LA News Archive
by Allie Goodrich '13
Groton, MA – If there’s one person who knows about "climbing a mountain," it’s Travis Roy.
The former Boston University hockey player addressed the LA community during assembly on Monday morning, September 19, delivering a powerful talk on life, challenges, and motivation.
And, although LA's beloved annual tradition was postponed a week due to weather, there is no doubt that this year's Mountain Day speaker's words will continue to resonate.
“Sometimes the challenge chooses us, but it’s what you do in the face of those challenges that’ll define who you are, [and] more importantly who you can and will become,” Roy said to a packed Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center.
“Pride is knowing that you tried your best, that you gave it your all," he added. “You find something you’re passionate about, that excites you, and then you want to answer the question: how good can I be, what’s my potential?”
After his hockey career was ended by a serious spinal injury, Travis has since become an author, activist, and motivational speaker, as well as the founder of the Travis Roy Foundation, which focuses on supporting spinal cord injury survivors and their families in financial need and also funding research for a cure.
Although his circumstances have changed, Travis realized that he hasn’t. Not where it matters.
“It’s the values that make us who we are,” he reflected. “I realized that there is no difference between the paralyzed Travis and able-bodied Travis– that the values that made me successful before my accident were going to be the exact same values that made me successful afterwards.
"And for me, and I’ve been saying this for years, it was love, it was pride, it was respect, it was positive attitudes, it was setting goals.”
And perhaps the value that unifies them all is the one that Travis concluded with: compassion.
“I just wanted somebody to come up to me to see that I was still the same Travis Roy,” he said. “Because it’s so true, it’s what’s inside that makes us who we are, that keeps us motivated to face the day, to face the challenges, to make a choice, and I encourage you, make that choice.”
“I hope you see that who you are at the core is really what’s going to get you through life’s challenges, whether you chose them or they chose you; that having a passion can drive you to great things if you set the goals to make them happen; that having pride in everything you do can make almost anything possible; and just the simple idea of a positive attitude, just seeing what you can take from each day versus what each day might take from you.”
Jonathan Gotlib contributed to this report.