Minot man takes to motivational speaking about life after loss

Good Day Dakota

What started as a traumatic experience turned into motivation for a Minot man.

Eight years ago, a motorcycle accident changed Ben Johnson’s life forever.

His injuries put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Losing the ability to use his legs was a huge loss. But, he said he’s found that sharing his story has helped him overcome that loss, and hopes it can help others do the same.

October 19, 2011 was a day like any other. Ben Johnson put on his helmet and hit the road on his motorcycle.

“I hit a piece of concrete, that flipped me into a mailbox and I severed my spinal cord,” he said.

Something he didn’t think would ever happen to him, happened.

“I’m paralyzed from the chest down.”
Johnson said the news that he wouldn’t walk again came as a shock and a major loss for him and his family.

But with a little bit of time, his mindset changed.

“Any loss in general, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “They say with legs and paralysis it’s almost like a death in the family. Like, your old self is dead and you’re reborn as a new kind of person. And it really is like that, but it also kind of isn’t like that.”

He said he still feels like the same person and he wants others who suffer loss to be able to feel that, too.

He said, “You’ve got to acknowledge that you go to the grocery store and you can’t reach the top thing on the shelf and have to ask for people’s help. But really, it’s no different than anyone else.”

Johnson does all of the same things he did before his accident. The only difference is that some things come with adaptations, and that’s okay.

That’s why he recently played a big part in getting wheelchair accessible equipment into the Minot Family YMCA.

What’s helped him is the mentality of turning something horrible into something that’s helpful.

“I remember every detail,” he said. “I always thought, ‘why do I remember every detail? And now I’m like, well maybe it was for a purpose, for me to actually share my story.”

Not too long after his accident, Johnson started sharing his story as a motivational speaker.
After taking some time off from that and having other life experiences unexpectedly tie into his overall message of life after loss, he’s picking up where he left off.

You can follow him on social media to learn more about future speaking engagements.
Instagram: @benjaminjohnsonspeaks
Click here for his Facebook

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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