Meet the extreme-ly unstoppable Jesi Stracham, a 23-year-old professional racer who grew up racing go-karts and the custom mini Grand Prix car that her dad built her. Before she was tall enough to reach for the pedals, Jesi dreamt of going fast! In January 2015 though, Jesi was involved in a serious accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Ever since she woke up, she’s been an inspiring figure for all and even more extreme-ly unstoppable!
Stratcham is determined to not let anything – her injuries included – slow her down! Later this week, on the 23rd of April, 2016, she is competing in the Wheelchair Motocross World Championships, in Texas, USA.
Breaking the norm and boundaries is not something new for Jesi, who paved the way for girls class at the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series at the age of 17, when she first turned pro.
Part of her “firsts” stories is the experimental spinal surgery she undergo – she was in fact the second person to have ever had it. Her family gave the authorization for the surgery when she was still unconscious from the accident and now, a year and a few months later, Jesi is slowly yet steadily gaining feeling in her legs again.
Her story is inspiring not only because of her achievements, but mostly because of the way she responded to her new situation. After the first shock of paralysis, Stratcham said that “I would never take back getting paralyzed… I found my faith, I’ve gotten to live life more than most people do in their entire lifetime.”
As someone who has experienced paralysis in her life, and has successfully overcome it with sheer power of will, I am now an advocate of the notion that there are no bad or good experiences in life. Our external reality can only be defined by the way we respond to it. Take something negatively and we instantly have a bad experience. Shift the perception to a more positive one and the experience shifts with us too.