MacLaren, a motivational speaker and author, has triumphed over two horrific accidents that would have destroyed a lesser man. At twenty-two, he was a Yale All-American athlete and aspiring actor when his motorcycle was broadsided by a New York City bus. Dead on arrival, he woke up after an eight-day coma to find his left leg amputated below the knee. Inspired by a book about triathlons, he became the fastest one-legged endurance athlete on the planet, routinely finishing ahead of most able-bodied athletes. Eight years later, a van plowed into him during a race, rendering him a quadriplegic. Since then, MacLaren has created the Choose Life Foundation and earned two master’s degrees. For more information, visit


So, yeah, even though the last eighteen months have been hell, I can still say, as objectively as possible, that I wouldn’t trade what happened to me. Having to admit to my own dependency and vulnerability actually made me more powerful. Why? It dawned on me that acknowledging your wounds and vulnerabilities and becoming more conscious and knowledgeable about yourself actually make you a stronger person. What I believe in obviously works, and it’s in my soul, because otherwise, I would’ve tried to step over my balcony.

Disabled triathlete JIM MacLAREN’s emotional premonition of an “amazing” life change horrifically plays itself out the very next morning.

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