222: Jordan Thomas Podcast

November 12, 2021

In today’s episode of ‘Finding your Summit’ podcast, host Mark Pattison, former NFL Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits, talks with guest, Jordan Thomas. He discusses the tragedy that happened to him 16 years ago and how that played a major role in his comeback. He also discusses how Golf was oriented and connected to his recovery.

Episode Highlights

  • 3:42 – Jordan points out that August 16, 2005 was one of those days when his life changed forever.
  • 5:33 – He knew that he was all of a sudden thrown into this life-or-death situation.
  • 6:27 – Mark inquires if his mother ever carried the guilt as she made the decision in an instant to gun the boat.
  • 7:01 – Jordan reveals that his mom was intimately involved with it, it was really a struggle for her, and she did a lot of work on the mental health side of things to try to come to terms with it.
  • 7:48 – After the accident, there was a tremendous sense of guilt and he took this sense in terms of protecting his mom. He can’t feel angry towards his mom so, she doesn’t feel worse for having this happen.
  • 10:46 – Mark asks Jordan, “How did you get back to shore?
  • 11:33 – Jordan points out that his parents did a great job in getting him back into the boat.
  • 13:20 – Mark asks Jordan if he had any nightmares like reliving that moment.
  • 15:00 – Jordan now looks at the world through a different lens, given that his life just turned instantly upside down and he had to go through that level of trauma.
  • 16:05 – Jordan talks about that transition of learning how to walk and retrofit and the awareness of entering this new phase of life.
  • 18:21 – Everybody has something to deal with, says Mark.
  • 20:00 – Jordan would go to the golf course, sit in the golf cart and have someone drive him around the golf course. It is a place where he feels safe, connected and comfortable.
  • 22:55 – “I can only imagine that safe ground for you, as part of your healing to where you are today”, says Mark.
  • 24:00 – Jordan shares what he discovered—which then led to his foundation.
  • 26:42 – They eventually started having a golf tournament to raise funds.
  • 29:00 – Jordan states, “We’re really looking at how they can be a holistic resource for these kids beyond just covering the prosthetic device”.
  • 32:00 – Jordan puts his leg on each and every day and goes to work, never with the idea of being at Kodak Theatre in LA being named a CNN Hero.
  • 34:25 – The guest has been able to help 74 kids and he wants to include more.

Three Key Points

  1. Jordan mentions that when they see tragedies like this, it goes one of two ways. It either drives a wedge and it splits people apart, or people are forced to come together and connect on a more authentic level.
  2. All the important relationships in his life—almost all of them come from golf, or include golf in some way. Then with his foundation, it’s a way for him to connect with people, and to share his story and to share the story of the kids that they serve in a way that is way better than he ever thought. It’s an avenue to connect with more people and to make the world a little better place.
  3. They started the foundation there in the hospital in 2005, where their sole focus initially was how they help kids get the prosthetic devices that they need throughout their childhood.

Tweetable Quotes

It does take a grind, and you got to keep your nose focused on the reason why I’m doing this.” – Mark Pattison

I knew what had happened, I looked down, my fins were gone and I saw blood in the water.” – Jordan Thomas

I think today, 16 years after the fact, she’s in a much better place.” – Jordan Thomas

She made the decision in a split instant—she’s my mother, and I know that she would never do anything to hurt me.” – Jordan Thomas

I don’t think at any point either one of us looked at my mom and said why you did this.” – Jordan Thomas

My emotional injuries were far more injurious than my physical ones.” – Jordan Thomas

My recovery was made a lot easier because I knew that I’d have access to things.” – Jordan Thomas

We all have a burden to bear, mine’s just a lot more visible.” – Jordan Thomas

I came to learn that prosthetics are prohibitively expensive, insurance doesn’t cover them sufficiently.” – Jordan Thomas

“At our first fundraiser, we sold bands for $5. That was the first way we ever raised money.” – Jordan Thomas

When we give these kids an opportunity, they go out and do remarkable things.” – Jordan Thomas

I don’t really pause to celebrate the accomplishments.” – Jordan Thomas

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