Kenny Potts' Journey to Finish Strong
So many people use the phrase “Finish Strong” to help motivate them in life. It could be what gets one person to go to the gym or what helps another person study for their exams. After suffering a spinal cord injury in 2008, “Finish Strong” means a lot more to Kenny Potts. This term is a constant reminder that he can keep improving, keep healing, and keep using the Finish Strong mantra to help others.
Living for the Rush
Kenny loves the outdoors, and he’s always had hobbies that give him an adrenaline rush. Growing up, he loved anything on two wheels. He was around 1 1/2 years old the first time he rode a bike. From there, his passion expanded to riding dirt bikes, racing BMX, and even riding his dirt bike in the desert. Kenny took every opportunity to ride, sometimes even going twice in one day, before and after work.
A Life-Changing Ride
On July 24, 2008, Kenny and a friend went riding dirt bikes together. Just 22 years old, Kenny had no idea that his life was about to change forever. The next thing he remembered was waking up the following day in the intensive care unit.
Kenny had suffered a spinal cord injury, which often times is life-threatening. His family wasn’t sure if he would live through the night. He spent two weeks in the ICU, two more weeks on a recovery floor in the hospital, and then he went to in-patient rehabilitation. Kenny was told that he would never walk, eat, or breathe on his own again, and he has been working to prove the doctors wrong ever since.
The Road to Recovery
After the accident, Kenny spent hundreds of hours in therapy and training just to get him back to a highly-functioning life. His family notes that the first 30 days after the accident were the worst, but Kenny never gave up. It has been a long and ongoing journey for Kenny, but he stays positive.
Kenny’s father works for a private university that has done research on such injuries, and his family has spent countless hours doing their own research. He has undergone multiple treatments on his road to recovery. In 2016, Kenny’s goal was just to be able to drive. He worked with his trainer and by 2018, Kenny was able to drive again. And not in a wheelchair, but sitting in his truck and using hand controls. Kenny takes nothing for granted, and he sees every obstacle as an opportunity–a challenge to prove the doctors wrong.
The Finish Strong Organization
In 2013, a family friend started a foundation that would offer financial help to Kenny so he could further his treatment plans and healing progress. The Finish Strong Organization helps uplift others and give them hope, support, and assistance. In the world of spinal cord injuries, Kenny and his family have a lot of experience that other people can benefit from. The name of the organization was chosen after Kenny’s aunt read the book, “Finish Strong”, written by Dan Green. The book has helped Kenny keep a positive mindset in regards to his life and his health.
Leaving No Stone Unturned
This is a phrase that Kenny said on one of his sets of treatment. He and his family had tried every possible option to help Kenny recover: acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, light therapy, CBD oils, Chinese herbal treatment, holistic therapy… everything. Along with “Finish Strong”, “Leave no stone unturned” has become one of the most important mantras to Kenny. Even though some days are difficult, he never gives up, and he never will.
Still Following His Dreams
Despite so many obstacles in front of him, Kenny is still an adrenaline junkie, and he loves the rush it brings him. He is not yet walking, but he has a handcycle adaptive bike, and he loves to go camping and drive his truck. The gym has become a safe-haven for Kenny, and he spends a lot of his time there. His mother, Tammy Potts says, “Kenny is always aware that movement will keep him going in his life.”
Surviving such a terrible accident and living with a spinal cord injury has been so eye opening for Kenny. It wasn’t easy for him to accept his role as a motivator and role-model for others, but in the past few years he’s realized the positive impact he is able to make. Helping and inspiring others is becoming part of Kenny’s daily routine, and he will continue to inspire them to never give up, to leave no stone unturned, and to finish strong.