The most daunting thought for an extreme sports person is an accident that would end their career.
This was a fate that Josh Wood was faced with in 2000 when he was in a snowboarding accident.
The daredevil never backed away from a challenge and could be found on a dirt bike, BMX or snowboard since he was young.
But on June 25, 2000, Mr Wood attempted a snowboard jump across an asphalt road and missed his mark by seven feet.
Mr Wood crashed to the road and landed on his spine, destroying his C6 and C7 vertebrae and crushing his spinal cord.
His diagnosis was C5-T1 complete quadriplegic and it was predicted he would never get out of bed or walk again.
Mr Wood regained movement in a finger and toe and took that as a sign there might be hope for recovery.
He immersed himself in intense gym training, natural therapies, healthy eating and surrounded himself with positive thoughts.
Within four months he took his first steps since the accident, within a year he was writing and feeding himself again.
Mr Wood was back on the dirt bike within nine months and snowboarding within three years of his accident.
“I knew I wasn’t going to get any better if I listened to them,” he said.
“This was my life and I wasn’t going to give up.
“I felt like a piece of me came back.”
Mr Wood was not scared to get back into extreme sports and said that crossing the street can be just as dangerous as getting on a dirt bike or snowboard.
Mr Wood walks with a cane and it can take a while for his brain to send the right messages to his body but his story of recovery is what he uses to inspire students.
Mr Wood tells the children despite what they are struggling with that they matter.
“I wanted to give the kids the motivation to never give up,” he said.
“Sometimes kids don’t feel like they are part of a community … and I know what it’s like to be by yourself.”
Mr Wood was in Wagga on Monday to talk to year 10 students at The Riverina Anglican College.
Mr Wood has spent three years finding funding and sponsors for the trip and set off a week ago from Victoria.
He has packed up the camper van with his wife Amelia, who is 15 weeks pregnant with their first child, and their two dogs.
Mr Wood has received 200 messages through his social media accounts in the past week from children who were inspired by his story.
More information about Mr Wood and links to his social media accounts can be found at www.joshwood.com.au
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