I was involved in a motorcycle accident in March 2012. I had a foot injury and was told that if I tried to salvage my foot I would never walk the same, most likely not be able to run, I would have multiple surgeries over time, most likely infections, and more importantly I would not be able to do my job as a firefighter. My other option was to amputate below the knee and I would be able to do 98% of everything I used to including being a firefighter. The choice to amputate was a very easy decision to make believe it or not. I was married to my fiancé in the hospital the evening before my amputation surgery. After the amputation I was in physical therapy for some time and was able to return to CrossFit which was something I had been doing since early 2010. After 11 months of physical training I returned to work as a firefighter full duty with no restrictions. I was told I am the first amputee full duty firefighter in the state of Ohio.
In June of 2013 my wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world… I continued to physically train for work and life by doing CrossFit. In late 2013 I responded to a post about a team looking for a amputee Crossfitter for a competition. At the time I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I sent my info and was told I had made the team. The next thing I knew I was told we would be competing at the Arnold against all abled bodied teams..!
That experience was one of the best days of my life pre and post accident… I was blown away by my teammates and was completely beside myself with the day. We straight up beat 2 abled bodied teams and it was absolutely incredible. At the time I thought it was a one time thing. I had no idea it was going to become what it is today.
This Team and what it stands for means the world to me. My teammates motivate me and make me proud to be an adaptive athlete. When I was in the hospital facing an amputation I had no idea what to expect and what I would be able to accomplish physically. There was very little or no information out there and this team has changed that dramatically. I want to show the world what we can do as adaptive athletes… Whether it’s a profession or physical fitness for every day functional movements. I don’t want someone to look at me or this team and feel guilty that they are not doing more.. I want them to feel motivated and inspired to do better, not shamed.
This Team has made being an amputee and adaptive athlete a badge of honor to me. These amazing individuals show me every day what the human spirit can do, and that we can accomplish anything with hard work and dedication. I am grateful to be on this Team and am very humbled to be a part of this incredible organization. I still haven’t found the “2%” I wasn’t supposed to be able to do by the way…