Adapted athletics can be a serious business; it’s not all feel-good times. For those who excel at their chosen sport, professionalism is a possibility. From wheelchair racing to bodybuilding, you can get paid to perform, and it can pay well.

Bear in mind, there aren’t thousands of adapted athletes in the world. Hundreds is more like it, which means you gotta be good – quite good – to snag a professional contract in your sport of choice.

It is more than possible however, and here are three adaptive athletes who’ve made their professional careers a reality. Read this entry

In Jarrett Martin’s world, the place he loves to be the most is in the sky – free-falling at 100 miles an hour with the wind in his face. But after his injury five years ago, he feared the one thing he loved the most would no longer be possible.

Jarrett grew up in a family-run skydive business; skydiving was and still is in his blood. The notion of no longer skydiving was never something he was willing to accept, and he never had to. Within months of his injury he was back skydiving, but the AMAZING thing about Jarrett’s return isn’t just the fact that he’s back in the sky, it’s everything he’s also done and making history in the process.

Photo courtesy of Max Haim

To find out all the things Jarrett has been up to since his spinal cord injury, read this post

Long before American Paralympian Kristin Duquette became disabled, when she was 6 years old she had a dream – to one day become an Olympic swimmer. Growing up near the ocean in East Hartford, Connecticut, Kristin loved to swim, but her dream was in danger when she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age 9.

Kristin however refused to look at her diagnosis as the nail in the coffin to her swimming career. Despite doctors telling her to not swim to preserve her muscle strength (she was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy that is progressive), she went back into swimming and shocked everyone by showing it’s possible you can get a stronger through training even with progressive muscular dystrophy.

Read on for Kristin’s some awesome story of perseverance, athleticism and her new passion that was ignited while studying at Trinity college – her commitment to making disability rights a true human rights issue. Read this entry

Our very first poet on the show, Tiffiny is joined by Travis Laurence Naught, author of the book The Virgin Journals, a memoir of his 20’s on the topics of sex and disability; a fascinating look at one man’s journey. Travis discusses his disability and living way past doctor’s expectations, how he got into poetry and the fine art of the poetry slam.

They also discuss the Dexter finale, Halloween costumes and a Dexter-inspired costume he made, as well as dating and learning to be ok with being single. Good stuff!

Listen via the player below.

No Free Rides is sponsored by Easystand.com

Show run time is 55 minutes.

Show Links

– His blog: Original Poetry, Stories & Updates by Travis Laurence Naught

– Purchase his book: The Virgin Journals

It’s not easy being fabulous and paralyzed, yet somehow Tiffany Giddes manages to pull it off.  An actress living in L.A. but a Southern girl at heart, Tiffany knows exactly what it takes to adapt to her surroundings.  She’s an actress, producer and the first person in a wheelchair to be on Sons of Anarchy.

When her injury occurred, she was like a cat too, and landed on both legs and kept moving forward.  From making skydiving a regular habit to producing and starring in her own original film, read on to learn about the amazing Tiffany Giddes, an actress determined to change how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media. Read this entry

Planning an epic tropical vacation…or dreaming of getting away? There are some insanely cool accessible vacation options out there, and the wheelchair-friendly resorts, places and activities only keep getting better. They’re so sweet in fact you may just forget the whole “not being able to walk” thing. Check ‘em out!

The first video comes from John “J2″ Mryczko, a C5-6 quad from Chicago, IL. He and his girlfriend went on an diving vacation to Cozumel, Mexico (considered one of the best diving spots in the world) and they went with the adapted SCUBA group, Diveheart (a really cool organization founded in 2001). And while he was not at all a scuba diver before this trip, he got the hang of it right away (even if it took 4 people to get him in his wet suit). Read this entry

Hair binders to hold a Wiimote, the awesome “Face Gamer” from New Hampshire gets featured in Wired and an accessible Wii Fit board invented by a crafty Canadian para. Sweet! I love accessible gaming ♥

And if you don’t know who Chuck Bittner, aka the “Face Gamer” is (he was featured in Wired magazine & is THE leading accessible gaming advocate), this is your chance to get edumacated. Read this entry

Hunting season is on!

Watch a C4 quad hunt with a breath-powered trigger, watch another quadriplegic hunt in a manual wheelchair using a blind (and drag the deer back to his truck!) and watch a C2 quad target shoot with a 9mm pistol. Read this entry

And this is a big one, folks. September is – woo hoo! – Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.

What does this whole “awareness month” message mean? Lots of things…talking about what is a spinal cord injury, sharing spinal cord injury prevention tips and bringing up important issues facing people with spinal cord injuries.

This is actually where my heart lies. No one can cure us, but we can be in control of our lives by improving day-to-day issues, like having people who understand and all the information you need so you can live an amazing, healthy and independent life. HUGE stuff. That is why I am a major fan of BACKBONES. They’re a great non-profit dedicated to improving all of this really important stuff.

And this month, they’re trying to raise $10,000 for their organization, all of which will go directly to fund their mission (you can read it in full here).

They are there to give free support people with SCI and their familes – they do one-on-one pair ups, fun events all around the country. Having a good time and positivity is what they’re all about (proof!).

What’s not to love about an organization that holds city-wide scavenger hunts IN wheelchairs (everybody has to try it too, even if they can walk) as a way to teach SCI education?

Click here to give & help BACKBONES reach their goal!

Links