Snowboarder Kevin Pearce Turns Brain Injury Into Life of Service

In the past three months, the Live Be Yoga tour has been inspired by so many yoga many practitioners from all walks of life. But former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce taught me that matter what happens to us, we can deliberately choose to give back, save lives, and hold on to the purpose we’ve been given, even if it turns into something we never could have imagined.
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In the past three months, the Live Be Yoga tour has been inspired by so many yoga many practitioners from all walks of life. But former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce taught me that matter what happens to us, we can deliberately choose to give back, save lives, and hold on to the purpose we’ve been given, even if it turns into something we never could have imagined.
The Live Be Yoga team meets Kevin Pearce.

The Live Be Yoga team spends the day with former pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce (second from left) in beautiful Bend, Oregon.

In the past three months, the Live Be Yoga tour has been inspired by so many yoga many practitioners from all walks of life. But former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce taught me that no matter what happens to us, we can deliberately choose to give back, save lives, and hold on to the purpose we’ve been given, even if it turns into something we never could have imagined.

Kevin’s snowboarding accident occurred six years ago while he was training for the Winter Olympics. Since then, his recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been noted as quite unbelievable. But was it? Everything Kevin had done in his life up until this point was amazing, so why would his recovery and growth after a life-changing injury be any different? We watched The Crash Reel documentary on HBO before meeting Kevin, so we were already inspired by what he went through and overcame in his 28 years. It isn’t often that you come into contact with someone who has taken every tiny moment in their life and specifically used it to inspire others.

Kevin found his purpose when he was extremely young. Love for the outdoors, for snowboarding and for creating a community wherever he goes ... these are passions Kevin was born with. After nearly losing his life; re-learning how to walk, talk, and swallow; and accepting the fact that he would never return to professional snowboarding, Kevin created an organization with his brother, Adam, to help other people who have experienced TBI. The Love Your Brain Foundation is a non-profit organization that’s mission is "to improve the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury -- from concussion to severe injury -- through programs that build community." Love Your Brain Yoga is one of the programs within the organization with the goal to "support people who have experienced TBI and their caregivers in community-based gentle yoga and meditation classes tailored to their needs." The program believes that "everyone should have an opportunity to improve and restore their physical and emotional wellbeing through these practices."

Traveling all over the country, Kevin and his team create teacher training programs, workshops, and host classes for patients. Kevin told us that the reason he started the organization was because he couldn’t believe how many other people have experienced TBI or other brain injuries. There is an entire community of people, 12 people every second in fact, who suffer from such injuries, and Kevin felt the need to use his success to develop that community. Another way Kevin just doesn’t quit.

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