10 years ago, Eric LeGrand was a top Division 1 football player at Rutgers University when he made a tackle that caused him to suffer a severe spinal cord injury, leaving him unable to move and breathe. He was paralyzed from the neck down and told he would never be able to come off a ventilator, much less walk again. 

A month later he was off the ventilator, able to breathe on his own, and began physical therapy. 

Eric's story is one that's gripping, motivational and aspiring. Over the last decade he's recognized his influence through sport to engage and educate audiences around the world on the preciousness of life, the value in opportunity to play sports, and how we can improve in our relationships between able-bodied and disabled people. 

Think about the storied sentiment that able-bodied people share when facing adversity...that "it could be worse" often referencing people in wheelchairs or human sense impairing. These comparisons unintentionally denigrate a community of disabled people who actually get along quite well in society -- and in many cases, excel. Eric as evidence alongside 61 million adults in the US living with a disability.

Eric does a wonderful job on the show coaching me on best practices, as well as sharing resources and ways that able-bodied individuals can work with and learn from disabled individuals.

As compassionate of a storyteller and educator Eric is, he too remains motivated to work towards that first doctor's said 0% outcome of being able to walk again. When receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 20th Annual ESPYS, he closed his speech announcing that he in fact will walk again.

A ferocious reader and author, Eric's written two books on leadership and overcoming adversity, dubbing one "The Tackle That Changed My Life." He's also a philanthropist and entrepreneur, recently launching his latest business, a coffee house that serves a "Daily Cup of Believe." You can order your coffee beans here: https://legrandcoffeehouse.com/

I'm excited for you to listen to my conversation with Eric LeGrand on Suiting Up Podcast, presented by Public.com and Outsystems.

Eric LeGrand

Eric LeGrand

Former College Football Player, Inspirational Speaker, & Entrepreneur

Show Notes

4:20 Reflecting Back On The Injury
10:15 How He Developed His Toughness
12:05 The Influence of His Pop Warner Coach
16:55 Adopting The "Team" Approach To His Medical Team
21:00 The Terrors Of The Night
25:20 Deflecting When The "If's" Creep In
27:35 How Eric Maintains Resilience
32:35 Be Open Regarding His Disability
38:20 How Tech Has Impacted Eric's Life
42:20 Eric's Experience With Race In Sports
45:20 Developing a Relationship With Malcom Brown
49:40 The Most Important Piece Of Advice Eric Can Share
52:25 The Background of LeGrand Coffee House

Noteworthy Resources