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Check Out Mark Ledbetter’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Ledbetter.

Hi Mark, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My story of motivation and success actually begins at a very low point of tragedy in my life that occurred at the age of 19. I was a young, ambitious, and admittedly somewhat naive graphic design student just finishing my 1st year of college. I actually worked on campus as a receptionist for the student councilors & was beginning to become more well known around campus because of it. I was good at my job and I enjoyed assisting new students with the registration process. Sadly this all came to an abrupt end on November 15th, 2010. A day that would change my life forever. A day that began as any other at that point in my life; waking up late and rushing off to work and classes. However, I wouldn’t arrive to my destination that day. Instead, due to hazardous road conditions, my own lack of time management, and a single careless driver, I would spend that day with two fractured cervical vertebrae, a deflated lung, and receiving 134 staples to keep me held together. In layman’s terms: I flipped my car 6 times and broke my neck. I would come to be diagnosed as a quadriplegic with incomplete severance of my spinal cord and an expected outlook of the remainder of my life fully paralyzed from the neck down. This is where my challenge began. I would spend whatever time it took of my life, whatever hurdle need-be overcome, fully devoted to achieving what I was told by doctors as definitively “impossible.” I told them I would walk again; and from tremendous sacrifice through determination, knowledge of specialists I would come to know as friends, and support from those I loved, I did. After that, my determination and force of will would carry over to my schooling, my career, and my hobbies while I continued my physical therapy. As I graduated with a bachelor’s in advertising, found work as a consultant for new business upstarts eventually honing my skills for motivational and educational lectures, and beginning training for my pilot’s license in my spare time. I look to inspire anyone who is willing to become their greatest self.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Locating your muscles after you’ve lost connectivity to them is the hardest part, but after you have found the connection (Think Uma Thurman’s portrayal of Kill Bill with “wiggle your big toe” but for every single muscle in the human body) rebuilding an atrophied muscle just takes time and the realization you have to start at less than a pound of weights to begin lifting. But I will say, feeding yourself and being able to scratch an itch on command have their perks I no longer take for granted.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I do motivational speaking for both business seminars as well as educational lectures at colleges. From the University of Loma Linda to an online Speech/Q&A lecture I gave to a group of students in Tennessee, Anywhere a group of people are wanting to better themselves & willing to hear my story I share it in hopes it will have an impact on those who listen. I have also aided in direct life coaching of both able-bodied individuals who need guidance & those whom share injuries related to my original diagnosis. Of which, I can proudly say, some are literally following in my footsteps, recovering the ability to walk again. The power of focused determination and bravery in the face of “impossible” odds truly has the potential to move mountains not only in one’s own life but in the lives of everyone they interact with.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
The abundance of culture you can witness in a single city block is something I will always adore.

However, the lack of adequate parking for the disabled is something I personally find very vexing.

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