At age 11, Michelle was permanently disabled in a car accident that froze her growth at 4’ 4” and left her needing crutches to walk. By her own admission, she wasn’t just physically small – she used to live her life emotionally small. The hardest part of living with a visible disability was the shame and unworthiness she carried in her heart and mind.
So she embarked on what began as just a physical fitness journey – and evolved into a life-transformation journey when she decided to join her gym mates in their quest to climb Machu Picchu in Peru.She hiked up the 26 miles of ascending trail, 8-10 hours daily. She had to bandage her wrists so they wouldn’t break as they took a load of her body weight with every step on her crutches.
She ultimately ascended the peak … crawling on her hands and knees at the end, to the cheers of those in her party who had been strangers at the outset of the journey.
When she came home, she was changed forever. The voices of shame and doubt about her body were gone.She was free to live life fearlessly. And to help others do the same. To guide them along their own journey to becoming fearless and limitless, to having the courage to say “yes” to their own Machu Picchu — those challenges that too often intimidate them into inaction.
Her message, and the experiences that birthed it, are both a balm and an emboldened for leaders today. Those who need encouragement and equipping to pass along to those they lead find it daily through Elevate LifeCoaching, her speaking engagements, and her podcast.
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