Each and every morning I wake up with that challenge of every beginning, with the obstacles to get through the day and the desires to finish the evening. I face these challenges every day because of the life that has been given to me. The love of my friends, family, children and wife inspire me to fight each and every day like it was my last. I feel blessed to be a person who lives life to the fullest with a spinal cord injury.
My injury happened 20 years ago on a bicycle. I was forced into a back of a (go figure, a handicapped) school bus while training for a triathlon. The injury left me a C5-6 complete quadriplegic. I was only 17 and still in high school with my whole life still ahead of me. Scared and frightened about what life was about to offer me, I made a decision with myself not to give up and fight a hundred percent in the new journey I was facing.
Throughout the years with the intense rehabilitation and exercise I have been able to accomplish many great things. The first thing was to gain enough strength to propel my own wheelchair and to become independent with my own body. I then set out to conquer wheelchair sports. I first got involved in quad rugby and have been playing for over 15 years. With confidence I then started to snow ski and water ski. I never stopped myself from trying something like tennis, surfing, hand cycling, road racing or skydiving. Did I even mention six time world champion over the line player?
My personal life has also brought me many wonderful successes. I have been able to own my own business and to work with other companies in the wheelchair industry. I also been able to carry out many great things with the volunteer work that I do. I currently run several support groups for those with spinal cord injury and do one on one peer counseling.
Today I “Live Strong,” fight on and fill myself with a strong attitude to conquer anything that is standing in my way.