How the loss of my dream led to the best gifts of my life

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To: To those of you losing hope

From: Todd Krieg

Charity: $50 will go to St. Jude for the first 50 shares of this story

Sponsor: Bryan Morton

To those of you losing hope,

In my worst moments, I would ask myself, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

I was trying to be a good person. My faith was strong and I felt like I was on top of the world in every aspect. Why did my whole world just come crashing down?

Todd’s dream to ride bikes professionally began at age 5.

I was a professional motocross rider, living out my dream of racing bikes. Life seemed perfect and I thought I was invincible.

I vividly remember practicing for the upcoming 2015 Supercross season. I was doing a jump and while airborne, my bike malfunctioned and turned off. It flipped and I fell, landing face-first on the ground.

I don’t remember anyone telling me I was paralyzed, but as soon as I gained consciousness I already knew. So, when I awoke my attitude was, “What do I have to do to beat this?”

I was certain I would find a way to get back to my old self.

My first low point came about a month after my accident. That’s when it really hit me that I would never ride my bike again. Motocross was my passion since age 5 and I struggled to come to terms with the fact that my life as a motocross rider was over.

At that moment I thought, “What am I supposed to do with myself?”

My second low point happened about ten months after my accident when I realized I wasn’t getting better. I wasn’t gaining the movement back that I hoped I would. Instead,  I needed to relearn how to live and do basic life activities: cook, make my bed and shower. There was an overwhelming feeling of defeat. I had thoughts of suicide, thinking I would rather die than to live my life in a wheelchair. This just wasn’t the life or future I envisioned.

Shortly after my second low point, I went out to California to one of the biggest spinal cord paralysis recovery centers in the world, called Project Walk. That’s where I met a therapist named Amanda. I thought she was gorgeous but I assumed I had no chance. Before meeting her, I tried to talk to a few women but no one was really interested. I assumed it was because I was a burden. Ultimately, I just thought no one would ever want to be with me.

However, Amanda and I ended up meeting up at a Halloween party.  I got some liquid courage and told her I thought she was beautiful and I liked her. She tried giving me her phone number, but I was too intoxicated to take it.

Amanda and Todd fell in love after meeting at Project Walk, a recovery center in San Diego, California Photo Credit: Mike Vizer

She reached out to me the next day on Facebook and said, “Hey, last night we talked a lot and I wanted to give you my number, but I couldn’t. So here it is.”

We have been together ever since.

Amanda didn’t see the activities I couldn’t do. She thought of all the things I could do. She saw me for me and didn’t see the limitations or the boundaries that I put on myself. She took my fear of trying new things away and showed me that I was capable of a lot more than I anticipated. Amanda brought out the best in me.

Amanda didn’t see the activities I couldn’t do. She thought of all the things I could do. She saw me for me and didn’t see the limitations or the boundaries that I put on myself.
Todd didn’t think he would be able to have a child naturally because of his condition.

Then one day right before Christmas we were at a friends house and the topic of pregnancy came up. While doctors told us it was unlikely I would be able to have children naturally, we decided to go get a pregnancy test. Sure enough, we were expecting. At first, we were scared and shocked. Then we realized, this is a miracle.

We decided to get married and we are now living in Ohio with our two-year-old son Rhett. If I would have never gotten hurt,  I would have never met Amanda and we wouldn’t have our son. Seeing him grow and accomplish new tasks with my best friend by my side is an incredible experience.

I still think about walking all the time and I remain hopeful that one day that can happen. But my journey has taught me that the life you plan for yourself and the plan the big guy upstairs has for you is not the same.

Todd and Amanda at their wedding with their son Rhett Photo Credit: Katheryn Hornibrooke

So, if you are going through a low point or a tough time in your life, my advice is to just keep going, just keep moving forward.

After the accident, I thought there was no way I would ever be as happy as I had been as a motocross rider. While I have never again gotten that feeling that I got from dirt backs, through the love of my family I have gotten so much more.

So, when I think back to the question I asked myself, “Why did this happen to me?” All I have to do is look at my son and my wife, my life’s greatest blessings, and I can see the answer.

Just Keep pushing,


Written with Lauren Brill

About the author:

Todd Krieg is a former professional motocross rider, who became paralyzed after accident in October of 2014.

About the charity:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital aims to treat and advance cures for childhood cancers. Bran Morton is donating $50 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of the first 50 shares of Todd’s story.

Todd also would like people to support Road2Recovery, an non-profit that helped him after his accident.

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[…] enough, in the email was your letter to your late father, former NBA basketball star Anthony Mason, talking about your struggles after his death. You wrote […]

Sweet Lauren, I agree completely with the promise that Brian asked you to make. Frankly, it is the only way that I know to love; totally, completely, wholly and unconditionally. You deserve nothing less, nor does your future love.

Wow. What a truly moving and powerful story. We often take for granted the small gifts we give each other just by being present. I'm sad for the heartache. I'm glad you stayed and became. Who knows what little girl or boy will be attributing their life's purpose to some kindness you shared. Peace and Sunshine

You’re welcome Lauren looking forward to all the future stories :)

Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.

Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.

I’m sorry to hear about Brian but he was right you are too beautiful to not receive roses Lauren:)

[…] Here is why you need to stop being nice and start being loud […]

Thanks for this! So what movie set did you get on?

So nice Roger <3

Pat, Your letter touched me in a very profound way. It left me in tears in the middle of my work day. It made me want to share something with you. On a July morning in 2007 a police officer answered a 911 call I had made when my Mother went into cardiac arrest. Between that officer, my best friend and the fire fighters who showed up minutes later they were able to restart her heart, however at the hospital she passed away an hour later. At the end of his shift that officer stopped by my home to check on the situation and cried when I told him the unfortunate news I received only 4 hours prior. He tried to apologize to me. I looked at the anguish in his eyes and asked him directly what for? He described the ways he felt sorry. What I want to leave you with was my reply to him. I told him he had nothing to be sorry for because he answered the call in what was the darkest moment in my life. I told him that he was a hero regardless because it takes a special person to answer calls like that. You are a hero to people Pat. No one can ever take that away from you. I understand the process you're going through as I've been there myself and like you I still struggle with it when no one is looking. You aren't alone in this. I hope your healing process continues on and you can regain the happiness in this beautiful life. You'll always be a hero to those people, because you were there when the call came Best wishes Roger Chamberlain

Ruth, your letter moved me to tears. Once upon a time I was very closed off about the LGBT community but over a course of several years, I turned my fear into understanding and I actively stand with the community for their equal rights because it is the right thing to do.