[gkit id=3]

Photographer: Brian Averill

In 2011, a young driver cut me off while riding my motorcycle and I broadsided his SUV. I had broken ribs, two collapsed lungs, and diagnosed as T6 complete injury.

My journey to recovery has been filled with amazing people and support. I have made great strides in health and well-being, and started to gain control of my life. I’m amazed how much I’ve accomplished—getting stronger, becoming more in touch with my body, traveling, driving, and gaining more independence. It feels amazing. I’ve never admitted how hard every day is. How hard it is to take a shower, get my wheelchair in my car, or push myself up a hill and driveway.

It would have been easy not to try. I’m glad I didn’t give up. I will never give up. I look in the mirror and think how lucky I am, things can always be worse. Every year, there is going to be progression, and every year I am going to embrace it.

This is a lifelong pursuit of good health, wealth, independence, happiness. Life. Let’s party!