Proud to be a sponsored athlete, traveling the world and living my dream. Finding a way to inspire and help others in the process. I will be heading to Norway this spring of 2016 with Tyler Walker of the US Adaptive Ski Team to speak in schools and show what is possible with adaptive sports. The world and possibilities in Norway aren’t like many other places in the world. People, children, young adults. Don’t know what they are capable of or what is possible out there. To show them Adaptive Sport exists will be our goal. We hope to make a difference and change as many lives as possible. All made possible, by having a chance to pursue sport. Our dream, and making a difference in this world. Made possible by NetCracker Technology the best sponsors any athlete could dream of.
After a great camp in New Zealand we are off to Austria, where we ski a glacier deep in the mountains of the Alps known as Hintertux. It is some of the most consistently challenging skiing conditions we will face, with glacier ice and snow preparing us for our World Cup Season. Hintertux is a small town at the base of two connecting mountain passes. At the point those passes meet there is a series of gondolas that will take you over three thousand feet up. Where the training altitude is for snow. Its quite the adventure in a small town in Austria.
To explain the surroundings is near impossible, because of the sheer majesty and beauty contained in such an old area of the world.
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