Resource in Resilience: Cannondale Presents: High Road – A story of resilience, persistence, and strength
By Maxwell Svec, One Summit Manager, Strategic Programs & Events
Recently at One Summit, we came across an incredible video that sits soundly in the posttraumatic growth vein, one of the underpinnings of our programs. The video, produced by Gnarly Bay and Cannondale Bicycles, features the mentor-mentee relationship between Meg Fisher, a Paralympic cyclist and parasports activist, and Jack Berry, an osteosarcoma cancer survivor.
Meg lost her best friend and had her left leg amputated after a car accident in her late teens. In her professional cycling career, Meg won 11 world championships and competed twice for Team USA in the Paralympics in Rio and London, where she collectively took home one gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. After retirement, Meg began advocating for the addition of para-cycling categories in both gravel and mountain biking races to create a more inclusive field of athletes in the sport.
Jack, who was 14 years old at the time the video was produced, had cancer in his right knee and underwent rotationplasty, a procedure that created a new knee joint by removing his foot and lower calf and attaching it to his upper thigh. Jack was an avid biker prior to his diagnosis and subsequent surgery. His chosen course of treatment was based on forward thinking about what his desired activity level would be post-cancer. For Jack, rotationplasty would allow him to continue cycling, albeit with some adjustments.
Jack processed, healed, adapted to his new situation, and then got back up on his bike. In the video, Jack’s father, Cooper, talked about his son’s amputation journey: “He had the surgery, and the first dressing change was traumatic for him when he saw that connection point. And he was really sad, it was a really tough moment. And that’s how he rolls, he’s tough. He gets it out, he’s sad about it, and then he lets go. And that’s what he did.”
The intersection between Meg and Jack tells the story of his cancer diagnosis, her career as a para-athlete, the mentorship relationship between them, and the lessons for us all about the importance of posttraumatic growth. We all experience traumatic events, whether living through military combat, fighting a battle with cancer, losing something or someone important to us, or simply facing one of life’s abundant hardships and unpleasant moments. In an article by Leap Team at Looking at Lyme, Dr. Richard Tedeschi, who coined the term posttraumatic growth (PTG), “explains that trauma requires us to rebuild our lives in new ways, possibly even better or stronger in some ways than before.”
Meg Fisher talks about her limb loss with perspective and remarkable wisdom, “My life would have been different, but it wouldn’t have been better. My life isn’t less… I believe we’re all more capable than we know, and it’s not until we have these challenges do we get to see just how resilient, strong, and able we all are.”
Watch Cannondale Presents: High Road - A story of resilience, persistence, and strength, and see the extraordinary story of Meg and Jack here.
You can explore posttraumatic growth here from one of our previous Resource in Resilience articles. Click here to learn more about Meg Fisher, who, in addition to her other impressive credentials, is a performance coach and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Do you have a great Resource in Resilience that you’d like to share with the One Summit community? Connect with Max at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him more about it!