It is hard to imagine a calamity that takes away one’s mobility as being the best thing that could happen to a person. But that is what Michael Murphy, MA History ’12, believes about the 25-foot drunken fall off a roof that shattered one of his vertebrae and left him a paraplegic.
“It was a weird twist of fate that turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me,” says Murphy. “It opened up a lot of opportunities for me.”
Murphy, who uses a wheelchair, is pursuing a spot on the 2022 U.S. Paralympic team as a monoskier (skiing on a chair attached to one ski). He speaks to church groups and high school and college athletes about his recovery.
He also has written a book—When I Fell: How I Rerouted My Life and Found Strength in a Severed Spine. It is, Murphy says, an avenue “to teach readers how to hit home runs when life throws them curves.”