The Grit to Make it Happen

“If you go on some big, really ambitious trip or you have some enormous goal, if you look at the big picture all the time, it’s too intimidating, it’s too big, it seems too insurmountable,” says Jim Harris. “If you break it down into the next move, or the next pitch, or the next day of hiking, or the next rapid or whatever it is, those chunks are manageable. And there’s a lot of aspects to spine injuries that are that same way.”

A year and a half ago, Jim traveled to Patagonia to attempt a 350-mile traverse of the Patagonian ice cap via kite-ski and packraft. But before the team even made it out of town, Jim was practicing with his kite when an errant gust of wind pulled him into the air and then slammed him back into the ground, breaking seven vertebrae and rendering him paralyzed.

For the fifth installment of our Mileposts series, we travel to Grand Teton National Park to bring you a story of how much the places we love can take away from us, and about how, sometimes, those same places can teach us the skills we need to come back.

You can find Jim’s photography at Perpetual Weekend.


Music: Intro by Jacob Bain    •    If Walls Could Talk by Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto    •    Original Score by Jacob Bain    •    All of the Time by adcBicycle    •    Original Score by Amy Stolzenbach    •    Hope by Jacob Bain

Tracks provided by Free Music Archive and with permission from the artists themselves.


3 Comments on “Mileposts — The Grit to Make it Happen

  1.  by  Chuck Harris

    Lovely. Thanks to Jen and you all for the wonderful story about a fine person.
    Great to finally meet both Jen and Jim.
    Keep those stories coming! CH

  2. Pingback: A Mile in My Shoes – Thalamus Thoughts

  3.  by  Fred

    I’m a 69 year old man who once was an All-America football player and who’s been active his entire life. In January 2014, I had a freak accident skiing and bruised my spinal cord somewhere around C-5. Initially, I was unable to move anything below my neck…everything beneath my neck went offline. I was an inpatient at a rehab facility for 6 weeks and slowly and painfully (at times) worked my way from being lifted by a ceiling hoist to walking with a walker and then a couple of arm crutches. Two and a half years later I’m still recovering and using just a cane to get around. I hope and expect to get back to hiking and biking and walking without the need of an aid. Jim’s story resonated with me. “The grit to make it happen” is a long process and requires a sort of zen like patience. Best of luck to Jim. I’ll keep his podcast to listen to from time to time as the voice of a fellow traveler.

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