Life is full of unpredictable occurrences. You could be soaring in the skies today and drowning in a ditch tomorrow. Still, you can count on triumphant stories like that of legendary survival expert Bear Grylls to motivate you to keep going.
Grylls was a talented army officer with a promising career. But, when an accident broke his back, he had to channel his inner fighting spirit into getting back on his feet.
A strong-willed child to a special officer
Grylls was born in Donaghadee, a small town in County Down, Northern Ireland, in 1974.
His friends in an all-boys preparatory boarding school often bullied him because of his small stature. Instead of accepting his fate, Grylls decided to work on himself to become stronger.
Joined by a few friends, he took up karate and martial arts. Although his friends dropped out one by one, he stuck at it and got his black belt three years later.
After school, Bear Grylls joined the UK’s Territorial Army as a reservist with the SAS for three years until 1997. In the army, Grylls received comprehensive special-ops training. He worked hard and soon became a highly-skilled special officer.
While at the top of his game, Grylls was sent to Africa for two stealth and combat missions.
A near-fatal parachuting accident
In his second mission, Grylls had to parachute to designated landing points from 16,000 feet above the arid Kenyan plains.
But, after jumping, Grylls’ canopy ripped off and failed to catch any wind. He spiraled down rapidly and landed with a violent thud.
The rescue team rushed to the scene to find Grylls was alive, although badly hurt. At the hospital, the doctors determined he had broken three vertebrae in his back.
A long and painful road to recovery
Bear Grylls was stabilized a few hours after he got to the hospital. What followed was a long and gruesome 18-month recovery period.
He spent the first six months covered in braces and plasters, and the next year in and out of military rehabilitation. According to his doctor, he had come “within a whisker” of life paralysis. It was also uncertain he could ever walk again.
During this time, Grylls’ dream of hiking Mount Everest weighed heavily on his mind. His army career was long gone, but he was not ready to give up the outdoors.
“Those long painful months gave me a clear goal and that was to climb again,” Grylls recalls.
This persevering spirit pushed him through the grueling pain and tough therapy sessions. Thanks to a great deal of resilience and dedication, Bear Grylls finally recovered.
Back doing what he loved
Bear Grylls surprised his family and friends when he quickly got back to doing what he loved.
In 1997, he did the impossible through passion and hard work by climbing one of the most formidable Himalayan mountains, Nepal’s Ama Dablam. The following year, Grylls finally achieved his dream of reaching Mount Everest’s summit.
Grylls continued seeking and overcoming nature’s obstacles long after his accident. Over the years, he wrote several inspiring survival books and appeared in many talk shows worldwide to share his story.
In 2006, he debuted in mainstream television with his world-famous survival series, Man vs. Wild.
The takeaway is this:
Bear Grylls’s life story motivates us to face our fears with confidence and gather the strength to recover from setbacks. So, make your financial moves boldly, bearing in mind that one bad loss is not the end of the road.
“The best way over our fears is not to run from them, but to face them and to go right through the middle of them.”