As a documentary film living up to its metaphoric title in every way imaginable, Netflix’s Josh Berman-directed ‘Full Circle’ can only be described as bewilderingly raw and enlighteningly human. That’s because it delves deep into the world of adaptive extreme sports through the tales of two incredible spine injury survivors to really shine a light upon the way anybody can take life by the horns. One of them is actually professional sit skier Trevor Kennison — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about him as well as his current standing, we have got all the necessary details for you.
Who is Trevor Kennison?
It was reportedly back when Trevor was merely a young boy growing up in Keene, New Hampshire, that he first developed a passion for skiing and snowboarding, just for it to never really blow over. The truth is his parents proudly owned a sports shop named Athlete’s Corner at the time, and it was its eventual skateboarding plus snowboarding focus that first introduced him to extreme winter sports. Then came his actual attempt at the same, only for him to fall so in love with it all his parents would see on some days was his bright smile alongside his little snow goggles as he self-honed his skills.
Though everything soon turned upside down for Trevor owing to his complicated family life, especially with his parents being rather absent both before and after their separation when he was 5. There’s also the fact he subsequently literally lost home stability as financial issues forced them to move every six months: “All these houses we lived in, it was just so short,” he said in the original before adding, “As a kid, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know what a normal family relationship looked like,” only for it to result in him spiraling down the wrong path during his high school years.
As per the production, Trevor often couch-surfed as a teen since he didn’t have much of a support system at home, and then his lack of extracurriculars led him to experiment with substances for fun. Little did he know it would drive him to abuse painkillers while depressed because he didn’t know what to do in life; he felt utterly stuck in Keene without any opportunities or hope for the future. That’s when his sister Ashley became his guiding light — her shift to Colorado as well as advice to get a plumbing job pushed him until he too found himself settled in that state with a plumbing license.
This new beginning actually rejuvenated Trevor’s passion for snowboarding too, but alas, it all briefly came crashing down at Vail Pass, Colorado, on the stormy winter day of November 15, 2014. According to his narrative, he’d journeyed there alongside two friends to try a jump in the backcountry with no idea he’d catch an edge at such a weird angle he’d end up injuring his spinal cord. “End of the day, it’s dark,” he recalled in the documentary. “I drop in and come down this cat track… I was flying through the air like a superman, and I didn’t want to land on my neck, so I tucked.”
Trevor continued, “I landed on my back, my board and boots compressed like a taco, and I just heard a loud, loud pop… I remember laying there, thinking about my girlfriend, my sister, telling my parents, telling my boss, not being a plumber anymore, not doing the things I love anymore. I looked at my feet, and it was just like I knew right away.” His friends did immediately contact Search and Rescue, as well as his loved ones, yet such a bad snowstorm had started by this point that it took the former nearly three hours to reach his location.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘Just don’t close your eyes… Don’t close your eyes,'” Trevor solemnly admitted in the original. ‘Because I felt like if I did, I didn’t think I was gonna wake up.” Thankfully, he survived, albeit with a shattered T11-T12 vertebrae, punched spinal cord, plus dislocated back (90° into his stomach), for which he had to get two 12″ rods and 12 screws placed into his back. He was thus left paralyzed from the waist down — no matter how much physical therapy he underwent or the self-efforts he made, he couldn’t wholly recover.
Where is Trevor Kennison Now?
Trevor was honestly determined to walk again, yet his lack of a proper emotional support system to guide him apparently negatively affected his physical recovery path; he was able to regain some movement in his left leg, but that’s it. It was thus no surprise to his loved ones once he began spiraling with substances again, that is, until he learned about more people like him and got motivated to re-figure out who he was, pushing him right to skiing/snowboarding again. It was February 2016 when he rolled into the Adaptative Sports Center in Crested Butte with the help of Denver-based Craig Hospital, never to look back, only to evolve into a professional sit skier within the ensuing two years.
With this newfound happiness, Trevor has actually turned his life around — he’s not only an athlete these days but also a public figure determined to show the world what life as a disabled person is really like, and that it’s normal. In fact, apart from being active on social media, he’s currently associated with the High Fives non-profit adaptive sports foundation, Darn Tough Vermont, as well as many other organizations as a way to spread this message.
Moreover, and more importantly, we should mention Trevor has since conquered Vail Pass as well as many other jumps, participated in several camps, thrived at X Games, broke a few personal records, reconnected with his family, plus found happiness with his girlfriend, Kelly Lawson. He actually credits his sister and brother-in-law for getting him to a better place physically, mentally, emotionally following his accident too. In other words, this Winter Park-residing aspiring motivational speaker is content at the moment, which is all that matters in the long run.
Read More: Where is Trevor Kennison’s Family Now?