Jeremy P. McGhee — athlete, speaker, and author — gave me permission to use the picture, video, and article in this post. When I first read Jeremy’s story, I knew I needed to share it. This post describes one of Jeremy’s many adventures and includes a TEDx video about the same adventure. If you find his story as intriguing as I do, you can click here to purchase his video.
I did not, and will not, receive any compensation for writing this post, mentioning Jeremy’s video, or linking to his blog.
Article by Jeremy P. McGhee
It all began in 2003, when I decided I wanted to ski in the XGames. I was going to be great, forgetting that all my life I’ve been born and bred a quitter. Full of passion, full of ideas, but empty of any sense of what it takes to be the pilot of an inspired life. So I sat down with the grant application and did what I do best — I sold myself. “I’m going to be great!” with every intent and a heart full of gold. The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) did what they do best — they changed my life by providing a $4,000 SITSKI and saying “Go get get em kid!”
I travelled around the world to train for the XGames, but when SITSKI brought me to Mammoth my life began to change. The move to Mammoth brought me into the presence of Bloody Couloir. This mysterious mountain called to me. I just had to be out there no matter what it cost. Finally, actually doing something and it all started with a SITSKI purchased for me years earlier, immersing me into the lifestyle that would take me to new heights. If you don’t know the story, see the movie. (www.dropinproject.com)
I never went to the XGames and don’t care. That’s not who I am anymore, but after facing death yet again in 2011, I learned what grit is. You see, I had been injured before, it’s a normal byproduct of hucking yourself off stuff when you’re strapped to a metal contraption, but I had never been sick, not like this. Fevers so bad I had amnesia. So delirious and soaked in sweat, I’d wake up and think I was underwater, screaming all alone into the stale night. I was ready to die again, just like that Sunday afternoon in 2001 when the warm pavement invited me to sleep forever. I just wanted it all to end so badly that never seeing a sunset again seemed worth it. I wanted to quit . . . but I awoke from surgery with a renewed fervor.
The human will to survive is a very powerful thing that lives in all of us and we are capable of enduring so much more than what our physical brain tells us. It takes pushing, or being pushed, well passed our perceived threshold to find it. I dangled dangerously close to the end of my rope and found something there. Now, the things haunting me at night present a new hope, something to strive for because I don’t want to be one of those people anymore, who says they are going to do all these things and then never does them.
Molokai is calling to me and I must face her or I’ll die never knowing. I believe this course was spun before time, but it was a grass roots charity who bought me that SITSKI and set it all in motion. So now, I’m on this plane. We’re about to land and I need to put my computer away. Molokai, here I come and I can’t wait for you to test me. Thank you CAF!
Click here to read another Beyond Injury post about extreme Winter sports.
Thanks to Jeremy P. McGhee for sharing his story; TEDx AmericasFinestCity for allowing Jeremy to speak at the event; Challenged Athlete Foundation for all it does; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, video, and text I used in this post.
For speaking engagements, casting, endorsements or spokesperson agreements, please contact Barrett Cordero, at either BarrettC@BigSpeak.com or 805-965-1400.