February 22, 2016 - Life is full of surprises.
My first big surprise in life came at age eight. I was helping my dad on our family farm when a sudden accident with a piece of equipment cost me my right leg. In the hospital, doctors and others placed limits on me. They told me what I could and could not do—they said I’d never be able to swim, run, or play sports again. And sadly, I believed those limitations for a while.
My life changed in college—I discovered wheelchair basketball. With a lot of hard work, I was able to make the national team. I went on to become a three-time Paralympian and a two-time World Champion in the sport.
Those accomplishments only spurred my drive for more. In 2005, I began participating in triathlons. To date, I’ve finished 25 long-distance triathlons. In 2010, I was the first athlete—amputee or not—to complete eight long-distance triathlons in eight months.
Climbing soon became another passion of mine. My most recent expeditions include climbing Aconcagua in the Andes mountain range, the highest mountain outside of Asia; and Cayambe in Ecuador.
This year, I’m setting out to achieve one of my biggest personal goals: climb Mount Everest. Lincoln Financial is helping me get there.
When a big surprise comes along, you have two choices: 1.) Accept the situation as it is, or 2.) Take charge, and shape your own destiny.
I decided to take charge of my life and my future, and since discovering sports in college, I’ve trained six to eight hours a day, at least five days a week. I establish goals, and when I set out to achieve them, my disability doesn’t matter.
Thanks for reading a bit about my story. I’ll keep you updated as I embark on my journey to the top of Everest this year.