Inspiring others to have the resilience and passion needed to create a life full of joy and peace that they want after trauma.
“Be your own personal best” has always been our family mantra. As an extremely competitive child, I went for the best whether it was competing in ski competitions, doing well in school, or excelling at other hobbies. I loved to win.
Then, my accident changed everything including my outlook on the competition. I went from being one of the best freeskiers in the world to struggling to climb a flight of stairs.
I was now competing against my own personal best each day as I tried to relearn the skills I had lost. Progress was made over time, and I started to beat my own records for abilities like walking unassisted for a given distance, feeding myself without dropping my utensils, and getting out of bed and dressed in record time.
Today, I am Peer to Peer certified and Person Centered Practice certified and I share my story of loss, recovery, and triumph with audiences all over the world to inspire others to realize their biggest competition is actually themselves. When you learn to be your own personal best, you’re able to feel more satisfaction, build lasting, internal motivation, and live an authentic, fulfilled life.
One of our favorite family stories is that as a one-year-old, I managed to climb up our living room curtains and found myself stuck at the top. I called for my Mama to rescue me, and thankfully, she got to me just in time.
However, that would be the last time Mama Fruit ever helped me down. She was (and still is!) a firm believer that anything I climbed up or got myself into, I could find a way to get down.
She wanted to instill in me the ability to think creatively and find solutions any time I got into a challenging situation, and this concept of self-reliance and commitment has stuck with me throughout my entire life.
When you commit yourself to a goal, you can make small steps toward progress and push through challenges whether they be physical, mental, or both. You will find that each time you commit to taking the next step forward, you build momentum to power through to the next step.
As a world-class ski champion, I remember the feeling of soaring and flipping through the air off 90-foot jumps. The thrill was fantastic. I was also traveling and competing in countries all over the world. I felt invincible and at the peak of my life.
And then the crash happened.
At the beginning of my recovery, I was so incredibly grateful to be alive and accepting of the new, daily challenges that lie ahead of me. When I was in the hospital, I received an outpouring of support and visitors who cheered me on.
Over a year after the crash, however, I had lost the initial motivation to keep going and felt frustrated about where I was in life. Depression, anger, and a sense of aimlessness had set in. I had the chilling thought that it wouldn’t matter if I ever got out of bed again.
I believed I was never going to be “normal”, and it was a struggle I just didn’t want to cope with.
So what happened that helped reset my mind and regain the motivation to try again? I owe it largely to the persistent, positive support I got from Mama Fruit.
She put her education, research, and experience to use to develop a very systematic process — what we now call the MoCrazy Method — that helped me gain perspective about where I was in life, what I wanted to accomplish, and what I needed to do to get there.
She developed simple, manageable activities for me to do each day, along with getting me out in nature. She also prioritized feeding me a diet of high-quality nutrition, regular physical activity, mindfulness practices that slowly helped rebuild my self-confidence and desire to be social again.
Above all, she re-instilled in me that my own personal best was as amazing now as it was before my crash. I just had alternative peaks to climb.
Life is unpredictable, and obstacles that you might not have foreseen can come out of nowhere and stunt your momentum or change the reality of your original dreams.
That is why the concept of finding ‘alternative peaks’ can offer a fresh perspective on the paths you take along your journey.
One day, your peak might be skiing off a 90-foot jump, and the next day, your peak is to take a single, unassisted step forward.
Most of us envision a single path for ourselves, but what we don’t anticipate is getting stuck in a crevasse and feeling like we can’t muster the effort to escape. This is when it’s time to search for alternative peaks.
It starts small. Pause, look around, find a nob or fissure that you think you could hold onto, and make your way out of the crevasse. It’s hard, there will almost always be setbacks, but when you remain committed to just beating your own personal best, you will make progress.
The National Ability Center empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation, and educational programs.
Utah Brain Injury Council’s (UBIC) provides brain injury education to the people of Utah and advocates and guides the implementation of a permanent statewide brain injury system.