Cover image of Chris Norton

Chris Norton

50 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 Oct 2022 | Updated Daily

Episode artwork

Chris Norton - Taking Radical Responsibility Defies Life's Challenges

Aww Shift

In this episode, our guest is Chris Norton. He is a cool individual with a heart for God and loves football. He has been in phases of life where most people shut down, but he was able to pull through. He reached a different moment in his life that changed his entire trajectory. He has used this moment to build success not just for himself but for his family and the rest of the world. He has also appeared on multiple network television shows, and a documentary on Netflix called 7 Yards. [2:50] Why should I listen to you? I’d say you should listen to me because I’ve got a lot of life experience, and it is always great to hear other people’s perspectives. You should learn things from my experience because it will help your life. [4:00] Can you give us a quick synopsis of what trends back in your life?  I was just an 18-year-old college boy who was plain and had dreams for himself. I wanted to be a football player, meet my life's love and make a lot of money. But on October 16, 2010, I got injured when I was playing with my teammate. I suffered from a severe spinal cord injury and lost all movement. I had different surgeries, and I was given a 3% chance to be able to move or feel again. I had to do everything in my power to take control of my future, and that was the beginning of my rebirth. [7:00] What were the emotions you felt at that moment? How long did it take you to know that you could move past this? It was a long process, and that was the beginning of being emotionless. I wasn’t in any pain. It just felt like a regular football attack. I was numb, and I could not feel any sensation. Nothing worked, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze my hands. The more I say no when I’m being asked to make a move, the more I feel detached from my entire body. I was afraid, but this part of me reminded me to stay calm. I couldn’t do it, but I gave it time. At that point, I decided to face reality, closed my eyes, and blocked everything I didn't want to see. I told God I wouldn’t play football again if he gave me the chance to be able to walk again. Little did I know that God had a bigger plan for me than I had for myself. [10:20] Where and how did you get the mentality to be honest with yourself? It’s a gradual step. It is not one day at a time, but one moment at a time. During therapy, I decided to make the most of each hour. I took responsibility. What I call "radical responsibility" is taking responsibility for all the outcomes in your life, such as good and evil, success and failure, and so on. Making excuses for yourself just keeps you stuck. They prevent you from doing what you ought to do. My power lies in my response, and that’s where I channel my energy. I asked myself different questions because I didn’t know what to do or the next step to take. But I decided to get out of that situation, which is the same for everyone. Focusing on what you can’t do is more accessible, but you can make the impossible possible. [13:17] What are the things that I can use when I face a vessel like this? Every night, I called myself to sleep because I was terrified about my future. At night, when I had nothing to distract my fears from rushing in, it was always my darkest and most challenging moment. I didn’t have anything to work on, so it was hard to distract myself from these fears. At a point, I could distract myself by engaging in things that challenged me physically and mentally. I indulged in so many things, which helped me, and I believe it can help anyone too. I always think there is a way forward, either by deviance, acceptance or so on. There is a way you can get through this, and there are also a lot of solutions. You just need to accept, define and take responsibility for it. [19:13] Was your faith in God present before the accident, or was it after the accident? I have always been with God. My parents dragged me to church every Sunday. They brought me to church, and I showed up. I was listening but wasn’t living my life to the Christian standard. It was an emergency case kind of faith. I held on to my faith at that moment because I knew that I needed something. When my injury happened, it was a time of complete loss, worry, and uncertainty, and I turned back to my faith. I had always been independent outside of God, but I grew my faith by having a dependence on God. God wasn’t in control of my life when it happened, but I turned to him, trusted him, and believed in every one of his words, which turned things around and helped me move forward. [22:25] How did the whole thing with your family work?  My wife, Emily, was passionate about kids, especially kame from unloving places. She knew from a very young age that she would do that. It was different because I thought everyone had parents like mine. I grew up without realizing how blessed I was to have a family as I do, but she opened my eyes to see how naive and oblivious I was to the facts. She introduced me to the 17-year-old girl she mentored, and we took her in. She went to school and finished high school while she was with us. She later moved out to stay alone. Her absence in the house made us adopt four more kids. Every time we add a child, we can adapt to it. The more you take on more, the more you realize how much your potential can handle. [31:15] As you look at the next stage of your life, what are the other stuff you focus on to continue working? I'd say right now. I am doing a lot of reading, reading about philosophy. I think learning never stops, and that is part of the work on how I can be a better dad, husband, and speaker. Being a dad and husband is essential to me, and I pour a lot of love and support even when I'm overwhelmed. As a parent, you just have to show up. No matter how tired you are, you have to make sure that your kids know how special they are and how I also love my wife, who gives them a great example.  [32:50] How does someone strengthen their resilience the way that you have? It is something that you look back and think about. You remember the things that you have overcome, things that you have achieved, and so on. Those are your proud moments. Being able to reflect on those things is essential, and I'm always considering the people counting on me. What you do and what you say matters because people pay attention to every one of your actions. I believe in examples. I know my kids are looking up to me, watching my examples and how I live my life. These things always help me to do my best and never look back. [35:10] How much has your wife helped you as a team member? I’d say it is a life of impact and positive influence. When Emily and I started dating, she became my toughest trainer. She always pushed me to do better, and I walked better with her after a while. At that point, I knew Emily had to be the one to hold my hands. She is someone that brings out the best in me. She has high self-esteem for everyone. She is also very giving, thoughtful, and caring. She loves people regardless of who you are or where you come from. She encourages people to do more and to be better. Emily is an unbelievable team member. [40:20] What was the drive for adopting kids? Each time we want to add a family. When we bring them in, we fall in love with them. We wanted them to be part of our lives forever. It was an easy decision because we feel peace in our hearts. We also wanted to be the best in parenting. [52:14] What promise did God make to the world when he created you? I’d say that it is a life of impact, positive influence, and significance. He created me to live a life of meaning by serving Him and positively impacting others. Key Quotes [5:30–5:35] If you do nothing, nothing will happen, but if you do something, something will happen.  [11:02–11:06] The more responsibility you can accept, the better your response to adversity will be. How to connect with Chris Norton Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisanorton16/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrisanorton16 Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisanorton16?lang=en


9 Aug 2022

Episode artwork

S2E49 The Seven Longest Yards - an Interview with Chris Norton

It's a Good Life

In a split second, Chris Norton went from being a talented college football player to a quadriplegic with a 3 percent chance of ever regaining any movement below his neck. In this episode, Brian learns how Chris has refused to let the accident define him and, with the support of his wife Emily, has worked tirelessly to defeat the odds and help other people.YOU WILL LEARN:·     How a severe spinal cord injury drastically altered his life.·     How one turning point changed his mindset.·     How he empowers others to overcome their obstacles. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:https://chrisnorton.org/7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story “The Seven Longest Yards,” by Chris and Emily Norton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJJOdjlRbQo “The Obstacle is the Way,” by Ryan Holiday The Shawshank Redemption The Wedding Singer S2E45, A Slight Change of Plans – an Interview with Dr. Maya Shankar Episode 143, Life Without Limits with Nick Vujicic NOTEWORTHY QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE: “Your future will take care of itself when you take care of today.” – Chris Norton“Happiness is not measured in steps.” – Chris Norton “Living life in a wheelchair has taught me that your life is as limited as you allow it to be.” – Chris Norton “I'm not going to let what I can't do to paralyze me more from what I can.” – Chris Norton “The way I have found healing through my own challenges is by being able to serve others.” – Chris Norton Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


21 Jun 2022

Similar People

Episode artwork

The Power to Stand with Chris Norton

Stories of Strength

This week on Stories Of Strength, our host Jay Cardiello speaks with someone who is truly an inspiration. Joining us is Chris Norton, former American football defensive back who played Division III football for Luther College Norse, before becoming paralyzed due to a tackle during the game. Despite being given 3% chance of ever regaining movement below the neck, he has continued to recover some sensation and mobility throughout his body. Today Chris is here to discuss his journey and learn about what the Power to Stand really means. Hear about what Chris is doing with the Chris Norton Foundation and what he is doing to uplift and motivate others who face similar situations. So make sure to hit that play button and get ready for a truly inspiring episode this week on Stories of Strength, presented by MuscleTech.Follow UsTwitter @muscletech Instagram @muscletechTwitter @jaycardielloInstagram @jaycardielloPresented by MuscleTechwww.muscletech.com


21 Jun 2022

Episode artwork

Privilege of Vulnerability with Chris Norton

Best Speech

Chris Norton has developed a speaking career telling his inspirational story of injury and resiliency. He talks with Mike about giving the same speech over and over, but maintaining presence with his audience, even when they're virtual.Chris Norton (@chrisanorton16) is an inspirational public speaker and the founder of the Chris Norton Foundation. He co-wrote a memoir with his wife titled The Seven Longest Yards and there's a film about his life on Netflix and other major platforms called 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story.Mike Pacchione (@mpacc) is a public speaking coach found at BestSpeech.co, where you can hire Mike for workshops, public speaking gigs, individual or group coaching, or sign up for his weekly-ish email with speaking tips and personal anecdotes.


9 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Overcoming Odds with Chris Norton Ep (719)

F.I.R.E.D UP with Krista Mashore

Life has full of challenges it is up to us how we deal with them. In today's episode, we have Chris Norton. He will be sharing his secrets and how he overcame those odds. So Get ready to be F.I.R.E.D U.P!     Do you have a question that you would like me to answer? Just fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIi0Skg5OfhHAp-7NPdgkdAhb9ahJyAdicRZ7XL62EPLh8QA/viewform JOIN MY FREE CHALLENGE HERE >>> https://www.Kristamashore.com/clientconversion?sl=podcast JOIN MY NEXT 20 HOUR COACHING SESSION HERE >>>>  www.kristamashore.com/Bootcamp


12 May 2022

Episode artwork

Turning Your Struggles into Your Story with Chris Norton

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast

When Chris Norton went out to play his sixth game of college football, he had no idea the life-changing effect that game would have on his life. On the field that day he contracted a spinal cord injury that would alter the course of his life and leave him with a three percent chance of ever walking again, or doing any other type of small movement, like scratching his face. In our conversation, Chris shares what a dark and difficult time this was in his life and how he was motivated by his determination to overcome the odds and walk again. What he didn’t know at the time was that years later he would walk across the stage at graduation and that a video of that moment would go viral around the world. Since then, his story has been published and has also been recorded in the documentary, 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story, which can now be found on Netflix. Chris describes what he has learned in the years since his injury and how you can still live a meaningful life, even if you’re bound to a wheelchair. He talks about the incredible relationships he has formed during his life, and how he and his wife Emily have come to adopt six kids and foster nineteen. We also spend some time talking about Chris’s first public speaking opportunity and how he realized that it was possible to pursue speaking as a career. He shares what speaking has meant for him and his family, how he’s honed his craft through study and coaching, and what he’s done to sustain his speaking career long-term. Today’s episode is deeply inspiring and a testament to appreciating and fully embracing the life you have! Tune in to hear more of Chris's story and what it means to live a meaningful life. 


12 Apr 2022

Episode artwork

EP #56- The Pippins: Destigmatizing The Conversation on Mental Health with Brigitte and Chris Norton, CEO Equinox Hotels

Everyday Endorphins

This week I had the privilege of speaking with Brigitte and Chris Norton, parents to the late artist Charles Norton. The Norton family orchestrated an exhibit at the High Line Nine to profile Charles' work called "The Pippins: Dilemma of Colors" which features a collection of approximately 57 Pippin drawings and 21 corresponding poems, each featuring a satirical character known as a Pippin.  Charles battled with severe depression and mental health issues leading to his death in July 2019 at 24 years old. Despite his young age, Charles left his family with a prolific body of work including drawings, illustrations, sketches, poetry, and paintings. The show is designed to raise mental health awareness and to support Project Healthy Minds, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the stigma on mental health and providing access to resources for those who are struggling. Make sure to check out the exhibit before the end of February 2022.  In this episode, Chris and Brigitte speak about the symbolism of the Pippins and Charles' mental health struggles, how to help someone when they're suffering, how they grieved the loss of their son, and why its crucial to end the stigma surrounding metal health.--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/appSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stella-stephanopoulos/support


17 Feb 2022

Episode artwork

Ep. 26 - Chris Norton

The Reinvention Project with Jim Rome

Chris Norton on the horrifying football injury that left him paralyzed, how he defied a bleak prognosis to walk again, his inspirational new film ‘7 Yards,’ turning life’s lowest moments into its greatest gifts and starting a family with the love of his life.

1hr 8mins

1 Oct 2021

Episode artwork

Episode 95 Chris Norton

Live to Walk Again

This week on the Live to Walk Again Podcast we had the pleasure of visiting with Chris Norton who is a motivational speaker, author, and subject of the documentary film "7 yards: The Chris Norton Story". We spoke about the injury he suffered playing college football, working with our friend Nick Lucius and Barwis Methods, and how the film came to be. Check out Chris and the amazing things he's doing at his website and social media links below and watch "7 yards: The Chris Norton Story" on Netflix, Prime Video, or Apple TV!!  Please listen, like, share, rate, and review the podcast!! We're just trying to find a cure for paralysis!!Chris Norton:https://chrisnorton.org/IG: @chrisnorton16FB: @chrisnorton16

1hr 7mins

5 Jun 2021

Episode artwork

Determination and Faith with Chris Norton

No Barriers

As an 18-year-old freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Chris Norton suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Told by doctors that he had only a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below the neck, Chris has continually defied medical odds and, in 2015, successfully accomplished his goal of walking across his college graduation stage with the help of his then-fiancee, Emily. Video from the event went viral, inspiring millions worldwide. Most recently, he walked Emily 7 yards down the aisle of their wedding - documented in his film “7 Yards” now available on Netflix.Chris believes that our lives aren’t shaped by circumstance. They’re shaped by us. Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing: it’s about attitude, and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.Resources:Read more about Chris and book him for your next speaking gigWatch 7 Yards on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or AppleTVFollow Chris on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn


26 May 2021