Anyone who has been through a life-changing injury or knows someone affected by one understands that it takes a lot. Recovery requires mental strength, impressive physical effort, positivity, support, and more. But, as we know, when one fully commits themselves to their recovery process, there are few limits on what can be accomplished.
This couldn’t be more true than in the case of Ryan Bodine.
We first met Ryan when he was incredibly early in his injury. He had just recently broken his neck and suffered a severe spinal cord injury as a result of a snowboarding accident at Sugarbowl Resort on January 20th, 2020.
Ryan was uncertain about his future, and the doctors had just given him a bleak 25 percent chance of ever walking again. What we could’ve guessed from meeting his amazing family but didn’t know for sure was that Ryan was a tenacious kid, and he wasn’t just going to roll over and accept those odds. On day three of his accident, some movement began to return, and the improvement continued to roll in like the waves he would soon be riding again.
After being flown from Reno to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Ryan fully immersed himself into his recovery. Six days a week he would spend all day in therapy, working his hardest to get every muscle back under his control. Doctors and Physical therapists grinned from ear to ear as they began to see more muscles flicker and begin to listen. Each flicker was worked and worked by Bodine as it gradually became stronger. A flicker of a muscle soon became a small movement and then a bigger one.
Ryan left the hospital already having exceeded all expectations anyone could have set for him, but for Ryan he was far from done. He left the hospital walking with braces and crutches but after only ten days home he threw those out and began to walk without the help of any mobility devices.
The short walks that felt like the most challenging feats when Ryan first got home got easier as he continued to do them day after day. Once he was comfortably walking longer distances again, he knew what was next.
It was time to return to the waves.
The same work ethic Ryan put forward to prove his doctors wrong by moving his fingers in the hospital bed is what returned him to sliding on snow. He was able to return to snowboarding the first winter after his accident. He set the goal to rock climb again and only a year and a half after his accident he climbed the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite National park. This last December Ryan took some time off of school in Hawaii to come participate in High Five’s annual Maui surf trip and we are not sure he got out of the water the entire time we were there. It seemed like anytime you looked into the water you could see Ryan standing up and ripping waves.
We know that Ryan’s recovery was entirely within him. The Bodine family instilled the work ethic and humility to continue to get up and do the work, this we know. Yet, it still is an unbelievable feat for such a young man to battle day in and day out. Ryan recently showed us this video that he received from his favorite athlete, Travis Rice, giving him some excellent advice and support. We wondered if maybe this encouragement was just enough of an extra push to help make this all possible for Ryan.
Thank you Travis for giving our good friend Ryan the extra push when he was in the darkest point in his life. The light you shed on his darkest days has been duplicated and grown tenfold. He now uses that same light to live his best life and show everyone else that nothing is impossible.