Monday, September 26th, 2011
Josh Wood, the former snowboarder who broke his neck eleven years ago in a stunt, went to the US last month as a limping quadriplegic never thinking that he would achieve the impossible.

Amazingly, after just five weeks intensive therapy at the famous Project Walk facility (Carlsbad, California), his body ‘woke up’ and he took his first running steps in the last five minutes of his stay. He repeated the ‘run’ three times. A video shows him running, his face sweating with the concentration required to send the message from his brain to his legs to start running.

“Ever since I broke my neck (eleven years ago) I never thought I would run again and I’m a really optimistic person. I was satisfied that I had gone from a bed-ridden quadriplegic to walking. But my therapists (at Project Walk) told me in the last session to lean over as if to fall, and my legs would start to move. That’s how I ended up running, three times, the last time for seven metres,” he said.

Other participants at Project Walk dubbed Josh ‘lionheart’ for his dedication to the daily intense therapy and the effort and courage he showed going beyond what was expected.

Project Walk is unique in that it treats its clients as if they were injured athletes, rather than as a disabled person. Josh had to undo years of bad walking habits before he was ready for his body to ‘wake up’ and then run!

The 29 year old Melbournian was told he would be bedridden for life after he broke his neck snowboarding as an eighteen year old at Mount Buller (Victoria). However after months of secretive unconventional therapy, Josh proved the experts wrong and walked out of hospital after just four and a half months, albeit with the help of crutches. For the last eleven years Josh Wood has walked with a distinctive limp and the help of a walking stick.

His ‘running’ achievement at Project Walk has inspired Josh to return to the US early 2012 to capitalise on his achievement. He’s busy trying to find the $40,000 required for the trip, he is even prepared to sell his prized red Holden ute.

Now an inspiring professional speaker, Josh’s uses his experience of overcoming challenges and setting goals to achieve our full potential.
“Sometimes the unbelievable happens,” he tells students and business people, “but success is a daily project and you must never give up.”

Back in Melbourne Josh Wood has a busy schools and business speaking schedule awaiting him and has done some mentoring for an AFL footballer going through rehabilitation. It will be a busy few months ahead, running him off his feet, he hopes.


Contact Profile

Josh Wood

Josh Wood is a professional speaker who inspires audiences with his story about going from a bed ridden quadriplegic to walking out of hospital after just four and a half months, when the medical experts said it couldn't be done.

Josh speaks to school children, business achievers and elite sportspeople about overcoming challenges, big picture 'small steps' thinking and maintaining the right attitude, no matter what.

Brian James
P: 0410 414 770


Josh Wood, Project Walk, AFL, breakthrough, bootcamp, empowering speaker



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