HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Every step is a gift. Movement doesn’t hurt, exactly, but it’s certainly not easy.

“I just wanted to be able to move my legs again,” Simon Edgett of Milford said, as he ran on a trail near Lake Wintergreen in Hamden. “It’s not pain, it just feels different, the left foot drags.”

Nonetheless, Edgett is grateful to run again, an outlet he’s loved for years.

“May 2011, I quit smoking and started running,” he said.

But a horrific accident in 2019 almost cost him the ability to run – and even walk.

Out for a jog, he was hit by a truck in West Haven.

“I have 2 metal bolts in neck, my left leg and knee were shattered,” Edgett said. “I don’t really remember exactly what happened.”

But he remembers the aftermath – waking from a coma during a pandemic.

“Surreal is a really good word for it,” he said.

Then came months of work at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.

“I couldn’t even sit up in a wheelchair, I couldn’t even sit up,” he explained.

He defied the odds to walk again and eventually step by step to run.

This high school English teacher is drawn to nature.

“It’s like belonging, I feel like nature is my world, my place,” he said.

And that’s why he recently took to the trails for a major challenge, the finale to a 365 day running streak.

“I figured – I’d run everyday for a year so I might as well run for a whole day,” Edgett said, noting that he ran a total of 35 miles.

“It can’t be taken for granted, mostly because there is no guarantee,” he said, reading a poem he wrote called Guarantees.

“I like to just sit in the woods and write poems,” Edgett said, who now has double vision.

When he was at his lowest, Edgett pledged to return to his wife and son, to writing, teaching and yes, to running.

He’s done it all and said strides were made thanks to a medicine called determination.

“The same with running long distances, it’s about setting a goal and you will not stop until you reach that goal,” he said. “You can’t give up.”

And the goals keep coming. Edgett hopes to someday run a marathon.