Story written by: Nathan Biddle
Who would have thought that the sound of a tire on a bike skidding across the ground, or a friendly game of basketball would impact someone’s life so much that they would still be affected by those things years later? Ryan Moody did not.
Moody has held multiple world records with Guinness for the highest Standing Box Jump and highest Running Box Jump for several years but achieving those titles will not be easy. In his life he would sustained multiple injuries that he should have been paralyzed from, but those injuries were a launching pad for him to help others to travel through dark times in their lives. One event in his life will begin the process of changing him.
When Moody was about 8 years old he ran past his mom and sister, who were outside in the yard gardening, to jump onto his bike. He and his friends were challenging each other with a feat that seems impossible: to see who could skid their tire the longest and ultimately make it burst.
Moody wanted to be the first kid to succeed this feat. He jumped onto his bike and began to pedal as hard as he could for as long as he could. Pushing one foot in front of the other he began to accelerate to speeds that seem insane. Once he got up to his top speed he slammed on his breaks.
At this moment his life would be forever changed. At that moment his break cable broke. The lose cable found its way into the rim of the bike causing the bike to stop immediately. The abrupt stop caused Moody to travel over the top of the handle bars and through the air. He came crashing down face first onto a manhole cover. As he began to get up he noticed that there was some white powder on the ground. Confused a little, Moody continued to look around to see what has happened. He noticed that his mother was running, what seems to be in slow motion, over to him. The terrified look on the face of his mother still lingers in his mind. At this point he realizes he was in trouble. He also realized what that white powder on the ground was, it was his teeth that has been smashed when he hit the ground. His mother ran Moody to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. Upon closer inspection Moody had suffered neck and back injuries. To this day he still suffers from that accident.
After the bike incident Moody went back to being a kid. He did not know that another event in his life could change his life possibly forever.
Growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints he was privileged to serve a mission to Portugal for two years. Moody still being an active person wanted to play some basketball. He went out and began to play with some other people that were there. As he was playing he noticed that he had an opportunity to dunk the ball so he took it.
As he was coming down he landed on the edge of the pavement that caused him to fall. When he fell he hit the ground with a great amount of force. While he was lying on the ground he began to notice that there was an enormous amount of pain in his body but he could not move. He began to get nervous.
He found out through doctors that he had an incomplete spinal cord injury. This means he could feel the pain from the injury but he could not move any of his muscles. This pain has been with him to this day. While he was trying to recover, he would be bed ridden for a month in the middle of the summer heat in Portugal. After about a month he would regain some of his movements allowing him to return home.
When Moody arrived home he would be treated by doctors and therapist for the injuries that he sustained. This injury that he had obtained made the doctors nervous. They warned Moody that he may be at risk of further injury and recommended that he should never play sports or be as active again.
Moody did not know what to think. He began to slip into a dark place. His mind began to wonder thinking of the, “what ifs.” His life that he knew was gone. He could not see what is in store for him. He felt that he had no hope, no escape from the reality he was now living in.
During a moment in this dark thinking is when a light flipped on for him. He knew that he had more life in him. He knew he had a lot more fight left in him. He sought for the help that would push him through this. With the help of family, friends, and doctors he began to fight back. He fought back so hard that he began to astonish doctors by achieving world records for box jumping. But he knew he had something more to give.
He has begun to seek out others that have suffered from a traumatic event. He wanted to let them know that this is not the end. There is hope if you are willing to fight. He would also teach them about fear. He found that fear for him means “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
He would also help teach the family members what they can do to help. The number one worst thing you could say to someone is that you know what they are going through. Chances are that you don’t understand. He would help the family members try to understand that they cannot fight the battles for their love ones. Moody tells the love ones the best thing you can do is to be there for them. When their love ones are ready to get to work you will right by their side. Let them know that they are not alone.
“There may be a greater purpose for you,” he tells people who have been affected by a major life event. He also tells them, “Focus on the positive.” One of the biggest take away from listening to Moody is, “It’s not a matter of what happens but what we decide to do in that moment.” Moody has helped people regain their confidence and showed them that there is more. “What has happened is not the end. What happened is the start of a new chapter.”