GOING THE DISTANCE

LEARNING TO THRIVE WHEN LIFE DOESN'T GO AS PLANNED

 
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You never think that something terrible will happen to you...until it does.

Then what? 

You have a choice to make. You can let it define you. You can crumble under the weight of disappointment. You can let bitterness destroy your soul. You can blame everyone around you, feel sorry for yourself, and use your circumstances as an excuse to coast through life or you can rise above it all.

You can choose to stay positive. You can choose hope and joy. You can choose the hard path and go the distance. It’s not what happens to you that defines you, it’s how you respond and who you become in spite of it that really makes the difference.

I’m sharing my journey of choosing to live with hope and learning to thrive after landing in a wheelchair in the hopes of inspiring others to go the distance when life doesn’t go as planned.

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I'M LANDON SMITH

Have you ever had an expectation of how your life would unfold only to end up somewhere completely different? Me too.

My life was going according to plan. Amazing family, solid friends, pursuing big dreams. I had just finished high school and was ready to take on the world and make my mark by becoming a firefighter when, in an instant, everything changed.

On January 7th, 2017 I jumped into a foam pit at a trampoline park and broke my neck. After months in the hospital and a few scary moments fighting for my life, I was sent home to begin my new life as a...quadriplegic. That word. It haunts me. It's not me. It can't be! It doesn't feel real. I keep thinking I'll wake up from this nightmare and get on with my life...but it is real. I don't wake up. This is my life.

So I've made a choice...to embrace my reality, to fight like crazy, to believe in miracles, to learn and grow and allow this ordeal to shape me and make me a better human. I'm choosing to go the distance, to live a full life despite my circumstances and, most importantly, to use my story to inspire others who are struggling to embrace reality when life doesn't go as planned. 

Life will knock you down, that’s a given...but choosing to get back up and keep trying is what separates those who live a life on purpose from those who coast to a miserable existence. I'm choosing to thrive.       

 

 
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"Landon's story, his courage has changed the way I look at life."
Markus, 16

"LandoN'S RESPONSE TO CHALLENGES HAS INSPIRED ME TO BE A BETTER PERSON."
JESSICA, 21

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