My life began with reasons I couldn't.

Due to the four rods that currently fuse 85% of my spine, I am 20% disabled. I’m also missing 40% of my lung capacity. Too fragile for sports. Too broken to run. I will never be able to ski or climb mountains—and the pain will never go away.

After thirteen years of battling severe Scoliosis and Lordosis, these are things my doctors told me. They soon became voices inside my head. But in the crowd of reasons why I couldn’t, there was another voice. One that said, “I’ll show them. I’m capable. I've got this.”

That’s the voice that, six months after my last spinal fusion, told me I could walk a whole mile. When I listened, it said I could do four. Months later that turned into running—yes, running—200 meters, then a mile. Then another, and another. Eventually, that voice talked me into climbing several mountains, then skiing back down them.

Every time I faced the hardest, most brutal, most painful thing I’d ever done, that voice said I could overcome it. That voice became my voice. And if you’ll listen, I’d like to share a few things I believe you can do too.