Deeper, more intense, more mindful

It has been seven years since Stefan Keller had a paragliding accident and fell from a height of over 20 metres. He has been in a wheelchair ever since and has had to adjust physically and mentally to a completely new way of life.

Text: Robert Wildi; photo: Sebastian Doerk

Stefan Keller has suffered from incomplete paraplegia since a paragliding accident. But he’s never seen this as a reason to complain: “My life isn’t more difficult, it’s just a little different here and there,” he explains. The chronic pain he suffers is definitely a disadvantage. “But I’m more mobile in my wheelchair. I get around further and faster on wheels than previously on two legs.” He sees many things in a different light since the accident. “My life is deeper, more intense and more mindful, but I also tend to look on the bright side and life is more playful and fun. What’s more, it got rid of all my first-world problems in one fell swoop.”

New attitude towards life after the accident

Stefan thinks aloud: “Or did I create this new kind of life for myself? Of course, I’ve done a lot to improve my quality of life. I made a conscious decision to shape my new life in a positive way.” He seems very genuine and has a calm and considered air about him. Stefan now enjoys every day, goes with the flow but thinks before he acts.

In his role as a coach, Stefan helps people find their way through life. In the last few years he has studied hard and built up a wealth of experience. “The accident has had a positive effect on my credibility and my clients’ trust in me. And this in turn affects the quality and effectiveness of my coaching,” he says.

“If you want to fly, you need to have the courage to leave the ground”
Stefan Keller

Flying is still a big part of his life. Stefan is already looking forward to more long-distance flights this year. He would also like to get back to hang gliding. And maybe his glider will be back in the air again soon. When it comes to taking risks, Stefan is both practical and philosophical: “If you want to fly, you need to have the courage to leave the ground. However, you also need the courage to come back down to earth and face life and all that it entails again.”