A decade after a shooting that nearly took her life, former Rep. Gabby Giffords opened up Friday about her long journey to recovery and the lessons she picked up along the way.
In an interview with “TODAY” show host Savannah Guthrie, Giffords and her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., said she was not a person who dwelled on the past, but a person who wanted to “move ahead.”
Giffords joked that the rehabilitation process “really sucks” and that she spent the first few years of her recovery relearning the basics, like how to walk and talk. But on the 10-year anniversary of the shooting, Giffords said she has never been busier.
“Liaising calls, work, work, work, speech therapy, lot of homework, yoga twice a week!” she said.
In her free time, in between work calls and exercising, Giffords said she likes to play the French horn, practice her Spanish and watch movies.
Gifford, 50, was shot at a constituent event in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011. The gunman, Jared Loughner, was sentenced to life in prison for killing six people and injuring 12 others.
Gifford resigned from the House in 2012 to focus on her recovery and has since become a prominent gun control advocate.
In 2013, Giffords and her husband founded Giffords, an advocacy group to end gun violence, after the Sandy Hook mass shooting in Connecticut that left 26 people dead, according to the organization’s website.
Kelly, who was sworn in to his Senate seat last month, said it was never in his “plan” to run for office. He added that if it wasn’t for her injury, Giffords would hold his position instead.
To those who felt anguished by the past year, Giffords had a few words to share: “Be a leader, set an example, be passionate, be your best.”
“Hope, hope, hope,” she said.