Interview with Grant Korgan

Interview with Grant Korgan

What Does It Take to Walk Again? Ask an Extreme Athlete and Author.


Two Steps Back by Grant Korgan coming in March. 

Grant KorganLucky Bat Books Project Manager Jessica Santina interviewed author Grant Korgan, South Pole adventurer, extreme sport athlete and spinal cord injury victim about his recovery and the incredible journey he’s on since that day in 2010 when he drove his snowmobile just two feet too far. Here’s what he said.

LBB: What made you decide to turn your disastrous snowmobile accident, your spinal cord injury and then your self-driven recovery into a book?

Grant Korgan: I have been so blessed to have chosen the recovery that I am currently experiencing, and it was through my burning desire to pay this experience forward that the idea to tell this story became the outline of my first book. On the path of this recovery, I have seen humanity on a level I previously did not know existed.

Bottom line: people are beautiful.

Two Feet Back is about you, it’s about me, and it’s about the forward-moving relationship in all the spaces between. Stories of recovery, overcoming adversity, and human beings simply standing in their truth to achieve miraculous things need to be told. It is my goal to participate (even in the smallest way) in the positive impact that I believe these messages can have globally, on the open hearts of mankind.

LBB: Two Feet Back stands apart from other books about athletes or overcoming injury.Why is that?

Grant Korgan: Two Feet Back is the first book in a journey through the human condition, the powerful realities of the endless positivity surrounding our every decision, and the many lessons and things remembered by two people determined to overcome any and all obstacles life can put in their path. I do not know how other athletes overcome injury; I can only speak from my own experience.

Recovering from a spinal cord injury has been, and continues to be, the greatest physical and mental challenge of my life, and I simply view it as such. Similar to learning a new trick on my skis, I will learn to regain my mobility, I will experience my full feeling, I will dance with my wife, and I will remain conscious of all the incredible lessons I’ve had the good fortune to learn over the past two years.

Two Feet Back isn’t about an athlete overcoming injury — it’s about a human being connecting deeply with his truth, committing tirelessly to achieve his dreams, and never losing sight of the beauty that’s in constant motion all around him.

LBB: Having never written a book before, what process did you use to organize your thoughts? Did you have a clear vision right away for how you wanted the book to come together?

Grant Korgan: As this was my first book-writing experience, I was overly fortunate to have such an experienced and hands-on team in Lucky Bat Books! In terms of a clear vision for this book, I was lucky in that the story follows the first year of my spinal cord injury recovery timeline to draw its content and connections. The plot, the realities, and the many moments (positive and otherwise) experienced are all true products of the actual timeline as they happened. The book came together easily in terms of its many stories, but its many truths were a little more difficult to write. It wouldn’t be what it is today without the incredible help, guidance, and effort of my talented editor/project manager.

LBB: So much has taken place since the end point of Two Feet Back, which was March 2011. Can you run down for us what you’ve been up to since the book’s ending?

Grant Korgan:You will need to read the epilogue! I have been so unbelievably blessed to have just returned from skiing 75 miles on the polar plateau to the geographic South Pole! In the name of the enduring human spirit, possibility through positivity™, and my everyday activity-based recovery, our South Pole Push expedition (www.southpolepush.com) team arrived at 90 degrees south on Jan 17 to coincide with the centennial anniversary of the Robert Falcon Scott Terra Nova expedition. (Read more about the expedition on Grant’s website, too!)

I skied in minus-50-degree weather for more than two weeks, with only a tent for shelter, in the name of recovery, positivity, and the reality that every single one of us can achieve our goals in this life. To train for the year-long project, I worked out six to eight hours per day, swam in my first triathlon, had the honor of navigating in the annual 540-mile Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race for the Bad Apple racing team, and traveled around the globe (Norway, Patagonia, Alaska) to prepare for the coldest, most physically intense athletic moment of my life.

LBB: What’s next for you? Do you have another book in you?

Grant Korgan: I’ve always got more in me! I am currently promoting Two Feet Back, spreading the Possibility through Positivity™ message through the stories of our trip to the South Pole, and I have begun speaking publicly about my experiences of overcoming adversity, setting goals, doing the hard work to achieve those goals, focusing on what is working, and at all times choosing positivity through adversity.

Starting where the Two Feet Back story line ends in March of 2011, book number 2 picks up with my return to snowmobiling, getting back in my whitewater kayak, and, of course, our journey to the bottom of the globe.

Activity-based recovery is the name of the game, and as I like to say, “It’s not about what I’ve done, it’s about what I am going to do.”

LBB: You worked with a Lucky Bats editor/project manager. What was that experience like?

Grant Korgan: My editor/project manager was open to the brainstorming process, and creatively coached my engineering-based mind through the ins and outs of the story I aimed to tell. The mechanics of the process were simple and very goal-oriented. For me, a great amount of research and questioning went into the initial fact-finding mission, considering that I was unconscious for the first 9 days after my injury and subsequent surgery (in ICU). I would write the story in the ways I remembered the events taking place, and my team (inspired wife, and genius editor) would help me connect the many dots required to accurately tell the story, the raw realities of a spinal cord injury, and the beautiful lessons encased within it.

The story doesn’t end here. Follow Grant’s continuing epic on his website: Korg Movement: http://korgmovement.com/

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