Janine Shepherd TED Talk: A broken body isn’t a broken person.

6 Dec

Janine Shepherd TED Talk: A broken body isn’t a broken person

Despite this TED Talk by Janine Shepherd being her story of recovery after getting hit by a truck during a training bike ride for the Olympics, it is also an incredibly inspirational story about the power of the human spirit.

Even though my Cerebral Palsy wasn’t something that “happened” to me and rather something I was born with, I can relate to so many of Janine’s feelings that she expresses during her journey of recovery. Despite Janine’s accident, she eventually finds something that allows her to find a new, if not better, dream. In many ways, I can relate to the idea of having a situation allow you to discover something you never thought possible before. No, my Cerebral Palsy is not an “accident,” but through the slow process of learning to accept it (as well as all the emotions that go along with it), I have discovered that I want to help others realize that they too can have dreams despite their disabilities.

Writing is and has always been my dream. Though there was a period of time that I took a step away from it, I came back…as all true writers do. I took a break from it because I realized I was beginning to feel as if I was writing for others instead of myself, which was taking the joy and love out of what I was doing. However, I’ve come back to it…in a much different way, but with so much more gusto. During the years of my surgeries and intense physical therapy, I did write about what I was facing. I came across the original copies of those stories last year when my parents were getting ready to move from my childhood home. As I sat on the bedroom floor of my childhood home, I was transported back into the mind of an 11-year-old girl who was feeling so many different versions of pain, and yet was still able to describe what she was feeling and seeing with uncanny accuracy.

Even though the early stories that I wrote regarding my surgeries lacked the level of understanding that I have uncovered over the last year, they have provided me with a way to remember the details. I often forgot how much we are able to take in during our younger years, and through reading my own life experiences through the eyes of my 11-year-old self, certain details came back to me: details that will do nothing but increase the level of authenticity within my memoir. Yes, the raw truth with which I wrote when I was going through my intense surgeries was hard to take in all in one sitting. However, it was necessary. Reliving it all is honestly what the process of writing my memoir and sharing my story is all about.

Maybe I will share one of those stories with all of you one day. But for now, they are for me. They have provided me with the perspective of my younger self, and there’s something truly special about having that ability. Incorporating the perspective of my younger self with the understanding I have now is just going to make the journey of sharing my story with the world even more powerful.

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3 Responses to “Janine Shepherd TED Talk: A broken body isn’t a broken person.”

  1. Arianna Merritt, M.Ed. December 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    THANK YOU for introducing me to her! Such a beautiful message. It touched my heart and made me cry. She has such strength. I LOVE it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “A Broken Body ISN’T a Broken Person”: Lessons Learned from Janine Shepherd « Arianna's "Random" Thoughts - December 12, 2012

    […] was introduced to her TedTalk after a friend and fellow blogger shared Janine’s talk on her blog. I cried the first time I watched it.  Thank you Amelia for introducing me to Janine’s […]

  2. "A Broken Body ISN'T a Broken Person": Lessons Learned from Janine Shepherd | Arianna's Random Thoughts : Self-Care Strategies For Students, Job Seekers, and Professionals.Arianna's Random Thoughts : Self-Care Strategies For Stude - June 29, 2014

    […] was introduced to her TedTalk after a friend and fellow blogger shared Janine’s talk on her blog. I cried the first time I watched it.  Thank you Amelia for introducing me to Janine’s […]

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