In August 2015, a true adventure happened for me. Something I think and dream about daily, something not many people where I’m from get to do, I went surfing. Off the beaches of California. The funny thing was it wasn’t ordinary surfing, simply because. My legs don’t function. From a 4 wheeler accident that happened when i was 13. Spanning the last 10 years of my life. I have done things i never dreamed possible, i simply had to try. Some say where theres a will theres a way, or if you can imagine it you can make it. But the funny thing I’ve found is it simply comes down to having the courage to try, and I’m happy i did. The ocean is my home and will forever be my place of peace. Whether i did good, or whether i did great, I tried something new in this life. I experienced it, i loved it. I now know its possible and i want to make it happen again. I encourage you to have the courage to try something new.
Life is measured by experience, experience gives us an aptitude towards life. A natural feeling to what comes to our heart and mind. Some are inspired to be motivated by videos such as this, something simple that can remind us of what it is truly live. I personally am proud to be a #HighFivesAthlete
THE VEIL: The High Fives Foundation</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/staywildstudios”>Stay
Wild Studios</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>
Mid August I was in the midst of one of the greatest places I believe I have ever visited. New Zealand, somewhere I never thought I would ever get the chance to visit much less ski in. When I arrived I was awe struck at the sheer vastness and beauty. Though I was in The Sourthern Hemisphere to get a job done and to get to work. I found I was losing myself staring into the distance riding the chair lift. Or talking to the kind and generous locals when I had somewhere I needed to be. It reminded me of home in Alaska, the pace of life is different. The perspective on life is positive and you just simply don’t sweat the small stuff. While I was there with the US Adaptive Team, we trained, in both Cardrona near Wanaka and raced in the New Zealand Games at Coronet peak near Queenstown, both on the Southern tip of the Southern Island. Though I would love to take a chance to see so much more of these beautiful islands. The skiing wasn’t bad at all. The mountainous switch backs, and weather changes, the wind and snow made the drives fun and a true adventure in the dark early mornings. With the fog, wind, Rain and ice while driving on the edge of a 1000ft cliff with switch backs. As soon as those wheels start spinning, THE CHAINS GO ON. As for the competition, speed has always been my forte, though the technical skiing in New Zealand was definitely a good experience. An experience where America did well coming out on top. Tyler Walker managed a Gold and a silver, Josh Elliot a silver and myself a bronze. It was a great reminder of a long season ahead. A chance to represent and make a good change not just in my skiing but in life. No matter where it is or what distracts me.
Just finishing the longest toughest hand cycle race in the world, is a successful feeling. Biking nearly 300 miles with the final 20 being over 3000 vertical. When you finally reach the top of the mountain. You’ll never feel such accomplishment. Something not many can say they have ever done. Yet i did it, in a hand cycle. An adaptive piece of equipment like a bike but with a seat. Where you lay back and just keep cranking, with nothing but your arms. The craziest part was when i finished, my first ever race. I knew i could do it again, and do it better. 5th overall and 2nd in my category was a fantastic finish for my first race. But at the end of the day, when you lay down, just before you close your eyes. It’s just like anything, the thoughts sit and ponder. Could i have done better? Could i have been faster? of course the answer is always yes. It’s a humbling feeling. Giving me hope for the future, and keeping me shaking my fist in success. Not because i beat so many others, or because so many others beat me. But because i know that i accomplished something, completed a personal goal and can keep moving forward. That is the challenge of life and the pursuit of happiness, because its the pursuit and the challenge that is the most fun. So i challenge you to set a goal, and to start your pursuit. Just make sure you have fun.
Hand Cycling Video
Alaska Disptach had a new article revolving around myself. And the longest toughest handcycle race in the world. Being my first race I’m excited and nervous all at the same time! I cannot be more excited to be competing. Especially in my home state
FOLLOW THE LINK
Follow the link below for a article on my recent upcoming and first handcycle race.
Sponsored by NetCracker Technology
Sports Spotlight: Alaska Challenge racer Andrew Kurka.