If you’re one to take life for granted, please watch 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story. 7 Yards is a feature-length documentary that explores the resilience and perspective of Chris Norton, who, in October 2010 suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Doctors said the 18-year-old  had a 3% chance of ever moving again, but he defied that diagnosis. 

After years of physical therapy and training, Chris’s story went viral in 2015 when he successfully walked across the college graduation stage at Luther College with the help of his fiancée, Emily. A video of Chris walking to get his diploma touched the world and has received over 300 million views. Soon after, Chris and Emily set an ambitious new goal: walk seven yards side-by-side down their wedding aisle. The film features powerful interviews, emotional reenactments, and real footage from their 2018 wedding. It’s the inspirational comeback story of Chris and his journey from college athlete to a medical miracle to viral inspiration and now an adoptive father. 

Forewarning! Be ready to be inspired and motivated to do more with your life. The movie, which is available on Netflix, had me in tears many times and gave me a new perspective on life. Chris never gave up and went against all odds and achieved the unthinkable. The things Chris has accomplished give you a fresh look at your own life and where you can improve, push harder, and become a better version of yourself. After watching Chris’s story, it shows you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I relate to this movie so much. On August 30th, 2019, Rutgers Camden Men’s Soccer had their first game at Rowan. I started the game and played until the 88th minute. The opposing team had a free-kick. The sun was beaming on everyone’s back, sweat dripping off our faces, and all we could hear was that whistle being blown. Then, everything went black. I opened my eyes and suddenly realized I had this sensation flowing through my back. I naturally laid on the turf and waited for help. Long story short, I broke my cervical spine C1-C6. 

I was rushed into surgery with only one sentence going through my head, “Son, you are going to have to hang your boots up. There is no more soccer for you.” Soccer has been my life since I was three. All of my memories growing up as a child are with a soccer ball. I remember telling myself before surgery I was going to come out on top. 

After surgery, I knew my season was canceled, but I was soon notified that  I couldn’t attend school. I needed to take the semester off. Defying the odds, I returned to campus a week later but only took three classes. Already, I proved people wrong. That was and still is a mindset of mine. 

There are a lot of people who are going to talk, and you have to be strong-minded and willing to keep your mouth shut, head down, and do what you do best. After only eight months of recovery, I was fully cleared and am back to playing the sport I love. It’s easy to say I have a guardian angel following me. I am a walking miracle. I understand we have a lot of flaws in the world today, but with what has happened to me the past year, I have nothing but a positive mindset and approach to life because I believe I was given a second chance at life. 

We live in a world where people are truly put to the test every day! It’s only a matter of how you react to the challenges you are faced with. After all I’ve gone through and watching 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story, I truly believe you can do anything you put your heart and mind to! People will be quick to put a finger in your face and tell you that you can’t do something. Are you going to listen to them or prove them wrong like Chris Norton and me?