This year marks the 10th anniversary of my rather calamitous paragliding accident resulting in the amputation of my left arm, mid-forearm. I’d predicted back then that in a decade I’d have a Luke Skywalker-like hand as a replacement. That didn’t quite happen, but we did get a new Star Wars movie instead.
As I reflect back on my life over the last decade I can honestly say I haven’t missed my hand. What may appear to some as a physical challenge, a disability, I see as an opportunity. An opportunity to challenge myself and in so doing inspire others. I was fortunate back in 2006 to have the mental fortitude that helped me overcome and ultimately survive my ordeal. We all face adversity in life. We are all survivors in one way or another. Yet it seems that whilst most settle for surviving, others go beyond to thrive. How we choose to respond to adversity, big and small, shapes us and perhaps even defines us. Our goal therefore should be to not just overcome life’s challenges and merely survive, but to take each turn of events and thrive. Over the years I have shared through my blog a little of my adventures as I learnt how to thrive.
This year, to mark my 10th anniversary as an amputee, I embark on my most ambitious challenge yet, climbing 19,341 feet to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro later this month. Followed by climbing 1,576 stairs to the top of the Empire State Building four days later (the day after my 45th birthday) and finally racing 140.6 miles to complete my 3rd Ironman triathlon this July at Lake Placid, NY.
And to celebrate still being alive 10 years later I’d love to raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation who provide opportunities and support to those with physical challenges, children and adults alike, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
If you’d like to support my efforts and donate you can click the button below.
Help me raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation*
*80 cents of every dollar goes to support those with physical challenges