The Rebellious Recovery

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
07/26/22  10:00 AM PST

Transform Your Adversity Into Adventure

Here it is! July 26th, 2022: the release date of my memoir, a detailed account of my life before and after a spinal cord injury. Writing this opus was a laborious work of love. It was a cathartic reflection of my past, a vulnerable exposure of the present moment and a contemplative exploration into the future and the tools I’d leave for the reader. In essence, The Rebellious Recovery is my story, my message and a simple method for transforming your adversity into adventure.

The book’s description:

Dont ever let someone count you out.

Life can change in an instant. For 20-year-old Aaron Baker, not only did a neck injury leave him paralyzed from the chin down — it also nearly killed him. The doctors told him he’d never feed himself again.

Until he did.

Instead of giving up, Aaron went all-in and rebelliously achieved things he was told would never be possible.

The Rebellious Recovery follows Aaron on a mind-expanding, odds-defying journey from quadriplegic to inspirational figure riding a bicycle across the country twice, training for the Paralympics, starting a business and a family, and more.

The emotional story of failure, success, heart break and accomplishment has something for every reader.

From Aaron’s story, we see an optimistic truth: Even on the darkest days, we hold the power in our mind to overcome anything.

What will you do when life happens to you? Follow Aaron in this memoir and see how opportunities rise from ashes.

Are you ready for the ride of your life?

“My achievements do little to contribute to the world unless they illustrate something fundamental about me and about you. May my history inspire and provoke you to think of your own story as an adventure and for the construct of these pages to become a mirror for your mind, a portal to travel forward and back and expand exponentially.”


From the book:

Page 5:

 I had played only on plastic toy tricycles, not yet having learned to balance a bicycle. At three years old I was about to leapfrog a pedal bike and go straight to a motorcycle, a mans machine.

 I remember Papa telling me, Son, if you can kick-start it, you can ride it.”

 Something magical happened the moment the full-face helmet and goggles were slid snugly over my head and face, Dad fastening the buckle under my chin. I peered out through the latex lens, my view narrow and focused only forward. I felt protected, imbued with strength and a powerful feeling of invincibility while inside that helmet.

 I kicked and kicked until the machine revved to life. Without hesitation I twisted the throttle grip as far as it could go, rocketing me full speed right into the neighbors wood fence. I was shaken and scared, but unhurt, and I quickly bounced up to mount again. In that moment where fear, courage, and control clashed together, I transformed into something more. I learned so young that I had the power to control my life with my will—the first seed planted and the beginning of my grand adventure.


Page 63:

 Gradually over time the trace movements grew stronger and more coordinated. I continued to improve and graduate to more autonomous exercise equipment like the Flexorsizor, Easy Glider, Total Gym, and NuStep machine. I wore the grease out of that equipment—spending hours on it each day until I, and the machine, were thoroughly worn out. Quite literally, I had to bring a can of WD-40 lubricant into the center and spray the bearings just to stop the squeaking.

 Roughly two years into my therapy at the center, I was standing upright between the parallel bars, staring in the mirror at my feet fighting to take a step when Taylor notified me: Keep your head up, shoulders back, and your trunk erect . . .”

 I paused, looked back over my left shoulder, and replied. Would you like to know what its like for me to relearn how to walk? Its like walking on your hands,” I said earnestly. Imagine the concentration, strength, endurance, balance, and coordination it takes to walk upside down on your hands. Now imagine walking down the hall, across the grass and up, and then down the stairs . . . on your hands. Thats what I feel now, standing here, trying to make that happen.”

 There was constant dialogue in my head. I had to, and still have to, think about movement. I must consciously command my body with positive and sometimes bullish instructions to move. The more I learned from Taylor and the students, the more detailed my internal remarks became. The fundamentals of physics, and the laws of motion, leverage, and force enhanced my understanding of movement. I was as much, if not more, a student of my body than those formally enrolled.


As I release this book into the wild, I truly hope that it finds its way into the hands, hearts and minds of those who need it most. I am honored, humbled and grateful to share it with my Shield HealthCare family and our growing community.

Enjoy the ride!



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