Road to Recovery

A look at how Josh Theriot is doing his best to navigate a troubled passage


provided by Josh Theriot

Junior Josh Theriot’s courage is what keeps him going as he reconstructs his weakened condition.

Gavin Block, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

Junior Josh Theriot is what you would call an active person. In addition to being a student at Liberty, he plays in the low brass section of the Eagle Regiment, races mountain bikes and works outside of school.

Theriot was in Bentonville, Ark., the birthplace of the retailer Walmart, on the first day of summer break in 2022. The southern city is also known for its large parks and trail system. Theriot has gone there for multiple past summers, especially for bicycle riding. What should have been an enjoyable way to commence the three-month rest from school for him quickly turned into a disaster.

Theriot has had a few injuries and calamitous episodes come about after bike rides, including some previous ones in Bentonville. However, this summer’s mishap was unlike any that he had endured before.

Jace Brewer, a friend of Theriot and a sophomore attending Liberty, was accompanying him on that first day of break. While they were riding on a bike trail, Theriot lost control of his two-wheeler. This consequently sent him flying head first toward a nearby tree.

“We were on one of the jump trails, and I was behind Josh,” recalled Brewer. “He sent over the jump. He only made it halfway over, so his back wheel clipped the end of the jump, and he went over the bars.”

Brewer explained that Theriot’s protective headgear prevented him from suffering a much more dire outcome, stating, “There was a rock about the size of my foot that his helmet slammed into. It’s lucky that he had that helmet, or else he probably would have had some major issues.”

Theriot was knocked unconscious after the collision. According to Brewer, he woke up disoriented on the track but eventually reevaluated and continued riding. However, this did not mean any unwelcome circumstances had left him. Theriot would come to discover that he had sustained a concussion and dislocated his knee as a result of the incident.

Theriot makes a jump off of a platform and onto a grassy bike trail. (provided by Josh Theriot)

Along with losing some physical abilities, Theriot had lost much of his self-belief. In spite of this, he kept his resolve and decided that the best course of action would be to push through the unlucky yet temporary situation he was in.

The Liberty band member said that seeking outside help has assisted him greatly as he seeks to regain what he was deprived of following the crash. While issues with his knee may still linger at times, Theriot feels that his overall health is improving.

“I’ve been going to a physical therapist,” Theriot remarked. “They have been helping me get the strength back in my knee and making sure that it will not dislocate again.”

Theriot mentioned that he seems to be making progress psychologically as well. He noted that building back the confidence he lost has been a challenge, but he knows readjustment is still attainable.

“It taught me that trees don’t move,” Theriot joked. “It also taught me that I just need to be more conscious of where I’m going when I’m biking.”

The experiences Theriot has had since the accident have shown him that simply recouping, much like how he stood back up on that day in Bentonville, can open the possibility of great results. His choice to continue fighting against his personal struggles is also what allows him to continue his relationships, activities and constant learning. This demonstrates that as long as you maintain strength and analyze where you are traversing in life, the lowest points can potentially direct one on the path to a better elevation.