Making a career change is tough no matter what the circumstances. However, career changes that get forced upon you add additional challenges. It takes grit and resilience to get past disappointment so you can begin to move forward. Involuntary change is all too common.  Life is unpredictable and today’s business environment is ever changing. We have found that transitions, even the ones we are compelled to make, can lead to great accomplishments though.  With that in mind, as a part of our work with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, we are excited to showcase the story of an individual who was forced into a career change and is now thriving on a new path.  Corning’s Incredibly Tough Video Series highlights the amazing stories of incredibly tough people, using incredibly tough devices, to do incredibly tough things.

Earlier this month Gorilla® Glass premiered its video Chef. Forager. Cyclist. At Ease. featuring Matthew Accarrino. Matt is the internationally renowned chef at SPQR, a Michelin-star rated restaurant in San Francisco. Growing up, Matt had a singular passion for his bike. He dreamed of being a professional cyclist and put all his energy into training to meet his goal. However, when Matt was sixteen, he was diagnosed with a bone tumor in his leg.   A large section of bone was removed and replaced with a metal rod. He nearly lost his leg. Fortunately, Matt survived, but he was forced to give up on his ambitions for a career in cycling and start an arduous two-year recovery.

Matt didn’t leave the house for over a year. Laid up, he began to watch cooking shows to pass the time. Then he started to use what he was learning as a part of his rehabilitation; he could focus on cutting something or cooking something to extend the time he spent standing. It became a great method to keep his mind active while his body couldn’t be. Rather than just thinking about what meal he would eat next, he started to ask what he could cook next.

Eventually, Matt also had to learn to walk again. Matt notes this part of his rehabilitation lead to a massive change in perspective. He noted that it wasn’t “just a matter of how tough you were going to be. It was that you couldn’t afford to not be tough.” Today Matt reflects that learning to walk again helped him to feel like there isn’t anything he can’t do.

Although Matt learned to walk again during his two-year rehabilitation, for the next fifteen years, he didn’t touch a bike. Yet, today, he is back on his bike and has even started racing again. Watch the video above to see how Matt has incorporated cycling back into his busy schedule. Matt not only found a way back to his passion for cycling but he also managed to use it to take his cuisine to the next level. Matt notes that the “whole trajectory of my life has been about making the best of every opportunity.” After seeing how this forager-chef has bounced back from heartbreak and has successfully combined two of his life’s passions, we heartily agree! Everyone faces adversity. Take an extra moment to be inspired by Matt’s ability to turn his misfortune into a thriving new career.

A special thank you to Corning Incorporated for sponsoring this post.

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