CEL Solicitors often invites special guests into the firm to speak on motivational and inspiring topics. Previous guests have included social housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa and social media star Jessie Davies.
As the first guest of 2023, Andy Grant had a lot to live up to, but as he has proven time and time again, Andy isn’t one to settle for the easy route.
Childhood and Early Life
Growing up in Liverpool, Andy faced challenges from an early age when, at only 12 years of age, he sadly lost his mother to Leukaemia. After leaving school, he joined the armed forces and after rigorous training, went on to become a member of the 45 Commando with the Royal Marines.
After serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Andy was critically injured by an improvised explosive device, causing him to suffer from 27 separate injuries, and putting him in a coma for two weeks. When Andy eventually woke up, he was hospitalised for three months, followed by a further 18 months of rehabilitation where he relearned how to walk.
Since this time, he has gone on to defy the odds, not only regaining his ability to walk and run but going on to earn double gold medals at the 2014 Invictus Games.
He now spends much of his time helping to inspire others, both differently abled and otherwise, to live their best lives and to give their all in the face of adversity. Turning what for many would be one of the worst situations imaginable, into what he self-professes to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.
Andy’s story has been the subject of an ITV documentary (Paragon, 2017), he has appeared on national news many times and even on the Lorraine show. Andy Grant has even taken part in Celebrity MasterChef 2019, and released a book about his life, titled “You’ll Never Walk”.
Continuing to Push Yourself
Even after competing at the Invictus Games Andy’s competitive spirit never diminished. Discovering that the fastest one-legged man over long distances in the world was a Canadian who could run 10km in 37 minutes and 53 seconds, Andy decided he could do better. After trying and trying, and eventually coming to an impasse, Andy discovered that “nothing great is ever achieved by one person going alone. It’s when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals and you work as a team”. So that’s what he did. He went and joined the Liverpool Harriers running group, running with them for 4 months before trying to beat the world record. In July 2016 Andy broke this world record by 36 seconds.
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” – Invictus, by William Ernest Henley
A section of Andy’s talk can be found in the video below.
When asked their thoughts on Andy’s talk, CEL staff had nothing but positive responses, some of which are included below.
“I thought the event was brilliant and in this day and age was the perfect type of speaker to have talk. Andy’s story was great, I found myself thinking about his philosophies after the talk”.
“Even when things appear to be their worst and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, you can pull yourself out of a really dark place. It just takes time and perseverance.”
“I thought Andy was a very genuine person. He was comfortable talking to us about his experience and also making jokes even in the really harrowing parts. I was very interested in his story and found it very inspirational.”
“My biggest takeaway is that you can turn something awful into one of the best things to happen to you.”
Summing up his talk, Andy concluded:
“You never really know if something is a good or a bad thing until it has run its course. If anyone would have told me that getting blown up in Afghanistan would be a good thing, I would have thought they were crazy. Yet as I stand here now almost 14 years on, getting blown up in Afghanistan was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.”