At the beach or the skate park – this is where you would’ve found Christiaan Bailey (who’s on the cover of this month‘s Sports ‘n Spokes magazine), an always-on-the-go pro surfer before his injury.
What’s awesome about this SCI superstar is that this is where you can still find him.
A L3-L4 fracture while filming a skateboarding video in 2006 is how Christiaan became paralyzed, but he’s refused to let it stop him from doing what he loves. Within weeks, Christiaan was already sketching surf board designs for paraplegics from his hospital bed. Read this entry
One word has been driving Ricky James since he broke his back – perseverance (and he has the entire thing tattooed up his left leg in huge cursive font).
If you know motocross, you probably know who Ricky James is (and maybe knew about him before injury).
He was a rising 15 year old star in the motocross world who started racing at the age of 2 (they called him a “prodigy on two wheels”). He was even home-schooled so he could keep up with his crazy schedule.
Motocross is in Ricky’s blood and always will be. That is why after his accident (he hit a dirt embankment racing Amateurs Nationals in Lake Whitney, Texas), he was the last guy to ever think of wiping his hands clean of the sport he grew up sleeping and breathing.
Are you kidding? “Motocrossers are a different breed,” says Ricky. Read this entry
The ocean can be a dangerous place. Sharks, big waves with multiple personalities, fugly Man o’ Wars, but you don’t have to tell Jesse Billauer this. He’s a born and bred Cali boy who came out of the womb with a surfboard attached to the hip.
Jesse, at 17, was living the semi-charmed life of a California teenager – young, athletic, gorgeous (still is) and staged to be one of the next big surfers; it was an idyllic life. But his world turned upside down in 1996 when the crest of a wave threw him off his surfboard.
Jesse hit his head on a sandbar and became a C5-6 quadriplegic on impact. Despite a severed spinal cord, which can be a tough SCI blow to receive, Jesse wasn’t about to say adios to a rock star life. If anything, his energy for life has only become more pronounced. Read the rest of this entry
Why did I say no to getting a service dog again? Check out this post I wrote for SPINALpedia, where I share two videos of insanely original service dogs (or “canine partners”) who are learning new tricks that were definitely not learned in service school. Read this entry