Courtesy Rutgers Athletic Department


On October 16, 2010 Eric LeGrand’s life was forever changed during a football game playing for the Rutgers University collegiate football team, the Scarlet Knights.

While making a tackle on a kickoff return, Eric suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

At first doctors told his Mom, Karen that he’d never breathe on his own again, never be able to eat solid foods again, & that there was only a 5% chance that he’d ever walk again. Five weeks later, the tube was removed and he was breathing on his own. Since then he’s regained movement in his shoulders and some sensation throughout his body.

As you all know, I’m big on the mental aspect of being fit. This guy right here is a perfect example of how your perspective can change the quality of your life.

Eric lives by the word ‘bELieve’ and has overcome his obstacles through his positive thinking & faith. He says these things get him through the daily challenges and give him hope for the future. “Without these things I have no idea where I’d be today.”

What are the hardest things you’ve had to deal with mentally & physically?

Mentally: My body temperature. The injury is high in my spinal cord so it affects my temperature control and leaves me cold most of the time.

Physically: Not being able to take care of myself and do what I want when I want. I have to rely on other people to help me out which gets annoying and frustrating but this is the card that I’ve been dealt so I deal with it.

No matter how bad you have it, there’s always someone that has it worse so be appreciative for the things you do have and don’t focus on the things you don’t have. If it’s something you really want then work your butt off to get it!

Inside his High School football locker room the word ‘BELIEVE’ was written above the door. He would always hit the EL in the word for his initials. After the incident this word began to resonate with him more, and has since became his mantra. He believes that everything happens for a reason. Nearly 6 million people are living with spinal cord injuries.  Eric uses his following for good, to help raise awareness to finding a cure.

His 6th annual 5K ‘A Walk to Believe’ Run and Fun Walk will take place on June 5th at Rutgers University Busch campus. All proceeds go towards research for finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. Go register now and join Eric, myself, and #TeamLeGrand in getting one step closer to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Eric is the most mentally fit person that I know. Let us learn from his mental toughness and positivity.  His story is inspiring and reminds us that we can tackle any obstacle by taking hold of our minds and changing our perspective. All we need to do is bELieve.