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12 years after football left him paralyzed, Spanaway man releases memoir

Logan Seelye wheels himself across the Pacific Lutheran University campus Dec. 11. Seelye suffered a spinal injury in a football accident in 2003 that left him paralyzed. Since then, he’s worked toward his goal to walk again, keeping in mind the quote that “life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how you react to it.” He’s written a book inspired by that mentality that comes out this week.
Logan Seelye wheels himself across the Pacific Lutheran University campus Dec. 11. Seelye suffered a spinal injury in a football accident in 2003 that left him paralyzed. Since then, he’s worked toward his goal to walk again, keeping in mind the quote that “life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how you react to it.” He’s written a book inspired by that mentality that comes out this week. lwong@thenewstribune.com

The tackle changed everything, but not in a way most anticipated.

Logan Seelye collided with another football player at a high school summer football camp in July 2003, suffering a spinal injury that left him paralyzed just as he was generating scouting interest from Division I college football programs.

Doctors didn’t think the Spanaway Lake High School athlete would regain feeling or movement from the chest down.

Instead, Seelye, now 28, has overcome many obstacles with the goal of overcoming even more, turning a tragedy into a vehicle for inspiration.

Part of that game plan is releasing a book on his struggles and triumphs, titled “10 and 90: The Tackle That Changed Everything.”

Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.

a quote that Logan Seelye lives by

He’s humble about his effort.

“There are people out there who have it way worse than I do,” he said. “I don’t want to act high and mighty, but I do think I have a good story to tell.”

Seelye has already been doing speaking engagements. His book will help him reach more people, he said.

“It’s cool that people still want to hear about it after all these years,” he said.

The book touches on all Seelye’s milestones: his first steps with a walker several months after his accident; making his way across the stage with his walker a year later to receive his high school diploma; his hard work at the gym five days a week; and his employment at Pacific Lutheran University, where he works as a senior Web designer.

And, of course, purchasing a Spanaway home with his wife and junior high school sweetheart, Jordyn, and raising their 3-year-old daughter, Skylar.

Seelye said reliving the moment he saw Jordyn for the first time after the accident was emotional.

“I bawled my eyes out,” he said of reading that portion of the book after it was finished.

At its core, Seelye’s book is about the quote he lives by: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”

That quote, popularized by former college football coach Lou Holtz, has been his ultimate motivation; it’s even tattooed on his forearm.

He said his book appeals to broad audiences, and he hopes his message will resonate with people facing their own struggles.

Even though things seem tough right now, if you stay positive and really believe things will get better, then they will. That’s the whole 10 and 90 philosophy.

Logan Seelye, author and subject of the book “10 and 90: The Tackle That Changed Everything.”

“Even though things seem tough right now, if you stay positive and really believe things will get better, then they will,” Seelye said. “That’s the whole 10 and 90 philosophy.”

So far, Seelye’s positivity has kept him committed to his goal to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding someday.

In 2013, Seelye launched a successful online fundraiser to raise $20,000 for a WalkAide, an experimental device to help him walk easier without assistance and hopefully speed his progress toward learning to walk again.

Now, he uses it when he visits people’s houses or other places he uses his walker.

Seelye also wears the device, which calms down spasms in his legs, while lounging at home the night before he does leg workouts at the gym. It lessens tension in his muscles.

Seelye said he’s making progress, but it’s still a struggle.

“It’s slower than I thought it would be,” he said. “It does help drastically.”

Still, he lives his life with a good attitude and a smile on his face.

Seelye hopes that attitude will rub off on those who read his book, no matter their age or the struggles they’re facing.

“They can read my story and say, ‘If he can do it I can do it,’ ” he said.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682, @KariPlog

Purchase Book

Visit getlogansbook.com to buy a copy of Logan Seelye’s memoir.

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