Cambry Kaylor is an equestrian vaulting coach and an occupational therapist.
She is a former equestrian vaulter.
Cambry Kaylor was born on 11 March 1987 in Thousand Oaks, California, United States.
Cambry grew up in Woodinville, Washington.
Her mother, Kim Kaylor, worked as an elementary school teacher.
Cambry has siblings.
Love for horses & vaulting-
Initially, in her childhood, Cambry used to perform ballet and gymnastics and she was also an animal lover, especially a horse lover.
At 8, she came across an article in American Girl magazine featuring a mother and daughter duo performing equestrian vaulting.
As Cambry was already doing ballet and gymnastics and had a love for horses, she was immediately attracted towards equestrian vaulting.
So, with the help of her mother she joined a club and started learning vaulting and in the same year, she vaulted with the Redwing Vaulters.
Later, Cambry became a vaulter and competed on a National Championship C-Team and 2-phase team. She also won a silver medal.
Apart from this, she also played other sports like cheerleading, diving, etc.
Cambry was a member of her high school diving team.
Cambry trained for ten years in equestrian vaulting and wanted to become an international competitor.
Unfortunately, on 21 June 2005, while training with her team for the national championships in California, she miscommunicated with her partner on the horse and did an aerial dismount off and hit her partner with her leg and her foot got caught in his uniform.
This changed Cambry’s rotation in the air and she landed in a position that broke her back and severed her spinal cord and she suffered a T-10/11 spinal cord injury.
Initially, while lying on the ground in immense pain, she thought that she could recover from the pain and later, practice and make a comeback.
During that time, Cambry’s goal was to participate in the World Equestrian Games.
But all her dreams shattered when her doctor said that she couldn’t walk again, she was 18 at that time.
Amidst this bad news, the doctor said that Cambry could bear children in future and this was quite a relief for her.
The silver lining-
Even though Cambry became permanently paralysed from her waist down and lost all the feeling and control of her legs and also realised that she could never play equestrian vaulting again, there was a silver lining for her.
A couple of months prior to the mishap, a Paralympian basketball player visited her school and spoke that life doesn’t end with a disability as there would be numerous possibilities even with disabilities.
Cambry remembered his speech during her difficult time and this gave her hope.
But shortly after her first surgery, she started losing hope and started getting nightmares and so, she started receiving spinal cord rehabilitation therapy.
The typical rehabilitation was for three months but as Cambry wanted to participate in the equestrian national championships, she completed the rehabilitation in eight weeks.
But unfortunately, she couldn’t participate in it due to her disability.
Taking comfort in a wheelchair-
As Cambry wanted to walk again, she researched a personal trainer who used to help paraplegics walk with the help of braces and canes.
So, for two years, she trained to walk and at her best, she was able to walk about 50 feet in five minutes.
At that time, Cambry was in her sophomore year at Brigham Young University.
Soon, she realised that walking like that wasn’t worth it as she had a risk of falling and injuring her arms and also, she wasn’t happy with walking with braces and canes.
So, Cambry started using a wheelchair.
Para Dressage & becoming a coach-
Cambry’s doctor informed that she couldn’t do equestrian vaulting but she could do para dressage.
A few weeks after being discharged from hospital to home, she started practising para dressage with braces with the help of around 4-5 people who ensured her safety and as she wasn’t happy with this, she quit para dressage after a while.
Many years later, thanks to her love for vaulting, Cambry became an equestrian vaulting coach and soon, fell in love with coaching.
She coaches at Technique Equestrian Vaulting Club.
This club was founded in October 2007 by Cambry and her mother in Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Her mother works as an Assistant Head Coach in this club.
Cambry is also an equestrian judge.
Becoming an occupational therapist-
Initially, Cambry wanted to become a dentist but as she was frequently invited by a hospital to interact with people suffering from spinal cord injuries, she decided to become an occupational therapist.
So, after graduating from The University of Utah with a master’s degree in occupational therapy, she became an occupational therapist at a children’s hospital.
Cambry met Zack Nelson on a dating app and they got married on 31 August 2019.
Zack is an extremely popular YouTuber and has more than 7 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, JerryRigEverything.
As of June 2022, Cambry has 174K followers on Instagram and she occasionally appears alongside Zack on his YouTube channel.
This couple has a son, Cyrus Nelson.
Cyrus was born in October 2021.
Zack and Cambry are involved in making Not-a-Wheelchair, an affordable bike for paraplegics capable of off-roading.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Cambry Kaylor?
Share with me in the comment section below.
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