AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) --Texas governor Greg Abbott has longed to speak openly about the day that changed his life. In a one-on-one interview with abc13's Tom Abrahams and ahead of the release of his book "Bowed But Unbroken," he shared parts of that story he has never talked about publicly before.
"I laid on a table for hours with bone splinters in my spinal cord, which is kind of like having needles stuck in your eye, without any anesthesia whatsoever," Abbott recalled of the day that changed his life.
A lifelong runner, Abbott was jogging when a tree fell on him, breaking his back. He was rushed to a hospital in Houston not equipped for the severity of his trauma. Abbott says the experience and many afterward have helped to shape his worldview and outlook on life.
"Of course there's self-doubt, of course there is concern but you learn to move on beyond that," said Abbott. "There comes a point and time where you say, 'You know what? I am in the situation I'm in, it's time to pull my life together and move on,' which I think exactly parallels the country right now."
It is that outlook that Abbott candidly chronicles in "Bowed But Unbroken," out this Wednesday, May 18th.
"It tells the story of someone who faces insurmountable challenges of having your back broken and your life broken in half," Abbott said. "And then being able to rise up from that and being able to go on to become governor of the great state of Texas."
Abbott says he wrote the book to inspire others to overcome whatever challenges they might face. All of the profits go to an organization helping veterans obtain homes.
"When you have faced tough challenges -- physical, mental and emotional -- and realized you can overcome them, then everything else is put into perspective," Abbott said.
Abbott said of the themes in the book, "Our nation faces insurmountable challenges and I lay out a way for our nation to overcome those challenges."