#52 - Millimetres to Mountains - Ed Jackson, Former Professional Rugby Player on Overcoming Challenges in the Face of Adversity.

After a career playing professional rugby, Ed Jackson broke his neck on April 8th 2017 in a freak accident. He jumped into the shallow end of a pool at a family barbecue and from there his ‘Road to Recovery’ begun.

The fact that Ed’s father is a doctor and the proximity of the hospital was not far in the grand scheme of things meant that his condition wasn’t worsened in that crucial period. In the days to come Ed and his family went through an extremely draining period where they came to grips with the fact that there was a high chance he may never walk again.


Jackson had fractured and dislocated the C6 and C7 vertebrae and shattered the disc between them his spinal cord was impacted and partially crushed, resulting in damage, swelling and spinal shock. Things looked rocky.

Ed started to document what was going on via voicenote within the first few days of having the accident. His personal journey became very well followed and his incredible progress mesmerised the people who had taken interest. Around 25,000. From being a big unit on the rugby pitch and moving his body in a large capacity it must have been bizarre for him to then have to put all his concentration into trying to move single toes and fingers. I can’t even fathom how frustrating that must have been.

Hearing Ed’s journey over the last 18 months and how he now views life was one of the most mesmorising 45 minutes I’ve had whilst starting this podcast. I walked away feeling so inspired and grateful for life. I have no doubt that you will too.

  • Ed gives us a bit of background on his childhood as a swimmer and then talks about how he got into professional rugby.

  • Ed talks about the accident that changed his life forever. What happened and the incidents surrounding the accident.

  • How the ‘Road to Recovery’ started and the impact it has had on people. He tells us why he started it and how it has gone from strength to strength.

  • Ed talks us through moments such as being told he may never walk again and his feelings upon moving his toe for the first time since the accident.

  • Where did the mindset of refusing to accept defeat come from? He tells us what drove him day in and day out.

  • Ed tells us about his decision to climb Mount Snowdon within a year of his accident. Crazy. Especially after having being advised specifically not to by physics and doctors.

  • I ask Ed how the experience has impacted his perspective on life. Does he still concentrate on short term goals on a daily basis?

  • Ed tells us what is going on for him in 2019.