Amanda Sullivan is the type of person who’s easy to admire. She was the captain of her high school varsity field hockey, basketball and lacrosse teams. Her classmates voted her “The Female Athlete of The Year” her senior year in high school. Sullivan played club sports in college and combined her love for working out and helping others in the years after graduation. She spent nearly a decade providing support and hope to orphans, refugees and abused women in impoverished parts of the world, where she worked as an aid worker and missionary.
But, for more than two years, Amanda couldn’t get out of bed. For more than two years, she thought her life was over. In 2009, Sullivan was involved in a serious car crash. The crash left her with a fractured skull, traumatic brain injuries and a slew of appointments with doctors. Sullivan was in pain. But, she would recover with the right treatment and physical therapy.
Six weeks later, while she was on her way to a doctor’s appointment, she was involved in another crash, when she was struck as a pedestrian and run over. This new tragedy resulted in another round of injuries, except this time the damage to her body was more severe. She was left bedridden, and her doctors said she’d be permanently disabled. She began to blame herself for the accidents. Then, doctors told her about her right leg — if she didn’t start building its strength, it would have to be amputated. Now, Amanda found herself helpless, trapped in a prison of physical, mental and spiritual warfare. She knew she needed to fight for herself the way she had fought for others all those years. She knew no one could save her but herself. Most importantly, Amanda knew that if she started learning lessons from adversity, she would be more ABLE than ever before. The time had come to become the hero of her own story. The time was now.
Amanda went into what she calls “Beast Mode” and harnessed the Sentenced 2 Life Spirit. The athlete in her was spurred back to life. She began physical therapy 3-4 days a week. As a result, Sullivan was finally able to stand on her own and take some steps. And soon, she was walking again with forearm crutches.
She even crutched through a 5K in September 2012! Sullivan covered her face with war paint and ran her first obstacle course, which lead to many more obstacle course races down the road. She became the first person in the world with a physical disability to earn the incredibly challenging Spartan Race Trifecta Medal for completing each of the three main Spartan Race courses in one calendar year. Amanda has been named to The Spartan Pro Team and is the first female adaptive athlete to be on the team. She hopes this will open the door for many more adaptive athletes in the future. With her Sentenced 2 Life Battle Cry, our S2L athlete recently crutched through 26.2 miles of Marine Corps Marathon on October 26, 2014. Sullivan loves to push herself to her limitations… SO, SHE MAY DEFY THEM. And she hopes you do as well.
Amanda Sullivan has always been easy to admire. But today, she’s more than an idol — she’s a Sentenced 2 Life sponsored athlete, sharing her story, struggles and successes with others who are still living life to the fullest, despite whatever obstacles are placed in their paths.