Posts Tagged ‘Jim MacLaren’

Honoring Jim MacLaren

August 31, 2011

Jim MacLaren









One year ago today, my good friend Jim MacLaren passed away in his sleep. His sister Jennifer sent out this e-mail today and I’m honored to help spread the word.









Hello everyone,

As most of you know today is the 1st anniversary of my brother Jim’s passing. He is missed more than I can possibly say.

In his honor we are raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF was started for Jim after his second accident; a couple of his friends decided to raise money for an accessible van so Jim could drive. The foundation took off and now CAF helps hundreds of people get a new lease on life every year.

CAF continues to honor Jim’s memory with a special award given every October at their event. Our brother John is competing in the triathlon event in October and we are hoping to raise thousands of dollars in Jim’s name.

Please send out this link to everyone you know who might (more…)

The Barn Burned Down

November 21, 2010

In her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron wrote:

I have a friend dying of AIDS. Before I was leaving for a trip, we were talking. He said, “I didn’t want this, and I hated this, and I was terrified of this. But it turns out that this illness has been my greatest gift.” He said, “Now every moment is so precious to me. All the people in my life are so precious to me. My whole life means so much to me.” Something had really changed, and he felt ready for his death. Something that was horrifying and scary had turned into a gift.

I have heard this story in so many different forms over and over again. Heidi von Beltz, a former championship (more…)

Farewell, Jim MacLaren

September 1, 2010

The remarkable Jim MacLaren

It is with great sadness that I report the death of my friend, Jim MacLaren. Jim died in his sleep on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, at the age of forty-seven. Rendered a quadriplegic after two terrible vehicular accidents, Jim went on to inspire countless people with his upbeat attitude in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Just five weeks ago, Jim gave me a call to tell me he was finally feeling better after three grueling years of bladder infections that sent him to the hospital time and time again. Click here to read that post and hear a four-minute audio update from Jim.

I had interviewed Jim for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, after hearing him interviewed on Jim Rome‘s sports-talk radio and TV shows. In the course of working with him on his story, we became friends. I visited him at his home in Santa Fe two years ago and was hoping to someday fly out to Pennsylvania to see him again. Jim had moved there last fall to be closer to his sister, Jennifer, and her family.

If you’re unfamiliar with Jim, here is his bio from my book:

MacLaren, a motivational speaker and author, has triumphed over two horrific accidents that would have destroyed a lesser man. At twenty-two, he was a Yale All-American athlete and aspiring actor when his motorcycle was broadsided by a New York City bus. Dead on arrival, he woke up after an eight-day coma to find his left leg amputated below the knee. Inspired by a book about triathlons, he became the fastest one-legged endurance athlete on the planet, routinely finishing ahead of most able-bodied athletes. Eight years later, a van plowed (more…)

Audio Update From Jim MacLaren

July 23, 2010

The indomitable Jim MacLaren

My buddy Jim MacLaren made my day by lobbing me a phone call this morning just to say hi. He sounded better than he had in quite a while, which was terrific, since he’s been battling health issues for the last few years. I had interviewed Jim for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, and we had become friends. If you’re unfamiliar with Jim, here’s his bio from my book:

MacLaren, a motivational speaker and author, has triumphed over two horrific accidents that would have destroyed a lesser man. At twenty-two, he was a Yale All-American athlete and aspiring actor when his motorcycle was broadsided by a New York City bus. Dead on arrival, he woke up after an eight-day coma to find his left leg amputated below the knee. Inspired by a book about triathlons, he became the fastest one-legged endurance athlete on the planet, routinely finishing ahead of most able-bodied athletes. Eight years later, a van plowed into him during a race, rendering him a quadriplegic.

On the spur of the moment, I asked Jim if he’d like to give people an update on how he’s doing and he was all for it. Click on the audio player below to hear Jim’s (more…)

Something Amazing Happened to Jim MacLaren

March 11, 2009
maclaren-jim

Jim MacLaren

I was honored to interview Jim MacLaren for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Jim has inspired countless people with his upbeat attitude in the face of unimaginable adversity. Here is an excerpt from Jim’s profoundly moving story:

I was having an early-morning cup of coffee on Saturday, June 5, 1993, the day before a major triathlon in Mission Viejo, California. I was sitting on my girlfriend’s porch in Boulder, Colorado, reflecting on a pretty heady book I was reading, The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky. Although I was up on a porch, covered by trees, I could hear families walking to breakfast with their children on the street below. It was such a beautiful, pristine summer day. I was gazing at the trees and the huge rock faces in the distance and looking back over the eight years since I had lost my leg. I remember thinking, Wow, I’ve really reinvented myself. I’m a professional triathlete. ESPN is following me in the race tomorrow, and I’m traveling around the world racing and doing motivational talks. And it hit me. I thought, Wow, I’m back in it. I’m back in life.

Out of nowhere, I started crying. My girlfriend and training partner came out on the porch with a cup of coffee, saw me crying, and asked, “What’s the matter?” I smiled through tears and said, “Nothing is the matter. I’m crying because I’m happy. Something amazing is about to happen to me. I can just feel it.”

Fast forward eighteen hours later. (more…)

My Visit with Jim MacLaren

September 6, 2008

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Jim MacLaren and me in Santa Fe




I spent a few days in Santa Fe this week visiting with Jim MacLaren. Jim is a huge (more…)

Oprah Presents ESPY Award to Jim MacLaren

July 25, 2008

This amazing video is a profile of Jim MacLaren, one of the contributors to my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. The video is narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. It was shown at (more…)

Jimmy and Jim

July 16, 2008

Everybody loves a good story. The right story at the right time may have changed the way you look at the world or even altered the course of your life. Often, hearing someone else’s story of overcoming difficulties inspires us to find the courage to overcome our own.

The amazing Jim MacLaren

The amazing Jim MacLaren

I recently called Jimmy Kaercher, a longtime family friend and the editor of the newspaper in Ortonville, the western Minnesota town where my dad grew up. To my surprise, Jimmy, who was about to turn 78, told me he was in the hospital. Nine weeks earlier, his colon had burst and he had nearly died. He woke up to find that he had received a colostomy. It was a difficult recovery and he confided in me that there were days when he wished he hadn’t awakened from surgery.

But then he had read Jim MacLaren’s story in my new book, Sixty Seconds: One Minute Changes Everything. I had sent him a copy a few months before. He said MacLaren’s story had inspired him to keep fighting, that if MacLaren, now a motivational speaker, was able to keep his spirits up after enduring two horrific accidents that rendered him first an amputee, and then a quadriplegic, then maybe he didn’t have it so bad after all.

(more…)