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Sergeant Michael Smith on Overcoming Obstacles and Chasing Big Dreams

Sergeant Michael Smith on Overcoming Obstacles and Chasing Big Dreams

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Episode Summary Army Sergeant 1st Class Michael Smith hasn’t let tragedy prevent him from chasing his dreams. He's the first above-the-elbow amputee to receive a fit-for-duty status as an active duty Soldier, and a paralympic triathlete training to compete at the Olympics. Our conversation with Michael will leave you in awe of the circumstances he faced and overcame and inspire you to stay resilient so you can conquer the world!


Episode Notes

(1:04) Training for the 2021 Paralympic Games…

(1:53) “...the training is intense, a lot of sacrifices. I've sacrificed friendships, relationships. I mean, all types of stuff, man. And that's just what it takes for me to get to my goal.”

(6:52) Using the challenges of Covid to impact training… “it's the small stuff that you have to conquer before you can expect the big gains and expect to do well on a bigger thing.”

(12:39) A crazy accident and medical setbacks…

(16:13) Twenty-two surgeries, multiple amputations, kidney failure, and a special Aunt...

(22:34) Crawling out of the lowest point… “I came out as fast as I did, and as strong as I did because of my faith in God, my family and my friends.”

(25:31) Getting to the Warrior Transition Battalion… and the mindset shift that changed everything.

(29:25) Jon’s mindset shift thanks to Coach Peterson…

(31:20) Earning fit for duty status … “First I had to get my mind right. Once I had that, the physical part was easy.”

(37:11) The difficult transition from soldier to Paralympic hopeful…

(39:09) “This is my thank you for saving my life.”

(44:17) “When I meet people, I want them to be like, ‘Man, I met this brother and he had me wanting to conquer the world!’”

(47:13) What advice would you give to others to fuel their mindset?



  • Warrior Transition Battalion - Website
  • Army World Class Athlete Program - Website
  • Swim, Bike, Run 4 Equality - Facebook



Learn More:

  • UCAN - | @genucan Your Personal Best Awaits
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