Nathan Ogden is an inspirational speaker, coach, quadriplegic athlete, and the author of UnFrozen: Superior Systems to Move from Paralysis to Progress. He has spent years motivating and inspiring audiences and readers on how to conquer their fears and move from paralysis to progress.
Nathan’s life changed in 2001. He was skiing and hit a jump, launching himself over 20 feet in the air. He landed on his neck, shattering his C7 vertebrae. Nathan was instantly paralyzed and told he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Nathan and his wife didn’t listen to that prognosis; “We have too many things that we want to do, so I will walk again and we will do whatever we have to do to get there.”
But, unfortunately, Nathan’s adversity didn’t end there.
During recovery, Nathan contracted pneumonia. He went unconscious in the middle of the night, so he was rushed to the hospital. While they were getting ready to take x-rays, he fell off the x-ray table – breaking his neck a second time.
When he woke up a few hours later and his wife told him what happened, the first three words out of Nathan’s mouth were, “Bring it on.”
However, after about a month, negative thoughts started creeping in. He lost the use of everything from the chest down, a considerable amount of what he had already worked to recover. “That’s when it hit me and I became what I call mentally paralyzed.”
If you’re depressed or feel stuck, Nathan believes there are a few small (but significant) steps you need to take:
- You have to put a name to what you’re feeling – then you can start dealing with it.
- Identify things that will make you feel good about yourself during the day. For example, Nathan wouldn’t check his social media until he had helped at least one person that day.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people. “I need to quit comparing myself to others and be the best that I know I can be. That’s good enough.”
Even two neck breaks couldn’t stop Nathan for long because he lives by the words his father passed down to him: “Live adventure – don’t watch it.”
This is never more obvious than in his philanthropic work: Nathan and his family created Chair the Hope to raise awareness and money for wheelchairs to be delivered in developing countries.
Nathan, his wife, and their four children kicked this off with a 1,200 mile bike ride, which they rode together, relay style, over the course of 12 days.
You can help help Ogden family in their mission to inspire others to get outside and keep moving despite disabilities, fears, or excuses, while raising money to donate to the Wheelchair Foundation, by supporting Chair of Hope at https://www.wheelchairfoundation.org/donations.
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