Tyler Mosher broke his back in nine places while Snowboarding on December 30th 2000. His L-1 vertebrae exploded on impact after falling 10 metres on to the top of his head leaving him permanently disabled and paralyzed below the waist. The prognosis at the time of injury was a complete spinal cord injury and Tyler would live in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. However, Tyler’s spinal cord injury turned out to be incomplete and through perseverance, hard work, luck and help from loved ones and many others; Tyler not only walks but he is the World Champion in Adaptive Snowboarding and competed for Canada at the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Cross Country Skiing.
It isn’t easy for anyone to hear what they don’t want to believe. We all have road blocks and speed bumps thrown in front of us as we travel down our chosen paths, yet we all have choices. Tyler was lucky that spinal cord injury initial response, surgeries and rehabilitation treatments have changed and were able to help him have the choice to push through the road blocks put in front of him while slowly rolling over the speed bumps and carefully navigating hurdles. Weeks after his injury and post reconstructive surgery, it was apparent the spinal cord injury was incomplete as Tyler began to regain some mobility. Although he was still told he would have to learn to live in his wheel chair, with new hope of walking, Tyler chose to leave his chair in the corner of the room and get up and fall down until he didn’t fall down anymore. Today, he is 40% paralyzed and you probably wouldn’t know it if you watched him walking down the street.
After walking out of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation with two canes, Tyler moved home to Whistler and took up Cross Country Skiing and Yoga to get stronger and continue to “talk” to the muscles that didn’t fire in his legs. Once stronger and more mobile, Tyler looked to take cross country skiing more seriously as a sport and even got back onto a snowboard. The rest is, as they say, history. In 2008, Tyler won the first ever Adaptive Snowboard World Cup, and although he doesn’t win all of his races, he has won all of the Adaptive Snowboarding World Cup Races to date including the 2009 World Championship. He struggled with Cross Country Skiing yet persevered for seven years through goal setting and achieving his objectives along the way to represent Canada in the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in the sport of Para- Nordic. The Paralympic Games were a proud moment of success for Tyler as they were played in his home town and for his country.
Through setting reasonable and achievable goals using a back casting method, Tyler has not only learned to walk again but has created his own pathway to his personal success. In addition to these sporting endeavors, Tyler is an active Rotarian, an Award Winning Landscape Designer with a professional Degree in Design for Environmental Planning, a business owner which employs 10-12 people per annum, a Founding Director of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program and former Director of the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group. Tyler is always striving for balance in his life and recognizes he couldn’t do it on his own. As he concedes, “Even though I walk my Own Path, I couldn’t do it without those who help me build it.” Tyler is married to Dr. Debra Davis and looks forwards to building a family in the near future.
Tyler’s goals for the 2010/2011 Season is to focus on Snowboard Cross World Cups (2x January inEurope and 2x March in North America). He is also excited to complete in all 3 Birkebeiner Races (55km Ski Marathons); only about 100 people have completed all three and Tyler is attempting to do all three in one year with friends Chris and Monique Wilberg. It should be a crazy adventurous winter with 2 snowboard world cups in Europe in January, then February 12th, 55km Classic Ski in Edmonton, February 26th in Wisconsin, March 19 in Norway then 2 more snowboard world cups. If time and training allows, Tyler may compete in a Cross Country Ski World Cup. It depends on life, balance and recovery.