Episode #17: Leanne Taylor
November 16, 2020
Everyday activities sometimes change our lives. Leanne Taylor had a day like that in 2018. She and her boyfriend went for a mountain bike ride at trails they rode all the time. During the ride Leanne fell off her bike, going over the handlebars. Her injury was instant. She experienced a spinal cord injury, dislocating T10 on T11 and immediately had no sensation or function in her legs. She would not walk again. An everyday activity had changed her life forever.
At first, disability felt like a dirty word, a word that did not apply to or describe her. Now, Leanne says her disability, like her brown hair, is just another thing about her. It does not define her or her happiness. Like her brown hair, having a disability is just one characteristic one could use to describe Leanne. The outcome of her accident was unfortunate and not great, but in her words, “we have such a short time that we get to be here on this earth and experiencing the things that we can. So, I think there’s so many experiences that I can still have. And in some ways, I was sort of thrust into this world of parasport. And that wasn’t an opportunity I had before. So even though I was definitely grieving a lot of opportunities that I had lost, I was saw this opportunity that I had and I was like, I just can’t let this go by because these people that are reaching out to me and trying to connect with me and show me this, they aren’t going to do that forever.” Leanne is now preparing for the 2024 Paralympics in the sport of Paratriathlon in the wheelchair class; her event is comprised of a 750m swim, a 20km bike (handcycle) and a 5km run (wheelchair race). Leanne entered her first race eight months after being injured and she is now ranked 13th in the world. Leanne’s story and her positive and tenacious approach to adversity, life and training will both inspire you and make you want to stand up and cheer.
To learn more about this Manitoba hero, please join us for Podcast #17 and our conversation with Leanne Taylor.
“I think we have such a short time that we get to be here on this earth and experiencing the things that we can. I think there’s so many experiences that I can still have.”