Feature Janine Shepherd Gravity Speakers Keynote Motivational
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Traveling From

Wyoming, USA

Tags: Overcoming Adversity / Health & Wellness / Motivational / Sports & Adventure


Janine Shepherd is an inspirational speaker and writer whose books have become classics in the survivor genre. A champion cross-country skier in training for the 1988 winter Olympics, Janine’s life changed forever when she was hit by a truck during a bicycle training ride in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Doctors warned her parents that—even if she somehow miraculously survived her massive injuries—Janine would almost certainly never walk again. After a risky procedure to rebuild her shattered vertebra, and almost six months flat on her back in a hospital spinal ward, Janine came home to heal. With the promise of a career as an elite athlete now gone forever, Janine faced a daunting recovery and an uncertain future.

Struggling to rehabilitate with permanent disabilities, Janine rekindled her defiant spirit in a dramatically improbable way. Sitting outside in her wheelchair one day and watching a small plane fly overhead, she declared, “That’s it! If I can’t walk, I’ll fly!”

Still encased in a full body cast, Janine had to be lifted into an aircraft for her introductory flight lesson. But within a year she had defied the odds and succeeded in gaining her private pilot’s license. Her talent and skill as a pilot subsequently earned Janine a commercial pilot license and ultimately, her flying instructor’s rating. She then decided to learn to fly upside down, and finally, to teach aerobatic flight to other pilots.

Janine went on to succeed not only as a professional pilot but also to attain her University degree, raise three children and author several best-selling books. Her remarkable life story ultimately captured the interest of a prominent film company, which produced the feature-length movie, aptly titled Never Tell Me Never.

In recognition of her service to the community and her tireless efforts in raising awareness for spinal cord research, Janine was awarded the Order of Australia, her nation’s highest honor. She is an ambassador for Spinal Cure Australia and Red Bull’s “Wings for Life” and a contributor to Deepak Chopra’s workshops. Janine’s story has been featured on 60 Minutes, This is Your Life and CNN’s Turning Points with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Her inspirational and emotional TEDx talk, “A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person,” has been viewed almost 2 million times.

She was recently named as an “Architect of Change” in Maria Shriver’s “Sunday Paper”. Her latest book Defiant: A Memoir was published for worldwide distribution by SoundsTrue®.

Janine lives in Wyoming, USA but is frequently traveling the globe delivering keynotes and her inspirational message of “defiance.”


Never Tell Me Never: Top Strategies for Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities

In Janine’s signature keynote presentation she will not only leave you awed, humbled, and uplifted, but will cause you to think differently how you live your own life.

Janine is a gifted storyteller who uses her wit, humor, and impeccable timing to engage the audience. As she shares her journey in an expansive, inspiring and universal way she will touch every heart in the room and invite you to dream and reach beyond your preconceived ideas of what is possible.

Janine will take you on an amazing journey with so many twists and turns that it mirrors the road you travel in your own life every single day.

This is a story that takes you from the pinnacle of elite athletics competition to the pain and fear of being wheelchair-bound and facing the shattering reality of life-threatening and permanent injury; from the exhilaration of flight to the struggle of taking one difficult step at a time on a long road to recovery which continues to this day. You will leave with the conviction to change your attitude and find power within to perform to the best of your abilities.

Janine’s speech delivers strategies that will help you:

  • Change your attitude to successfully embrace unplanned setbacks
  • Develop opportunities from your biggest obstacles
  • Transform your dreams into reality

The Power of Defiance: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity

We often define ourselves by things that are outside of us…our jobs, our relationships, our business, or the roles we play in life. When those are lost everything we’ve known and believed in is challenged.

Janine Shepherd believes that we all possess a power inside that allows us to thrive in the face of insurmountable obstacles and challenges. That power is the Defiant Human Spirit. It is an eternal flame that is never extinguished, even if you fail to see it. Every decision you make in life will either ignite the flame or dampen it. Your choices determine the strength of that flame. All you have to do is recognize it in yourself, and then you see it in everyone.

In this speech Janine will offer hope and encouragement while inspiring you to:

  • Build resilience in your personal and business life
  • Redefine adversity as a challenge for growth and transformation
  • Not just bounce back but bounce FORWARD after setbacks

A Patient's Journey: The Care That Changed My Life

As a spinal patient and partial paraplegic, Janine has a unique understanding and perspective on injury and trauma. Janine shares her personal experience of being a patient and living with a disability.

Janine has witnessed first-hand the teamwork that has gone into her recovery, from the surgeons who operated on her, to the nursing staff and imaging professionals who cared to her, and the family that supported her. She shares her health and fitness philosophy and the tools she uses to maintain wellness.

Janine’s presentation gives insight to all those working in the healthcare industry as they see how their role in caring for patients can literally change a life.




  • "Janine is a change agent. She has an extraordinary ability to ignite people's spirits and move them to find the real potential of their lives; her story inspires people around the world" Deepak Chopra
  • “Janine is a dynamo!...honesty, integrity and communication skills far above the ordinary. Her audiences are left inspired and empowered.” D.A.C., Dr. Adrian Cohen Immediate Assistants
  • “Janine grabbed the attention of our audience from the moment she stepped on stage. Her remarkable story not only made us think, but it also made us laugh and cry. Mostly, she inspired us to take action everyday to rise above the challenges we face in pursuit of our dreams and aspirations. Janine Shepherd serves as a living example of how one can harness the power that resides within.” F.C., President and CEO ROFDA
  • “Janine had the whole room enthralled – her story is undeniably epic, and her delivery is animated and engaging. She clearly had a message to give which was relevant to all of us in both our personal and working lives: Go ahead and do what you want to do – never let anyone tell you never, never let the odds dissuade you from trying, and learn to love the challenge. There were tears and laughter, and we loved every minute. I will definitely be reading her books!” PriceWaterHouseCoopers
  • Janine’s story is one that needs to be shared with any of us who may be harboring thoughts of self-pity, defeat and desperation. It should be shared with any of us who need reminding that there is really no such thing as a ‘bad day’. And it should be shared with ALL as a reminder on the importance of laughter in our day-to-day lives irrespective of our own difficulties. But importantly, it is a story that needs to be shared with all who are intimidated by, or who are unwilling to confront the many life challenges of today. On behalf of the entire SARA LEE sales team, we remain willingly humbled and positively energized by your unforgettable story. Sara Lee

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