When Lauren Watson was just 19, a really bad accident left her body partially paralyzed from the waist down with incomplete paraplegia. Her legs had lost motor and sensory functions. She stayed in the hospital for 6 long months where she re-learnt using her legs and her new body. She was wheelchair bound now.
“I remember thinking it was all a bad dream!” Watson told BuzzFeed Life.
She struggled with physical therapy for over a decade. “Physical Therapy for me was a constant reminder of how I was different; it made me feel more disabled.”
After her physiotherapist encouraged her to look for opportunities that would allow her to laugh and have fun, she decided to try becoming an aerial performer. “I thought, That has to be impossible, but if I can master it I’ll be able to do anything.”
She took months to find an aerial school that would grant her admission and would teach her knowing her disability. It took her months to pull herself up on the cloth.
The first six months were spent on trying to pull herself up to a standing position on one leg. “I couldn’t climb but I didn’t give up. If you do, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what if.” She is an inspiring woman. Source
Her physiotherapists were also unsure whether she will be able to attempt doing aerial. “I sometimes wonder if I should tell that physiotherapist that he motivated me more by his lack of support and in a way he helped me get to where I am today.”
In two years, Lauren became a skilled performer and she even starred in a music video for a Sydney band Little Fox.
“I think about it now and it would’ve sounded insane for a girl who’s been partially paralyzed for 14 years to plan on climbing up a silk 13 feet in the air.”
Because of aerial arts she now understands mechanics of her body, she has become a creative person in adapting differing poses to use her body when she is in the act. She hopes people will be inspired with her story.
“Aerial makes me realize everything is achievable because I feel empowered to take on new challenges,” said Watson. “I always find new ways to make it work.”
She has a blog named Fitness to Free and a YouTube channel that she uses to tell her story and share information for all the performers. Source
“Disability or not, we are all just people chasing the dream to be the best that we can be with what we have.”
We pray Lauren gets all that she wishes for in her life. Power to you girl!