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The Thing That's Holding You Back from Reaching Your Full Potential

Insights & Ideas Team •  October 2, 2014 | Inspiring Stories

Mallory Weggemann’s life changed forever on January 21, 2008. The high school senior, an 18-year-old athlete, went to the hospital for an epidural injection to relieve back pain from a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. She’d had similar treatments before. But this time was different. Something went wrong, and Mallory was paralyzed from the waist down.

Before her paralysis, Mallory had been a swimmer. During her recovery Mallory tried water therapy. “The water started rising higher and higher on my legs and I realized that I couldn’t feel it. This was once a place that felt like home, but I had no feeling until the water hit about my belly button. In that moment, my hands were white knuckled on the armrests, and I was terrified,” Mallory said.

Mallory didn’t let the fear win for long. In the coming months, she learned about the Paralympic Games and decided she wanted to compete. She faced her fear head-on and began her journey toward becoming a Paralympian, getting in the water on April 8—three months after her paralysis. In the following video, Mallory discusses the important insight she learned from the experience:

Mallory went on to win a gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

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