Barefoot Guru Michael Sandler Finds Meaning in Tragedy... Again
Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee
Earlier this year, our old friend Michael Sandler stopped by our workshop to give a presentation on the benefits of walking barefoot. At the time, the barefoot guru was on tour promoting his second book, appropriately titled Barefoot Walking.
A few weeks later, we were saddened to hear that Michael suffered a tragic injury before he made it home. He and his wife, Jessica Lee, were exploring a mountain creek in Colorado when Michael slipped on a wet rock and landed hard, shattering his right femur. He lost a lot of blood and struggled hard to avoid going into shock, but a helicopter rescue was able to get Michael to the hospital and save his life with little time to spare. The resilient couple is now back at their cozy home in Maui as Michael works through the recovery process.
The bad news now is that Michael and Jessica are facing over $150,000 in medical and rescue bills. The good news is that they have a great attitude about the situation and refuse to see it as anything other than an opportunity to grow. Here's how Michael says it:
"Even in the creek, we never said 'poor me,' or 'poor us,' or 'why did this happen to me?' Instead, we accepted it as a gift, and a turning point in our lives. We knew we were shifting gears from teaching about the more physical side of life, to teaching the lessons we were now learning about the more spiritual side of life and how we can each overcome any challenges if only we believe."
Leaving the hospital in good spirits.
Michael is no stranger to tragedy. In 2006, a freak cycling accident left him with a very similar injury to his opposite leg. Actually, it was uncannily similar. Back then, Michael swerved to dodge a toddler who wandered into a bike lane and shattered his left femur in the exact same spot as his current injury. At the time, his doctors called it a one-in-a-million break and told him he'd never run again due to the stress it would have on his knees. Unwilling to give up, Michael learned that barefoot running may cause less knee strain and decided to give it a try. A couple years later, he was touring the country with his bestselling book, Barefoot Running, and referred to the cycling accident as the best thing that could have happened to him.
Michael is maintaining the same great attitude and putting into practice the lessons he learned about recovering from tragedy. He and Jessica are also using this opportunity to write their third book and share their lessons with the world. The book is titled Breathe Love and it chronicles the accident and the healing journey that follows. A fundraising campaign is now in place to cover the publishing fees and to help with the medical bills.
For more information about Michael, Jessica and the book, or to make a contribution, we encourage you to visit the Breathe Love website.