Rise above expectations.. It's what I would say my purpose of my life is.
Growing up in a very humble and ever changing setting could have left me stripped from accomplishing my dreams, and when I realized that, its when I decided to brake free and make a push to become all that I could be.
I joined the United States Marines when I was still 17 years of age. 10 years later I was considered one of the best amongst the best.
The Marines were my way of life until a motorcycle accident took what I thought was going to be the rest of my life in just a couple of seconds. It was time to start dreaming again. Dreaming of becoming a Paralympic cross country skiing athlete.. To rise again.
I was introduced to the sport of cross country skiing just 4 months after the amputation of my right arm due to the injuries I suffered during the accident. I loved the sport from the first time I struggled to put on my boots on that snowy day in lake placid. After that introduction skiing camp which was aimed at physical rehabilitation and not so much at racing I knew I wanted to make skiing a huge part of my life, and so I did.
I started to heavily research cross country skiing training and with the help of various coaches and organizations I put on my very first block of intense training. After my first summer and fall of cross country skiing training I started to compete on my first races alongside able bodied skiers that have been training way longer than I have and even though I was not as fast as I could be, everyone knew I had the heart, and cheered me on and so I kept going.
Later that racing year I started to compete against other Paralympic athetles and I found out that I was in fact a competitor. I attended nationals in soldier hollow and I was able to put on a solid performance earning me a couple of first place medals within my division. Due to that performance I was invited to compete in the next stage of competition in a World Cup in Cable Wisconsin. There I met the top Paralympics cross country skiing athetles in the world.. I gave it my all and came close.. Close enough to earn me a spot in the US national development team. All in one year and a half..
In my second year of real training, I have chosen to join the Maine Winter Sports Center ranks in northern Maine in order to possibly reach a higher level of skiing and make the US Paralympic team that will be competing in Sochi Russia in less than a year. Training will be hard, I am up for it.
There is nowhere else to go but to rise.. There has never been another option in my life.. Rise I will.