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Word Count: 983
The last step I ever took was on the 24th April 2004 as I pushed awayfrom a rockface to begin an abseilBetween then and now Ive spent my life trying to create a synergybetween being paralysed from the waist down and an indefatigable desirefor freedom and adventure Its now been seven years since I was winchedinto a rescue helicopter from the base of that rockface close to deathafter losing a rather one-sided argument with gravity In that time Ivetravelled the world in a wheelchair enjoying adventures and exploitsfrom mountain peaks to ocean floors and everywhere in-between to forgea path past the expected mundane life of someone in a wheelchair andexperience the thrill of freedom wherever I canAt 17 with no real aim in life or anything better to do I joined theBritish Army on a whim It opened my eyes to the world and all theamazing possibilities it holds I discovered the benefits of confidencedetermination and self-reliance through the unique challenges and highadventure only military service can provide and I loved every minute ofit 12 years later what started as a whim was a successful career whichfed my ambition for adventure The knowledge experience and skillsgained from years of soldiering leading and instructing in some of themost demanding environments in the world and my desire for adventuremeant doing anything else would surely pale in comparison and nevercrossed my mindSo when the rocks and ground rushed up to meet me as I fell from highabove them the resulting impact went much further than simply breakingmy bones I landed and was immediately paralysed in that ratherimpressive fall from grace I lost the use of my legs and my career butkept my life and my ambitionI decided the best way to get used to this new life in a wheelchair wasto rely on the determination and self reliance that served me so well inthe past setting off to explore the world on my own to discover whatwas possible
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