EP10: Janine Shepherd: Former Elite Athlete Learning to Walk and Live Again After a Tragic Accident


Today’s guest is Janine Shepherd and I’m so honored she shared her story with me and my community. Janine has defeated the odds (more than once!) and is inspiring so many with her life-changing journey. 

She was a very talented skier on the Australian Olympic team when she suffered a life-altering and supposedly permanent paralysis. But Janine did not accept the fate of that injury and took charge to make her life goals happen by rehabilitating her injured body. Janine fought really hard, not only to get herself walking again, but she decided that she was going to become a licensed commercial pilot, licensed acrobatic pilot and a licensed instructor within 18 months of the time of her accident.

“When you find meaning in suffering, suffering ceases to exist.” (Click to tweet!)
~ Janine Shepherd

She speaks so openly and honestly about what life was like right after her accident and how she has dealt with, and grown and learned from, more recent losses including divorce, financial loss, and chronic pain. There is something in Janine’s story that is relatable to us all. You’re going to want to hear this!

I hope that what you take from this conversation is some inspiration to not let your current circumstances define your future and to allow yourself to dream bigger for your life. I’d love to hear what you think of this conversation and how you see it translating to your own life. Be sure to comment below or connect with me on Instagram to tell me all about it.

More About Janine Shepherd

Janine Shepherd, AM, is an author, speaker and aerobatic pilot. Her TEDx talk, "A Broken Body is not a Broken Person", has been viewed by millions. She is the author of six books, the most recent being DEFIANT, which chronicles Janine's extraordinary life -- from professional athlete to spinal cord patient to aerobatic pilot to bestselling writer.

You can connect with Janine via her website, Instagram or Facebook.

Listen to Episode 10 Below:


In This Episode, We Talk About

  • That most people think that her story is about her physical loss but she has had 3 seminal losses in her life - marriage loss, financial, lost her house

  • She is always committed to creating meaning through her experience

  • Which loss has been her most challenging

  • What it was like to be a woman with a disability and a single mother 

  • What it was like to learn to walk and fly at the same time

  • The work she has done on her mindset and energy to help her process grief and loss and move through it

  • Why she is a big fan of “feeling it all” and calls herself a really good crier

  • Where Janine found her validation for her loss and her invisible losses

  • Her death experience and how she decided to return to her body - she came back not to talk about the afterlife but to talk about this life

  • The idea that It’s the struggles that are the really important times and it’s in that where we find our purpose in life

  • What helped her get through the very toughest moments after her accident 

  • The one thing Janine has found that everyone has in common - we are all having this human experience - you don’t have to have a big loss, it’s the little ones too

  • What her dark and hard times look like now - chronic pain

  • How her ketogenic diet has supported her to be pain-free

  • Janine is starting a new course - The School of Resilience - 12 pillars of resilience

  • A movie is underway in Hollywood to tell her story!

  • What she would go back and tell her younger self - you don’t need to force it, it’s going to happen and be ok

  • And so much more!

Things We Mention In This Episode


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