They went hand in hand. Because the one thing when I did have my accident…and I was in the hospital at that point going to recovery, and a lot of that was mental acceptance. “OK, this is my situation. This is the card that I’ve been dealt, and I’m going to have to move on from that.”
The one thing that I did understand in knowing myself is that I have to have a competitive outlet. I have to have something to be able to put that focus into if I’m going to stay whole as an individual. If I don’t, that’s when this will overcome me rather than me overcoming it.
At that point, my real drive was in playing those steps in my head was, there’s a big world of downhill mountain bike racing in the adaptive world, and that’s what I’ll get into. It’s very similar to dirt bikes. It’s very similar to Motocross, but it’s still different enough that it’s its own thing.
That was my goal was I wanted to get into downhill mountain bike racing, but I understood that I had to like I said, build my strength back up, build myself to be in a good spot before I tried to dive into something like that.
That was my motivation, the carrot that I put in front of myself to really recover well from this accident and proficiently was, I’m going to get into this downhill mountain bike racing, so what can I do to strengthen myself? What can I do to build that conditioning program again?
Like I said, that’s when I started looking for videos. I found CrossFit. I was like, “This is great because it’s very similar to even how I used to train my athletes.”
I’m understanding and learning the movements through WheelWOD and Kevin and Stouty to apply this to myself. Then like I said in the meantime, even a downhill mountain bike, everything’s expensive adaptive. I was looking at having to save up to buy $12,000 bike to be able to do this.
In the meantime, I was paying doctor’s bills and hospital bills for my accident. I was like, “This is going to be a while down the road.” Then there was the invitation to do that first open that Stouty was putting on. Like, “Well, in the meantime, I’ll give this a try.”
That’s where those two coincided was doing that first open. I was like, “Oh, this is where it’s at. This is where…” It really naturally like the…Yes, there was a strong desire to recover and to rebuild myself. The motivation for myself was around a competitive outlet. That just shifted as I got into it.
Then the happy by-standard that I learned and understood was by competing in CrossFit and really training under this methodology, I was building myself to be more independent than most other people that I had learned in a wheelchair, which is common for any CrossFit athlete.
You get into CrossFit and you learn, “Oh, you’re not just fit, but you’re fitter for natural function in life.” That you can handle weird things. You’ve got to move, so you’re packing the house.
You’re carrying all this stuff out. Your friends come over to help. Those that don’t do CrossFit are dying, and they’re like, “Man, this is really taking a toll on me.” As somebody that does CrossFit, you’re like, “Yeah, it’s not that bad. I’m built for this.”
That same situation was what I was learning in just day-to-day life being in a wheelchair is that I was doing it to compete. But by doing this, I was having more independence. I had more functional strength than most people in my situation by doing CrossFit.