Trish Slider


  • Professional Motivational Speaker
  • Published Author of “Cycle of Hope”
  • Founder of Camp Discovery
  • World Class Athlete
  • Co-host of She’s Got Grit TV
  • Featured in Major Magazines


Tricia's Speaking

trishIn one instant, on September 17, 2000, Tricia went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Through her experiences in both rehab and racing, Tricia has overcome adversity and learned what it takes to perform at the top of her game.

Having made the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia knows the true meaning of the words challenge and change, and has learned a wealth of lessons to deal with the obstacles we all face in reaching for our personal goals.

Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010. In 2011, she competed as part of the U.S. Rowing team at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Tricia’s professional life has also been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and for the USA Swimming team at the 1997 World University Games in Italy. Before becoming a professional speaker, she taught high school in the Denver Public Schools. Today she takes people on their journeys from start to victory, motivating each person to discover his or her own “inner champion”, just as she has. Receiving many sports accolades including being inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority, Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.

In addition to her current sports pursuits, Tricia has completed master’s degrees in Disability Studies and Sports Management. She is also the Director for Camp Discovery, a camp for women in wheelchairs who want to explore fitness opportunities as well as create a support system of other women who have experienced mobility disorders/disabilities. In addition, she has published her memoir: Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility which debuted in June of 2010.

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Get Your Grit On
trish-speaking-300x300Mental Toughness is not a character trait exclusive to superstar athletes and wartime heroes. But we can learn from their example. In truth, Mental Toughnessis a learned skill vital for anyone who seeks to overcome obstacles and adversity in order to achieve their goals. Through her own life experiences, Tricia has developed her own Mental Toughnessthrough her personal journey from tragedy to triumph to become a world-class athlete and mentor.

In her presentations, Tricia teaches audiences to:

Get Up: Respond to adversity by creating a game plan through goal setting and clarifying the steps to achievement.
Shift Gears: Increase motivation, build self-confidence and deal with setbacks by reframing negative events and challenges.
Breakaway: Achieve your personal best by using positive self-talk, celebrating small victories and embracing opportunity to overcome self-limiting beliefs.
Tricia believes grit and mental toughness are about much more than athletes and gold medals, but about grace, resilience and continually finding the strength to move forward and achieve.

Invite Tricia to share her strategies with your team today.

Discover Your Inner Champion

trish-the-ironmanStrength. Courage. Perseverance.
At thirty-one, Tricia Downing was in the best shape of her life. In the summer of 2000, Tricia, an avid cyclist, drove across the country for what amounted to eighteen races in twenty-three days. She returned from her adventure to a fresh start: a new job awaited her, and, determined to make the next summer the year she would make her mark on the world of cycling, she began a rigorous training strategy.

But on September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing’s life took a detour. While training on her bicycle one sunny Colorado afternoon, Tricia collided with a car that turned directly in her path, and instantly became paralyzed from the chest down. As a competitive road and track cyclist and lifelong athlete, losing the use of her legs was devastating on all accounts. As she re-learned to do everything from sitting straight up to navigating through her house in a wheelchair to returning to work and operating a handcycle, her grueling recovery took her to the very core of her athletic mettle. This inner strength helped her to not only learn how to live life as a paraplegic—a label that took time to grow accustomed to—but to have the courage to return to the competitive sport she loved and almost lost. Determined to live life on her terms, Tricia turned her misfortune into opportunity, and is now a wheelchair athlete, competing regularly in events around the globe.

Each of us faces hurdles, challenges and adversity, which seem insurmountable when we first face them. Tricia will help you learn to see these obstacles as opportunities and build the strength, endurance and courage to cross the finish line, no matter the size, distance or difficulty of the “race.”

Tricia’s presentations motivate her audiences to reach further and to persevere in the face of heartache, trials and change. She shares the importance of authenticity, passion and belief in oneself. This program not only provides inspiration, but gives practical strategies to emerge from difficulty and get back on a positive track to success.

Let Tricia motivate your audience members to achieve their personal best.