me, it's like I can feel that God's love is present and safe in that moment. People being vulnerable even if that's not how we wanted things to go. I also Work for Publix in Baldwin Park Orlando Fl. I made employee of the month but told my boss I didn't deserve it because how I do things is normal even though most would say difficult without hands and a sometimes-achy prosthetic leg. I love putting smiles on faces and letting kids know that me being born different is just another reason God does miracles. We're not meant to be the same or perfect but through each other’s difference we can learn to understand and love one another. That's what makes me happy.
Oh, and food!!! lots of good FOOOOOD!!!!!