Tresa Honaker was an active dancer, aerialist and lifelong athlete when, in January of 2012, she fell 15 feet and landed on her head on a crash mat. She severed her spine and was instantly paralyzed from the waist down.
Tresa continues to inspire others to give their best while she diligently pursues specialized rehabilitation. Here are three powerful truths about spinal cord injuries as told by Tresa.
After an injury, you may struggle to regain your interest in the activities you used to love.
“After my injury, I was reluctant to start participating in some of my passions again, and I still am. I am a person that doesn’t pursue anything unless I know I can elevate the pursuit to a high level. I don’t feel like the passions I had before my accident are available to me in the same way. I sometimes wish things could have a different name, as they feel altogether very different – for example, dance. Dancing in a wheeled chair is not the same ‘dance’ to me. As it “feels” totally different.”
The little things will help you cope.
“[Three years later after injury,] I think my journey has gotten less difficult, but not necessarily easier. I adopted a little Maltese dog, and he has helped immensely on those really tough days. I try to take each moment at a time and when a day is particularly hard I slow things down and try to find one (even if it’s small) thing to look at, smell or do to lift my spirits.”
Helping someone else can be a powerful motivator.
“Helping others in some way is empowering when you’ve been hurt in this way. I heard once that depression is a result of lack of involvement. I feel that is really true. Getting stronger so that I can help myself and others is very, very important.”