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.
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.
Meg was contacted by Covenant Communications, a publishing company, to record her speeches onto CDs and into books. Meg loves to be able to reach a broader community in this way and share her funny, heartfelt, and true stories with audiences of all abilities. She says that “You don’t have to be in a wheelchair to know what it feels like for life to get too hard to stand. Everyone has their own challenges and hardships and ‘disabilities,’ and knowing that my hard times help others to overcome their hard times makes every one of my hard times worth it. And in spite of – and maybe because of – our individual trials, we can all just keep on rollin’!”
Please use these pictures for promotional materials to advertise your event!
You may also use this bio:
Meg Johnson has motivated tens of thousands of people across the globe with her motto: When life gets too hard to stand, just keep on rollin’! Meg fell off a cliff and broke her neck in 2004 and spent four months in the hospital recovering from multiple injuries and returned home without the use of her legs, back, stomach, or hands – a quadriplegic. Wheelchair bound and determined, Meg refuses to sit still. Since she was paralyzed, Meg has competed at the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant in New York, winning the Spirit Award; founded and directs Ms. Wheelchair Utah; instituted a service outreach program; and authored several books. Her motivational CD, When Life Gets Hard, is available at book stores now. Meg’s newsletter, “Meg’s Monthly Message” is read by thousands in many countries across the globe. Let Meg help you past your own limitations and Keep on Rollin’!