60: Swimming to Tokyo with Haven Shepherd


Haven is a 16 year old swimmer who hopes to earn her spot on the United States Paralympic team for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan. She lost her legs when she was an infant because of a failed suicide bomb attempt by her birth parents. She views her life with no legs as a blessing and embraces the potential opportunity to represent the United States as an elite athlete. In this episode:

  • Surviving a family suicide attempt as an infant, but losing both legs below the knees
  • Going to Dancing with the Stars at age 11
  • Viewing her life without legs as a blessing
  • Finding security in her identity which is far above swimmer, amputee, or athlete
  • Gratefulness for adoption and her adoptive parents
  • Feeling freedom while swimming
  • 6-8 swimming practices/week, 3 crossfit workouts/week, swim 6,000 yards/day
  • Implementing crossfit workouts into her training schedule
  • Finding confidence in her family when she is in doubt
  • Time experienced vs. time wasted
  • Circumstances don’t determine one’s future

You can follow Haven and her journey on Instagram @havenfaithshepherd

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