Hobbies: Hand Cycling, Fiddling with the guitar, Listening to music
Level of Injury: T4 – T5 Complete
Date of Injury: 7/28/1999
Cause of Injury: Motor Cycle Injury
KBF Grant Equipment: Handcycle
Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I can wiggle my scalp so my whole head of hair moves by itself.
What does living an active lifestyle mean to you? Living an active lifestyle means to be able to take part in all of life’s activities independently. This includes everything from going to work to hopping on my handcycle without assistance from anyone else.
What is something people don’t know about living in a wheelchair? It’s not as bad as it appears! The majority of the people that I have met (myself included) have been pretty happy with their living situation. I think this is due to the fact that people who use wheelchairs, have in one way or another come to realize that life could always be worse.
Why did you want a handcycle? I have always been an active person. Only one year prior to my accident, I had gotten into mountain biking and was devastated when I realize that passion was so short lived. When I discovered handcycling, that passion was restored. In addition to this, I have found that handcycling has been the best way for me to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air.
Best experience using your handcycle? Soon after I got a handcycle nearly one year after my accident, I found myself taking part in a marathon ride. This was extremely intimidating to me due to the fact that I was newly disabled and hadn’t had very long to train for this event. Luckily, I was alongside another person who was nearly my age and had only been injured one more year than me. Together, we tackled all 26 miles and celebrated as we crossed the finish line at the same time. This is certainly a day I’ll never forget.
What has the KBF grant meant to you? The KBF Grant has provided me the opportunity to enjoy an upgraded, more efficient and enjoyable handcycle ride. I had been previously riding an old rickety handcycle for many years and was waiting for the day when it would break down at the worst possible time. Now, I can count on a much more enjoyable and safer experience every time I hop on my new handcycle for a ride!
What is the best piece of advice you have gotten? The best piece of advice I have gotten soon after my injury was to approach life without fear. It can be a long intimidating road ahead of you after sustaining a SCI, but you will be much more happy and fulfilled if you take that path with confidence and are not afraid to try new things.
Any tips/tricks for someone who is new to a wheelchair/adaptive sports? One thing that has helped me immensely over the years is technology. Primarily, by watching videos on the internet. I’m a very visual learner so I find myself watching videos of how other people do things in regards to adaptive sporting equipment. This is where you can learn tips and tricks to do those tricky things like transferring onto a handcycle and even how to adjust and fit into the equipment.