Episode 16: Jeremy Newman On How Death Saved His Life!

“Speak Into Existence, What You Want In Your Life” Jeremy Newman

Probably one of the most joyous and grateful people I know. Let Jeremy lift you up and remind you of the extra-ordinary in the most ordinary of days. From being a Hollywood personal trainer to being in a wheelchair, you will be both inspired and uplifted by his story.

We begin by going back to when we knew each other 25 years ago at the very first Equinox Club on the Upper West Side in NYC. We had lost touch for about 15 years when Jeremy popped onto my Facebook news feed but this time he was in a wheelchair.

While Jeremy believes there are no accidents, the fact he was living on all cylinders in his life created the perfect storm for the “accident” to occur.

Jeremy was a self-proclaimed rebel and even 56 days in jail did not change his mindset as he continued to live life on an adrenaline high. He shares his entry into skydiving and what happened on the day he decided to collapse the outside of his chute and why he chose not to pull his reserve causing him to hit the ground at over 100 miles an hour.

Jeremy died that day and when he came back to life he then had to undergo 13 hours of surgery. Jeremy was in a coma for a month and the story he shares about his journey to regain his memory and his life back is one of the most remarkable conversations I have ever had. He talks about his wake up call that occurred during a conversation with his mom Liz, and how when he changed his mind and his attitude, he changed his life.

There are so many fantastic stories in this show, along with Jeremy’s words of wisdom and life lessons. I invite you to turn off all distractions, pour a cup of tea and enjoy.

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More About Jeremy

Many who have experienced serious accidents speak of their lives as if they had occurred in two parts: the before and after. As a personal trainer, gymnast, marathon runner, and skydiver, Jeremy lived his “previous life” with reckless abandon, his first love always being the thrill of a challenge. Unfortunately, no challenge would prove greater than on May 24, 1997, when he hit the ground skydiving at 100 miles an hour and it left him paralyzed from the waist down. In his competitive fervor, he brought himself to the brink of death, for which he takes full responsibility. Jeremy’s life experience since then has become a mission to inspire others, especially when dealing with the seemingly impossible.

As an avid skydiver, he was well trained, experienced, and fiercely competitive. On that fateful day, in an attempt to race a fellow skydiver to the ground, he purposely closed the end cells of his parachute, which naturally collapsed the entire canopy. He plummeted to the ground from 1,200 feet. With multiple life-threatening injuries, he slipped in and out of a drug-induced coma for over a month. As doctors made grim predictions that he would never breathe on his own, speak, or walk again, his family and friends prepared for what seemed like the inevitable – that is, everyone but Jeremy’s mother, Lynn.

Into the second month of hospitalization, he experienced a spiritual and emotional epiphany, which Jeremy attributes to his mother who visited every day. Unbelievably, he began to regain his mental and physical abilities. Doctors described his recuperation as nothing short of miraculous. He was released in 2-1/2 months and immediately returned to his clientele as a personal trainer.

The damage to his body did not prevent him from returning to competitive sports either. With borrowed racing equipment, he began competing as a wheelchair athlete in the 1998 Los Angeles Marathon. Since that time, Jeremy has competed in dozens of marathons, triathlons, and countless duathlons, 5K and 10K races. In Colorado, he relearned downhill skiing as a disabled skier. June 7, 1999 (two years and two months from the day he “hit the ground”) marked the successful completion of his participation in the 56-day, 3,600-mile Transcontinental Triathlon from Santa Barbara, California, to New York City. As one of only two wheelchair triathletes on the US National Team, he has participated in 7 World Championships. In 2004 Jeremy won the silver medal at the World Triathlon Championships in Portugal.

Jeremy has come to cherish life and recognize things he used to take for granted, such as simply taking a breath on his own. Every morning when he wakes up he says, “Thank you!”

In addition to his return to competitive sports and personal training, in 2007 he became one of the founders of Team Beachbody. Beachbody is the maker of P90X, Insanity, Shakeology and more. Jeremy is also drawn to share his life experiences as a professional speaker at corporate events, schools, and other venues where he has the opportunity to encourage and inspire the audience, whether children or adults.

Jeremy’s desire through his speaking engagements is to demonstrate how we can transform a seemingly tragic moment in our lives and create something powerful from it.

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