Justin Falls – the first quadriplegic to earn coveted Spartan TRIFECTA
In November 2015, Justin Falls became the first quadriplegic to earn the coveted Spartan TRIFECTA.
Who is Justin Falls?
Nine years ago, just two months into his freshman year of college, Justin woke up in the hospital ICU. He learned from doctors and his family that he had fallen and broken his neck, thus partially severing his spinal cord causing paralysis. He was told by his medical team that “he’d be lucky to operate a power chair on his own.” For a moment, Justin believed that life as he knew it was over.
However, Justin was determined to gain back as much function as possible, starting with learning how to breathe on his own without a ventilator. Justin desperately wanted his independence back, and he wanted to finish school. Following months of physical therapy, he was able to return to school and completed his Bachelor’s degree. Justin went on to pursue a degree in Pharmacology and graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2015.
Justin’s journey from injury to TRIFECTA
More Heart Than Scars (MHTS) first met Justin in October 2013 at the Carolinas Renaissance Festival. After spending that year rebuilding his lost confidence, he invited us to hike with him up Crowders Mountain in North Carolina in 2014. This was a “healing” hike for Justin as this was a training place for him when he ran Cross Country in high school.
With the help of Justin’s friends, and MHTS, Justin made it to the top of the mountain. In April 2015, Justin completed his first Sprint with MHTS in Charlotte, NC. Justin’s story—his journey to his first TRIFECTA—was on everyone’s lips.
At the beginning of 2015, Joe De Sena gifted the XCalibur Sports wheelchair that he used during the 2014 Ohio Super to MHTS in order for it to be used by other athletes. After receiving the chair, MHTS talked with Justin and decided that we wanted to thank Joe for his generosity by using this wheelchair to help Justin become the first quadriplegic to earn a Spartan TRIFECTA.
Justin earned this honor by completing every single obstacle and every single mile of the 2015 Charlotte Sprint, Asheville Super, and Carolinas Beast.
How can you help?
We want to encourage and inspire others to push themselves past what they thought was possible. Justin was told by his doctor that he would be “lucky to use a power chair.” Yet, he has completed Obstacle Course Races and is currently a member of a Wheelchair Rugby team. Justin lives with More Faith Than Fear, More Hope Than Despair, More Love Than Hate, and More Heart Than Scars.
We believe Justin’s story has the ability to bring people together and lift them up during difficult times. We want to celebrate Justin’s TRIFECTA by dancing for joy with Ellen Degeneres. We are asking the Spartan Race community to please share this video on all social media platforms with the hashtag #ASKELLEN2DANCE4JOY. Ellen has the amazing ability to bring humor and heart into all that she does which encourages us to “just keep swimming.”