That is when the then 18-year-old Weggemann hadd an epidural injection for again ache, with issues from the process in the end leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. “It is with me on daily basis within the 4 wheels beneath me.”
Compelled to barter a brand new way of life life, the Minnesota native remembers how she felt within the months that adopted.
In making an attempt to ponder her new path ahead, Weggemann turned to an outdated ardour.
“After I went again to the pool, I spotted it was the one place that was unchanged: water is water, chlorine is chlorine. It bridged me to my previous and gave me a path ahead.”
Weggemann is emphatic when she says, “Swimming actually saved my life in a variety of methods.”
One of many causes it was so troublesome for Weggemann to simply accept her incapacity, past the bodily challenges, was the picture offered to her of disabled folks.
“We have a look at incapacity in society as one thing that must be pitied: a worst case situation end result. We do not see the potential that lies inside.”
However Weggemann, who has grown to be pleased with her incapacity, is fast to level out that it is not the whole lot of her id.
“Society wished to field me into what life with a incapacity ought to appear to be. The truth is I am 5 years married, dreaming of a household, I am a enterprise proprietor, an athlete. All of the issues society mentioned weren’t for folks like me.”
That is to not point out the title of creator, along with her e-book “Limitless,” which hit cabinets earlier this yr.
Weggemann is very pleased with her enterprise, TFA Group, which seeks “to alter the notion of incapacity in our society by the ability of storytelling.”
Weggemann and husband Jay are the co-CEOs and work diligently to unfold tales of overcome adversity with initiatives like their “Impression Movies” sequence of quick documentaries about athletes residing with disabilities that may be discovered on main streaming platforms.
However even her work with TFA has introduced Weggemann again to the water. One such venture she labored on was the 2018 quick function “Wonderful Grace,” the story of 14-year-old Grace Bunke, a fellow swimmer who misplaced her battle with childhood most cancers.
Weggemann bought an opportunity to swim and spend a day with Grace in 2018, and the younger athlete’s ardour to lift funds for childhood most cancers analysis left a long-lasting impression on the US paralympian, resulting in the documentary that chronicled Grace’s battle.
Weggemann swam in honor of Grace at a “Swim Throughout America” occasion in Atlanta earlier this yr. She was joined by Grace’s mom Vicki, who swam 14 meets in honor of her daughter (one for every year of Grace’s life) with sponsorships and proceeds from the race going to most cancers analysis.
“Grace was a younger girl with an power about her, she may join with everybody round her. And Vicki has so courageously shared Grace with the world within the years since, so to swim alongside her was actually particular.”
For Weggemann, it is a reminder of what her beloved sport of swimming can accomplish past the pool, medals, accolades or discussions of disabilities.
“It is a reminder of how far sport can attain. That swim had nothing to do with profitable or racing. It was about utilizing sport for good and permitting it to be a beacon to do one thing that has the ability to alter lives.”
For the five-time Paralympic medalist, swimming was the outlet that helped her make sense of her scenario, however Weggemann hopes her message resonates even past sports activities.
“All of us carry moments that convey trauma and grief and loss and adversity. However on the finish of the day, we’re greater than our circumstance. I hope that greater than even listening to my story, I hope it encourages folks to honor their very own.”