About the Book:
Book: Live the Impossible
Author: Jenny Smith
Release date: July, 2021
Jenny Smith was a typical teenager—a gymnast and athlete who loved hair and makeup, played in a band, and was active in her church youth group.
Then one bright summer morning, a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down and dependent on others for her most basic needs. Privacy and independence seemed like things of the past.
But Jenny refused to give up or give in to her disability, and over time she discovered that a wheelchair could take her places she’d never dared to imagine. She’s traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Mexico for wheelchair distributions and sports camps, and even rolled the New York City runway as a model during Fashion Week.
Today, Jenny Smith is a spokesperson for independent and vibrant living with a disability. Her speeches, articles, and social media presence have touched thousands of lives.
In Live the Impossible, Smith shares what it looks like to live with paralysis, from the everyday details most people never think about, to the countless people who have impacted her life along the way. With honesty and humor, faith and fortitude, Jenny shows us how we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
Approximately 35 years ago, we heard the startling news that a friend from another state, the father of eight young children, had been in a car accident, had broken his back, and would never walk again. We often crossed paths with him and his family, and it was always inspiring to see his smile and hear his cheerful laugh. I remember one day, probably 5-10 years after the accident, when a very old lady in our church was commiserating with this man about how terrible it was that he was now confined to a wheelchair. I’ll never forget his response. He exclaimed, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me!” That was the feeling I got from Jenny Smith throughout her story in Live the Impossible. She didn’t feel that way at first, and I’m not sure she would actually say that now, but she certainly sees what she has gained through her disability.
Live the Impossible is a very inspiring story. I really appreciated Jenny’s attitude about counting her blessings, and praising God for everything possible. Her acceptance of what God was doing in her life, though she allowed herself to grieve her losses, is something we can all learn from and put into practice in our own lives. I also learned a lot from this book about life as a quadriplegic. Jenny is very frank about the challenges she faces, and how she copes.
I received a review copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it. Links may be affiliate links, which will benefit Esther’s website if purchases are made through them.
About the Author:
Jenny Smith is an advocate, peer mentor, and encourager for those living with spinal cord injuries, and anyone who has faced unexpected or seemingly impossible challenges. Her popular blog and YouTube channel, Jenny Smith Rolls On, explore the practical aspects of life as a quadriplegic. She also speaks to associations and businesses, schools and universities, and faith-based groups. Jenny works full-time supporting and encouraging cross-cultural workers. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she rows on the Ohio River with the Louisville Adaptive Rowing program.
You can find out more at www.jennysmithrollson.com.
More from Jenny:
“I will never write a book.”
I can’t tell you how many times I said those words. How and why did I publish a book after saying I will never so many times?
For several years, I was writing as a side job for a medical supply company. To learn more about the craft of writing, I signed up for an online class. The instructor invited me to take her next class on writing your life story.
That’s when it happened. I felt a little tap on my shoulder and heard—or felt—the words, “It’s time.”
Since my spinal cord injury at the age of 16, I said never and that’s impossible innumerable times. I had said the words before traveling to Mexico and Afghanistan. As I dreamed of living independently as a quadriplegic. I’d said never to playing wheelchair tennis, rugby, and para-rowing. My words that’s impossible and never were proved wrong time and again.
So I started writing.
It turns out I’ve lived what I believed was impossible.
In July 2021, on the 32nd anniversary of my spinal cord injury, my family, friends, and community celebrated with me at the launch party for my memoir Live the Impossible.
Although the book centers on my story of becoming a quadriplegic at 16 and the trials and adventures that followed, the lessons I learned in the years to come are universal:
- How I found my identity
- The importance of taking a risk
- How I became comfortable in my own body
- Acknowledging I have little to offer and yet seeing God do things I could never imagine
We all have unexpected circumstances in life. But I believe we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
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