My Why: CJ Powell

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 10, 2021

The 2nd annual Reeve Run & Roll virtual 5K will take Team Reeve globetrotting from kick-off September 25, 2021, through October 3, 2021. Participants of all athletic abilities will join to run, roll, cycle, swim, surf, dribble, walk and so much more.

CJ Powell

CJ Powell Is Ready to Run & Roll

With just three weeks to go until the 2nd annual Reeve Run & Roll, CJ Powell is hard at work assembling a team of participants at NeuAbility, a comprehensive rehabilitative wellness center that serves roughly 60 people a week in Denver, Colorado.CJ at NeuAbility training

“I want our folks here to be involved with the Reeve Foundation as much as possible, and the Run & Roll offers a great opportunity that truly benefits everyone,” says Powell, who is NeuAbility’s interim executive director. “It strengthens the triangle between our center, the individuals we serve and the Reeve Foundation.”

Powell describes the Reeve Foundation as the single greatest hub for resources about paralysis from a holistic standpoint. He wants to raise awareness and support for what the Reeve Foundation has to offer.

“Building connections within the larger paralysis community and working together to promote and support the Reeve Foundation’s critical research benefits us all,” says Powell.

Much of Powell’s enthusiasm for the event also comes from his personal experience with how powerful and important creating a strong community can be. An avid dirt bike racer from an early age, Powell sustained a T4 complete injury in a 2013 motocross competition when he was 19 years old.CJ skiing with friends

“I was lucky to have a strong support system that didn’t treat me any differently. I also found it important to stay busy. My philosophy was to be open to everything,” says Powell.

In early 2014, Powell started going to NeuAbility and he says that’s where everything changed for him — mentally, emotionally and physically.

“It was an energetic and accepting haven. A place where I didn’t feel like I had a disability. Here, you aren’t treated as fragile. You are expected to push your limits,” says Powell. “It has been one of the biggest parts of my journey since my injury.”

In 2016, Powell joined the NeuAbility board of directors. He has also served two times as interim executive director. Much of his work at the center has focused on building connections and community. He hopes to help others maintain and increase their independence, strength, and confidence through this work.CJ at NeuAbility training

“NeuAbility is so much more than an exercise and therapy center. We host movie nights, barbeques and much more. People here form a tight bond. So many folks have been here for most of their post-injury lives,” says Powell.

Through the Run & Roll, Powell looks forward to including the Reeve Foundation in the community connection.

“I hope to have a 10-to-15-person team. We have a lot of individuals with high-level injuries, and we invite everyone to participate with whatever abilities they have. Some may use free motion machines or gait training,” says Powell. “The most important thing is to support one another.”

There is still time to register for the Reeve Run & Roll and join my team!

Reeve Run & Roll logo

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.