It is our immense pleasure to introduce you to Chris Norton. We first met Chris in 2015 and we connected immediately. He asked us to read and review his book and Mr. N had the pleasure earlier this year. While he was reading Chris’ book, he would share passages with Mrs. N and we got all choked up. The Power of Faith moved us deeply and in our opinion, he’s a true hero. He agreed to an interview and I know you’ll be moved, too. Take it away, Chris:
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My best accomplishment thus far is raising over $500,000 through my non-profit SCI CAN Foundation. It’s not solely the money we have raised that is an accomplishment, but the amount of people we have helped with that money which I am proudest of.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself in 5 years living in a home in south Florida with Emily and some kids. I hope to have gained enough traction with my book and speaking that I am able to travel internationally.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes and no. In elementary and middle school, I enjoyed writing fictional stories from my imagination because there wasn’t a right answer and grammar wasn’t a focus. Years later in high school, I lost my creative touch and grammar was a heavy focus so I didn’t enjoy it as much. My favorite subject was math.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Continue to perfect your craft every day. If you truly enjoy writing and want to become better at writing, it’s got to be something you incorporate into your everyday life.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
I hate how long it takes from the finished manuscript to get the final product. Once you have all of the writing done you are really excited to share your work but there is a long tedious process to get everything else perfect like the formatting or cover design.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
I have this great spot at my apartment in Florida I like to write. It’s an office and right out the window is a pond and gorgeous palm trees next to the pool. It’s my little slice of paradise.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I would like to write a self-help book about how to overcome obstacles and lead a life of service. In addition, I also want to write another book about my life after graduation with Emily. I have had a lot experiences such as becoming a foster parent, moving to Florida, the wedding, relationships, and trying to make a living as a public speaker. It’s definitely a couple years down the road though.
What is your biggest fear?
I am deathly afraid of spiders. The worst part is if one is crawling around on the floor, I do not have the ability to easily kill it or get away from it. I just hope the little monster doesn’t climb up my chair.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To fly. I’ve always thought it would be an out of this world experience to be able to fly anywhere you want. I also love the feeling of the wind blowing in your face like when you are riding a bicycle or on an ATV. It would get be an incomparable sense of freedom.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
An eagle. When I think of an eagle I think of liberation, justice, and also the freedom to do whatever I want. Also I would choose being an eagle for many of the same reasons I picked flying as my superpower.
What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?
Scuba dive. Skydive. Attend the Super Bowl. Attend the NCAA Final Four. Surf. Walk on the Great Wall of China. Wheel a marathon.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar on my hip from a time in high school when I wiped out by being pulled by a ski rope from an ATV while skateboarding down a street. Yes, it was a dumb idea ha ha.
Title: The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes
Author: Chris Norton, Terry Norton & Christy Hayes
Genre: Memoir, Spirituality, Spinal Cord Injury
On a beautiful October day in 2010, eighteen-year-old Chris Norton jogged onto the football field on a kickoff for Luther College and was wheeled off on a stretcher after a routine tackle fractured his spine causing significant damage to his spinal cord. Given a 3 percent chance of ever moving anything below the neck, Chris awoke from surgery sixteen hours later defying the odds by shrugging his shoulder, beginning his long-fought journey to recovery with his family and biggest fan—father Terry—by his side.
Told through alternating chapters, this inspiring father-son memoir recounts a young man’s seemingly insurmountable quest to regain movement in every part of his body, and a father’s struggle to be the rock his son and family lean on in the face of their worst nightmare. Chris and Terry depict with brutal honesty the harrowing months they spent in rehabilitation and the years that followed where family, friends, and faith became the nucleus that saw them through. Chris’s graduation walk, marriage proposal and courageous story have already inspired millions worldwide.
Mr. N’s Book Review:
I think the word inspiration now has a new definition. This book is one of the most powerful I have ever had the pleasure to read. The story of how A singular moment in time changed the lives of not just the football player who was struck down but his family, friends, acquaintances, doctors, nurses, the physical therapy assistants, other victims of this injury and all their circles…it is beyond awe inspiring. I think the thing that struck me the most is how Chris states if he could go back in time he wouldn’t change a thing. Being almost paralyzed actually changed his life for the better.
The book is written brilliantly, telling the tale of the Norton family with the crux being that fateful day when Chris had his neck broken on the football field. The journey from the injury, to the initial care, to the mass rehab is told from both Chris’s perspective and that of his Dad, Terry.
You can clearly see that God had a plan for the Norton family and it only just started with his being injured. Only with God’s hand can a person overcome a 3% chance of ever moving again. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I grew frustrated and I cheered both when Chris asked Emily to marry him and when he triumphantly walked across stage to get his diploma.
I don’t think 5+ stars is enough. Everyone should read this book. It will reach you in so many ways. This book had such an impact on me that I was personally excited to find out that Chris himself had emailed my wife. I would be so excited to receive an email from a man I consider a true hero. A fantastic book that has changed my life.
My Rating: 5+ stars
CHRIS NORTON is a motivational speaker and founder of the SCI CAN Foundation. Chris suffered a severe spinal cord injury playing college football in 2010, losing movement and feeling below his neck. Through faith, family, and unwavering perseverance, Chris came back from his injury stronger than ever, receiving his business management degree from Luther College. Chris has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News’ Fox & Friends, NBC Nightly News, CBS’s The Early Show, and his story has been featured in TIME, USA Today, E!, People, and Cosmopolitan. Chris speaks regularly to students and organizations about overcoming adversity and achieving goals. Currently residing in Florida with his loving fiancee Emily, Chris wouldn’t take back the play that left him paralyzed due to the positive influence his story has had on millions of people worldwide.
TERRY NORTON is the Director of Des Moines Area Community College Jasper County Career Academy. Terry has over 20 years of experience in education and training, both in the corporate sector as well as K-12 and post-secondary education. Terry earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Art in Teaching from Drake University. Terry is the proud father of three children and has been married to his beautiful wife, Deb, for over 30 years. Terry has served as board president for the SCI CAN Foundation since it’s inception in 2012.
Social Media Links:
Sci Can Foundation http://scicanfoundation.com/