Bouldering in Joshua Tree

Bouldering in Joshua Tree
Ronnie 15 feet off deck on the classic White Rastafarian.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter X Games 2012

Hey Guys! So its crazy how random things pop up when you least expect them. Last week I was driving home and got a call from my boss with the opportunity to fly to Aspen to be the prosthetist at the Winter X Games. I did not hesitate to jump at the opportunity.
Keith and Mike getting a practice run.

 Two of our patients were involved in the event, Amy Purdy, one of the co-founders of Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) and Evan Strong (the reigning X games gold medalist in Adaptive Boardercross).

Amy shredding the course.
Evan going back up for another run.
Our time in Aspen was a blast! I mainly made sure all the riders were in good working condition. Occasionally parts break or malfunction and it would be terrible to have that happen before the biggest race of your life. Thankfully I only had to help out with socks, sleeves, and minor adjustments. I feel like I have a better understanding of some of the prosthetic adjustments that help the riders excel at their craft.

It is exciting to see adaptive snowboarding and mono skiing getting some attention at the X-Games. No doubt in years to come I am sure they will join the other events on national TV.

This years race was really exciting. The field was as deep as it has ever been, featuring 5 BKs and 1 AK. It had all the drama to go along with it too. In the first quarter of the race last years winner, Evan Strong, burst out of the gates to an early lead. It almost seemed like he was going to cruise to the finish until he went hot into a jump and ended up crashing about halfway through the race. This opened the door for Ketih Gabel and Mike Shea to pass and take the lead. Evan ended up recovering, with a concussion and the bronze medal. Carl Murphy, Mike Schultz, and Brandon Robins rounded out the rest of the field.

Congrats to all the riders!
It is really cool to see all the opportunity that Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale of AAS have created in adaptive snowboarding. There are "World Cup" races all across the world now and a pool of 80+ riders thanks to the work of AAS. Check them out at They run clinics all year round and provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to get back into action sports.

For now I am back in the office. I have a busy week working with a bilateral AK and a couple of BKs. Next week I am off to Hueco Tanks, TX to do some bouldering and start the beginning of the V10 project.

Take it easy!

Evan scoping out the course.
Mike Schultz, and his BioAdapt Knee. Check it out on the web.

The AAS Van!

Evan waxing his board for the big race. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 has kicked off in full swing!

Hey Guys, forever since I have posted. Lots of exciting things have been going on. I recently took my last certification exam for prosthetics, and should have news that I am officially a certified prosthetist sometime in the next month or so.

In November I was accepted to the Athletes with Disabilities Network Hall of Fame! Really honored to be a recipient.
Getting accepted into the Athletes w/ Disabilities Network Hall of Fame in November.

My job at Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates has been going great! We are currently expanding from a 5,000 square foot facility into a 22,000 square foot facility and will be incorporating an amputee training facility and our silicone manufacturing plant all under the same roof! We will officially be one of the biggest prosthetics facilities in the nation.

The building plans

I have been training hard for a couple of climbing goals in 2012.

The first is the V10 project. I am working on becoming the first amputee to boulder the V10 difficulty grade. First stop on the tour is Hueco Tanks in the beginning of February! The bouldering style there fits me perfectly so I am hoping I find some hard boulders to romp around on.
Slashface (V3) is one boulder from the past I am hoping to make it back to this year.

I will also be representing the United States in the second World Paraclimbing Championship, to be held in Paris, France in September. When bouldering season is over I will have to get my endurance up!

Lastly 2012 will be an exciting time in adaptive climbing. I am hosting clinics in Joshua Tree National Park, Brooklyn Boulders in NYC, Planet Rock in Ann Arbor through the University of Michigan, and "The Gunks" to round out the year.
The group at last year's Joshua Tree event.

Anyways this is a quick post before I get out of the office for the day! Excited to be back up and going in the blog scene and I hope everybody has been having good success working towards their goals in 2012.

Take it easy!