Professional Parachute Demonstrator/Pilot
I'm a motivational speaker who likes to help people from all walks of life.
If someone were to shadow me for the day, they'd be astounded. It's really hard to keep up with me. I think it's just who I am: an unstoppable guy. When I do my motivational presentations, these corporate crowds are left wondering, "How have you done more than I've done in my lifetime just in the time since your accident?" I do a million things: I'm a pilot, an engineer, I build furniture...I do it all, and I do it for the best. Anyone who shadowed me would walk away saying, "I can do anything."
To do what I do, you have to have two things: a great attitude, and the drive to never quit, and to never give up. You can accomplish anything if you have a great attitude. No one wants to be around people who are down and depressed, and that's my foundation, it is so important to me: it helps me bring our veteran warriors together to motivate them and raise their spirits.
Here's the first step for high school students
Make sure that you graduate—graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment. After that, it's all about meeting, greeting, and forming connections and networks with other people.
"You're never going to amount to anything. You're just lucky."
I was a terrible student in high school. In fact, when I took my transcripts to college, the counselors looked at me like, "Really?" My kids now think it's hilarious to show their friends my high school report card. But when I found success after my accident, my dad told me, "You're just given everything," as if I hadn't worked hard at my recovery. I've moved past it because all that matters is giving back; we're only here for a short amount of time, and I want my legacy to be inspiring.
I got my degree from the University of North Dakota in aerospace commercial aviation. Not only was I the first in my family to get a degree, but I also completed my degree after my tragic accident.
I'm a double-amputee and I've never let it stop me. I continued to do jumps just five months after my accident, I reenlisted in the military, I got my pilot's and helicopter pilot's licenses...I haven't let my disability slow me down for a second.