Twenty years ago, on March 25, 1996, I became a quadriplegic. While I obviously don’t celebrate that life-changing moment, I DO celebrate every day, month and year after it. Because each one, each new morning, represents another checkmark on the “Never Give Up” scoreboard.
World Champion Quadriplegic Surfer
I was one of the top junior surfers in the world, a month away from turning pro, when I pulled inside a barrel and got thrown headfirst into a sandbar. The impact broke my sixth vertebrae and I instantly became a quadriplegic. The good news is ... my story didn't end that day in the ocean. With the help of the surf community, I got back into the sport I loved, and in September 2015, I became the world champion of adaptive surfing.
In the years after my accident, I came to realize that my story was important to share. So I got into motivational speaking. (I bet you already figured out my story really isn't about surfing or paralysis. It's about life – and living it in a big way!) I speak to all audiences – students, athletes, executives – but I particularly enjoy talking to kids at schools. The photo here is me at an elementary school with a little shredder who participated in my Life Rolls On "They Will Skate Again" event in Venice CA. What a small world! Just remember this ... your power is in your perspective, not your circumstance. No matter what you're going through, I'm here to tell you, you got this.