When Stephen Murray woke up after a life-altering injury, his mind immediately went into survival mode. How would he adjust to this lifestyle? How would he cope with the societal changes? Stephen had the preparation to push through tough moments, but could anyone be prepared to push through this?
To become a world-renowned BMX champion, there must be years and years of practice recorded and many mantras that follow the mentalities of never giving up. Stephen, who had accomplished so much at such a young age, harnessed these learned disciplines he had once used in physical competition and now applied them to an entire life in the state of mind. Stephen knew, if he could overcome setbacks before, he could certainly do it again.
Even the slightest change in a persons routine can throw them off. It is easy to complain about the trivial challenges we confront on a daily basis but for Stephen, this was a 180 degree about face. He had to re-learn even the most mundane of daily tasks. By all accounts he faced these struggles head on as he had done in the past.
Beyond having a self-support system to fuel courage, Stephen also learned the connections he made throughout life and his BMX career would continue with him on his new journey. Friends and family have meant the world in a time like this – from helping him with his rehabilitation to motivating him to never give up. Stephen was the one who encouraged a lot of these people to go for their dreams and now it was time for them to give that courage back.
When it comes to family, it’s apparent that Stephen cannot be the typical parent that does typical things with their children. Not only does he struggle through the obstacle of paralysis, Stephen is also a single-father of two. But to no surprise, this didn’t stop him from giving his children all that he could. Once they arrived back in the UK in June of this year, Stephen decided to build riding trails around his home.
"I built trails around my house so my kids and all my friends could have a place to ride and a spot to chill. Due to my situation, it wasn't possible to take my kids to as many places as a regular mom or dad. So, seeing as I was a single Dad raising my boys by myself, it seemed the right thing to do to have trails on the doorstep and give a great playground for the kids and their friends"
As of right now, life stays pretty busy for Stephen Murray. He often frequents BMX events and music festivals, and also spends a lot of time working on Stay Strong, his online shop dedicated to spreading the world of BMX and helping others in situations like his.
But, if you were to ask Stephen what his full-time job is, he’d most likely say it’s encouraging the people he meets with injuries similar to his. Stephen’s BMX career was more than winning medals, it was an inspirational story for anyone watching. And without his bike or the mobility of his body, Stephen still makes it his mission to bring courage to anyone who needs it.
Think positive. Stay strong.
Follow along as we continue to recount all aspects of Stephen's amazing story. In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest products hitting the shop. From now through the end of September, 10% of your purchase will go towards supporting Stephen Murray.
Joseph Miller is a freelance writer based in Richmond, VA. He received his BS in Creative Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University. In between writing editorials and content pieces, Joseph is currently training for his first half marathon, though his love for snacks may stunt his performance. www.josephhuntermiller.com