Aaron Baker: From Motocross Injury to Recovery and Healing
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Never has that been reflected more clearly than in this powerful documentary that chronicles the life of Aaron Baker from paralyzing spinal injury through years of recovery and healing. Coming to My Senses tells Aaron’s remarkable full story within the context of his courageous walk across Death Valley. In this trek, he covered 19.6 miles in six days, one step at a time for 78,400 steps.
This documentary of courage, rage, fear, discovery, and more is intertwined with the step-by-step walk as we follow his literal ups and downs across the desert.
In 1999, Aaron Baker was a professional motocross racer, mischievous and charming, always pushing the edge. Following a devastating spinal injury as a result of an accident on the track, doctors told them there was a one in a million chance he would ever even be able to feed himself again. He reflects in the film, “Who are you to tell me what I can do?”
Thus began an amazing, and often painful, quest that affected him as well as everyone around him. Aaron’s self-awareness and insights are inspiring. As are the reflections we see and hear as we watch him progress from complete paralysis to years later dancing at his own wedding.
Coming to My Senses Exclusive Clip of Aaron Baker
Watch an exclusive clip of Coming to My Senses.
Aaron Baker on Exercise and Rehab
One of the most poignant stories told in this film is the lack of available care and resources for spinal cord injury survivors. Only five months after his injury, Aaron was discharged from rehab for insurance reasons. He moved from the hospital into a hotel room. Horrified that she could find no help for her son, Aaron’s mother, Laquita, tells us how she finally discovered Taylor Kevin Issacs. Issacs is an award-winning kinesiologist, exercise psychologist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Laquita credits Issacs with “saving our life.”
According to statistics cited in the documentary Coming to My Senses, there are currently 1.46 million Americans living with a spinal cord injury. Yet there are only 35 long-term exercise facilities nationwide that specifically serve their needs. Aaron and his mother share their joint discovery of finding a higher purpose by working in this area.
Laquita says, “That’s the new step—instead of keeping it for ourselves, we need to share that.” So in January 2011, Aaron, Laquita, and Taylor opened The Center of Restorative Exercise (C.O.R.E.) in Northridge, California. To date, C.O.R.E. has helped more than 600 people reclaim levels of mobility that were previously thought impossible.
Aaron Baker Reflecting in Death Valley
Aaron does a lot of reflecting throughout. While crossing Death Valley, he pauses to be in the moment, recognizing the beauty of the desert that he used to just ride through on his motorcycle. In a deeply moving moment, we witness him enjoying the crying of a baby at his wedding. His mother shares her vulnerability on screen; Laquita talks about her struggle with alcohol resulting from this accident, and how Aaron was affected by her drinking. Overall, Coming to My Senses is a story of tragedy to triumph and of the spiritual lessons we can experience if we do the physical and emotional work.
Inspiration on Film
Coming to My Senses is truly inspirational. Aaron’s story here includes the hard physical work, intense emotional hurdles, and moments of purity. It is a rare film. And its a film worth watching more than once.