Meg Johnson is a motivational speaker, author, artist, teacher, non-profit founder, and extreme tuna fish eater. She always wanted to be a motivational speaker but after taking a few courses in college she dropped out because she simply “wasn’t passionate enough about anything” to speak about it. Her blog is called MegJohnsonSpeaks.com. – This video posted by Seth Adam Smith.
Fast forward a few years, Meg found herself at the bottom of a 40 foot cliff in St. George, Utah after jumping for what seemed to be a boulder right in front of her (in subsequent returns to this area, Meg wonders how she could have ever mistaken this rugged area for anything but what it actually looked like). Meg broke her femurs, arms, collar bone, and neck in the landing. The arms and legs healed, but Meg’s broken neck rendered her a C-7 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down and without the use of her hands. Though Meg lost most of her abilities, she found her passion as she struggles to keep moving forward despite her inability to walk. Meg now speaks on her motto, which, she says, is applicable for people of all abilities: When life gets too hard to stand, just keep on rollin’!
Without the use of her legs, back, stomach, or hands, Meg refuses to sit still. She started out her time in a wheelchair by playing rugby with the Utah Scorpions. After realizing that sports aren’t really her thing, Meg craved something more feminine, which, she says, “isn’t really a part of the wheelchair world.” But when Meg found out about the national Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant, she jumped at the opportunity. “I never did pageants before I was paralyzed,” she says. “But I just wanted something – anything – girly.” Utah didn’t have a Ms. Wheelchair program so Meg competed as an independent delegate at Nationals in New York – 16 months after breaking her neck. She won the “Spirit Award.”
After returning home from Ms. Wheelchair America, Meg and her boyfriend (now her husband) founded Ms. Wheelchair Utah. With many contestants and an audience exceeding 1300. This state pageant has grown to include three age groups and has become one of the largest in the nation.
Meg finished her college degree at Weber State University in Communications and minored in English. She met her husband in college before she was paralyzed and he visited her while she was in the hospital. They were married four years later on February 29th in the Salt Lake Temple. Meg’s husband, Whit, is a finance analyst for Weber State University by day and a half-time performer by night. They enjoy doing business and home projects together and riding bikes (well, Meg rides her hand-cycle and Whit rides his unicycle. Together, they have four wheels and many strange looks). They have one daughter, Zula Mae, who was born in 2013.
By word of mouth, Meg’s popularity as a motivational speaker has grown and during the “busy season” (March – June) she averages 12-14 speeches each month. This website is a relatively recent addition and it allows people across the globe become inspired by Meg’s newsletter, Meg’s Monthly Message, her videos, and her blog. Read about Meg in the news.