Motocross rider from Elyria finds love and happiness after paralysis

Posted at 8:50 AM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 08:55:25-04

“Why me?”

It's a question that many ask during a dark or difficult moment in life. The experiences of Elyria native Todd Krieg teach us to trust the journey, but even for Krieg, there was a time he asked that vexatious question.

“I was like, ‘Why me? Why did this happen to me?’ I was having the best riding of my career,” he said. “Everything was starting to go my way, and I was getting ready to make my big break.”

Krieg was one of the best motocross riders in the nation when his bike malfunctioned, and he crashed. Ultimately, he became paralyzed from the chest down.

In a moment his life took a completely unexpected and unwanted turn. The plans he had for his future needed to be set aside, as he had to adjust to his new life without the use of his legs.  

“The only thing I focused on is recovery like, ‘OK, I have to  do everything I can to walk again.’ Nothing else mattered,” he said.

Initially, Krieg defined success through his progression. But his determination to heal led him to a life he no longer expected to live. He met Amanda Diesen in a facility in California. She was one of his therapists.

“I told her I had the hots for her and how I thought she was so beautiful and we started dating shortly after that,” he recalled.

And then one day the unexpected happened. Diesen got pregnant.  

“We had no idea that it would be able to happen naturally,” he said with a smile.

Now their son, Rhett, is almost a year old.

“A lot of people say he is a miracle baby, which he is,” Krieg said. “It wasn’t supposed to happen. Doctors told me it is probably not going to happen naturally so once we did and found out it was like, ‘Oh my God this is awesome.’”

It’s been almost four years since Krieg became paralyzed, and he still can’t walk. But now he sees his circumstance through a very different lens than he once did.

“If I hadn’t gotten injured, I would have never met Amanda, and we would have never had Rhett. So it is definitely a blessing in disguise,” he explained.

Now he has new dreams.

“My dream is just to have a happy family, as cliche as it sounds. Having Rhett has opened my eyes up and taught me that there is so much more to life than just racing,” he said.

And his story taught him and teaches others never to question "Why me?” during a difficult time, but rather always to ask, “What’s next?”

“No matter the obstacle you can find ways to overcome something,” he said. “It is not always going to be easy, but you can make it work and be happy.”