227: Robert Paylor – How this young man turned serious adversity into a gift

December 17, 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, Robert Paylor who shares an incident of Rugby where a player broke his neck and got paralyzed during the Bears’ National Championship. He also talks about how he overcame this physical challenge.

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Episode Highlights

  • 01:46 – Mark says, what would happen to Robert was always his worst nightmare.
  • 06:48 – Robert mentions that at that moment, he couldn’t wiggle his fingers, couldn’t move his arms, couldn’t live on his toes and couldn’t even feel it.
  • 08:35 – It was clearly a strong bind around his neck which is extremely illegal in the sport of Rugby, says Robert.
  • 10:00 – No matter how much anger Robert was feeling, he would always say, he forgives this person and wishes him well, even though on inside, he didn’t feel at all.
  • 12:48 – Mark asks Robert about that timeline for him to go through the different phases of despair and ultimately hope to where he is today.
  • 14:00 – Doctor recommended a Spinal Fusion Surgery through the front of Robert’s neck.
  • 16:51 – Have you gone through why me, enquires Mark.
  • 17:48 – Robert thinks deeply about the tools that have helped him overcome this challenge that other people can use to overcome the challenges in their lives.
  • 18:10 – Robert wakes-up every single day looking to make an impact on someone else’s life.
  • 20:03 – How did your parents respond to all this, questions Mark.
  • 22:51 – Family is the most important thing to Robert in his life.
  • 24:38 – Robert was always the same person; he just had a serious physical goal to overcome.
  • 26: 20 – Robert couldn’t lift his arm above his head, nothing in his fingers, making it extremely challenging to be able to get throughout the day.
  • 28: 19 –The second hospital that Robert went to guaranteed him that they are going to do everything to optimize this recovery.
  • 30:07 – Mark says, Robert’s recovery has been very positive to get him back on his feet.
  • 33:05 – There are no shortcuts at the top, we got to put in the hard work and that’s just the way it is, says Mark.
  • 35:01 – Robert shares that his coach Jack Clark sat down with him every week for over a semester, and put together his experiences and tools that have helped him overcome this challenge that he can give to other people to overcome adversities.
  • 36:41 – It’s not just about the big milestones and the PRs, but it’s about putting in that dedicated consistent work every day, stresses Robert.

Three Key Points

  1. In a contact sport, when someone hits us, we hit them back harder. Someone punches us; we punch them back harder. That’s kind of how it was played in these contact sports.
  2. We need to be able to appreciate those good days when they come and have a good vision for what we’re looking to achieve going forward.
  3. When we work with something like this, go through the battle and accomplish a goal then we need to find a way to help somebody else not just ourselves, that reveals the true purpose.

Tweetable Quotes

  • “We’ve experienced the most success to that day when we were fighting for 31st National Championship.”– Robert Paylor
  • “My chin was severely pressed against my chest. I remember, I closed my eyes, I grit my teeth and then it was just like I couldn’t feel anything, I couldn’t move anything.” – Robert Paylor
  • “He has never reached out and he’s never said in sorry at all.” – Robert Paylor
  • “Every single inch an ounce of your positive energy needs goes towards your healing and not towards others who may or may not have contributed to this situation.” – Mark Pattison
  • “I was spiking fevers-up to around 105 five degrees, my body was completely broken. He said I might not even survive the surgery.” – Robert Paylor
  • “It was a player from Arkansas State that broke my neck but being able to take this and turn it into something beautiful that I can give it to someone else.” – Robert Paylor
  • “When I was on that field, when I looked like a corpse, I was not moving, I was barely breathing but I was completely conscious in my head.” – Robert Paylor
  • “If you can put a knife in my leg at that time it wouldn’t have hurt but I would have felt that something’s there.” – Robert Paylor
  • “It doesn’t always have to be, intense and for long periods of time but consistent.” – Robert Paylor

Resources Mentioned

Robert Paylor: Instagram | LinkedIn| Twitter | Facebook | Website

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