Paraplegic Rides Again on a Trike
In 2011, while working in the motorcycle industry I met Andrew Richards of Trike Zone, a motorcycle dealership in Edmonton, Alberta. Two years later I was in my home in Toronto when I happened to hear the name Trike Zone in the news. The story was about a motorcyclist who became a paraplegic in an accident. He was now getting back on the road on a specialized trike that could transport his wheelchair while he rode.
Motorcyclists have a mutual nightmare. The crash. The big one. The life changing one. The defining moment where a motorcyclist’s life is divided between everything that happened before it, and everything that will happen after. That is, if the motorcyclist has an after. Some survivors never return to riding after the fact. The crash can change you.
Whether they’ve suffered physical, psychological, or emotional trauma, people can be categorized in one of two ways. They become either victims of the trauma, or champions of it.
In my case, I was 19 years old when my father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and the doctors estimated he had no more than three to four months to live. My father was my hero, my consigliere, my teacher, my friend. He was the man I hoped would hand me a ring at an altar to give to a woman that I would spend the rest of my life with. I was 23 years old when he passed away after a long back-and-forth fight with cancer. Three weeks later I broke up with my girlfriend of nearly five years. She had been my best friend and the only person who knew how I really felt and the things I dealt with all along the way.
From an emotional and psychological standpoint I had suffered huge losses. I was a complete mess, an utter disaster, a shell of myself. I was light like the dandelion blowing in the wind with no sense of direction. I desperately searched for something to grab on to, someone to guide me, someone who could attempt to fill the huge void my the loss of father had left in my life. There was no one who could. I was depressed. I was a victim of the trauma.
I met a woman a few years older than me and in her I found not only a lover, but someone I could look up to. She had her life relatively well sorted out. I loved all of the things about her that a man typically falls for a woman because of, and all of her quirks too: She was equally well versed in both Shakespeare and South Park, and frequently blinked rapidly when she had a few drinks. Most of all I admired her mind. She was someone I wanted to learn from. For her part she was always eager to get me to try new things and take me to new places. Thank you.
One day she told me to stop looking for my father and to start being the person he’d want me to be. I needed only to pick myself up and take what I knew of my father and move forward with my life. I turned my life around. In a short time I got two consecutively better jobs. My home improved. Most importantly, as a person and as a man, I grew by leaps and bounds. I reached a level, where I’m at now, that I wouldn’t have been ready to reach had I not lost my father and my ex-girlfriend. The trauma forced me to either be a victim, or come out better as a result of it. I became a champion of it.
Back to the crash, that’s what happened to Stephen Gorman, a motorcyclist from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. To avoid a collision he lay his bike down and when his back was run over by the car driver he became a paraplegic. He’s now back on a motorcycle again. Watch this:
Way to go Stephen and Trike Zone!