My friend Craig Demartino and I met back in 2007 at Extremity Games 2.
Craig lost his leg below the knee after a miscommunication while climbing left him to fall 100 feet. He was lucky to survive, but the accident also left his right foot severely injured and he now has parts of his spine fused. Despite all this Craig is one of the best climbers that I know, climbing stronger after his injury, bouldering V8 and cruising 5.12.
He is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met and always has a smile on his face even when you can tell he is having the pain which is now part of his life every day. It has been kind of cool because Craig and I are both on the Evolv team and I am missing my left leg and he is missing his right leg. We just both happen to be the same shoe size as well!
I just picked up a pair of the new Evolv Geshidos and Shamans.
The Geshido is by far the best all around climbing shoe I have ever worn and I am really looking forward to cranking down on some steep terrain with the Shaman. I was over at the Evolv shop right around the time of my Joshua Tree Clinic and managed to get two pairs from the first shipment. I made sure to send Craig my right feet and he was psyched!
Jarem Frye lost his leg above the knee to cancer as a child. Despite that challenge he still kept really active as a kid, focusing mainly on extreme winter and summer sports like skiing and climbing. He was really disappointed at the adaptive equipment that was available at the time for prosthetic knees so he worked at multiple engineering positions over five years and eventually learned enough to create a prosthetic knee called the Symbiotechs USA XT-9.
I was lucky enough to meet Jarem at Extremity Games 2 also and we fostered a friendship as well.
Me, Jarem, and Craig the podium winners at Extremity Games 2
That next spring I got a chance to go learn how to use the knee in Oregon with him and it was a great time. I now climb 90% of my routes using his knee and it has greatly improved my technical climbing ability. The knee is killer and is capable of snowboarding, wakeboarding, rock climbing among other things.
Craig and Jarem are teaming up this summer in Yosemite Valley to do the first all disabled ascent of El Capitan.
Craig, approaching 50, is in the best shape of his life now after learning the benefits of cross training.
Jarem is getting back into shape after spending most of the past few years running his business and raising his family. I know he is really excited to get back into shape quick and kick some ass on the wall with Craig. It will be really exciting to see both of them accomplish such an astonishing feat.
Big walling scares the crap out of me, so I will just stick to pebble wrestling.
Life is 10% events, 90% your reaction! Live it to the fullest!