Tara Blackwell was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Although she grew up as a multi-sport athlete, Tara's greatest passion was the game of softball. In 2003, upon graduating from Pine Forest High School, Tara began her journey at Troy University, on a softball scholarship. On April 9, 2005, in the middle of her sophomore season as the Trojan's second baseman, and at the prime of her collegiate career, she suffered a cervical spinal cord injury after a practice on an away trip with her team. Tara spent three months at a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where she began learning how to live and function as a quadriplegic. However, very soon after her injury, she decided that her diagnosis would not define her life.
Upon her injury and returning home, Tara made it her mission to remain on a top of her exercise and therapies in order to maintain the best quality of life, and to keep herself prepared for any advancements in the search for a cure for spinal cord injury. Over the span of the last 14 years, she has traveled to both Baltimore, Maryland and Orlando, Florida for the most innovative therapies, as well as internationally to both Germany and Ecuador for invasive, but hopeful stem cell procedures.
Although Tara's prognosis has not changed, her strength and independence continue to progress through persistence and perseverance. Due to this determination, some of her greatest life achievements have been accomplished since her injury, including independently completing her degree in Criminal Justice through Troy University, as well as receiving the job as Head Coach of the Pine Forest Softball Program from 2013-2016.
Since then she has been working for a local title company, as well as maintaining optimal health and strength from her own home gym, while planning to create an exercise facility for disabled individuals; a lifestyle/wellness gym and comprehensive program with aims of quality of life enhancement, while initially targeting those with spinal cord injuries, both locally and across the country. She hopes to be an example for others in similar situations, and inspire these clients, while providing a comfortable place for them to reach their highest potential, where everyone can relate.