Boulder man inspiring others after losing legs in tragedy

Posted at 9:31 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 16:30:54-05

BOULDER, Colo. -- A Boulder man who was almost killed in a terrible accident is using social media to show people that life doesn’t have to end just because you go through a life-changing event.

For what many would consider their lowest point, Craig Towler considers a new challenge. Last summer, a terrible tragedy cost him his legs.

“There is a reason that I’m still here, and I'm going to use every moment that I’m here to try and improve myself as well as the people around me,” said Towler.

Personal improvement and pushing it to the limit is nothing new for the fitness buff. Towler is an avid outdoorsman and runner.

“Things change very quickly. And when things change, the biggest thing for me was that I really understood how valuable time was, and that time could be taken from you just like that," he said.

Towler had just gotten home from his job as an event coordinator for the Fourth of July race at the Boulder Reservoir when an impaired and distracted teenager hit him, nearly pinching off Towler's legs.

“Everything happened so quickly that it didn’t seem real,” said Towler.

Seth Muller saw the crash and helped save Towler.

“Everyone at the scene was very impressed by his bravery and courage,” said Muller.

Doctors had to amputate both legs, and say he would have died if it wasn’t for Craig’s quick thinking to instruct Miller and other people nearby to stop the blood flow with belts and shoestrings.

“The one thing that ran through my head when I woke up and knew that there was going to be a tomorrow and a chance for rehab and the potential of me walking again, I was first and foremost thankful,” said Towler.

Towler doesn’t like talking about the crash. Instead, he wants to focus his energy on healing and helping others.

“Once time is gone and it’s spent on something that’s not productive, it’s spent on something other than my recovery and getting stronger -- that’s time I can’t get back,” said Towler.

It’s that attitude and appreciation for time that struck Towler’s prosthetist, Angela Montgomery.

“He smiles, he makes people smile, and he always is looking at the good in people and the good in this world,” said Montgomery.

Right now Towler works with Montgomery every week as he learns to walk again. Towler hopes to use his journey to inspire in others.

“Every second that I have I’m going to use that to be productive and move forward,” said Towler.

While he was in the hospital, Towler used Instagram to learn about what he was going through.

“That exposure was really fun to watch and made me happy -- to see these people excelling at what they do and living such happy lives, that gave me motivation to say, you know what, if they can do that then why can’t I?” said Towler.

Now he’s posting his own videos to show people that they can move on from such events.

“Life goes on, and it doesn’t only go on, but it’s a happy life,” said Towler.

Towler’s Instagram followers see him focusing on small goals each day to reach his ultimate goal of walking again.

Each day, Towler is one step closer to that goal. He isn’t ruling out running in one of the races he still coordinates from his chair.

Until then, he’s helping others achieve their goals as he works on his own.  

“It’s not that I’m searching for an alternate happiness now that things are different. I’m searching for the exact same things I was before, I just have to find a different route to get there,” said Towler.


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