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Participants will be traveling similar routes a number of the world’s best cyclists just pedaled during the Tour of Utah. Ride lengths include 18 miles, 52 miles and 102 miles, following paths in and around the beautiful landscapes of Kamas, Heber and Park City in the name of fun and fundraising.
Included in the field are members of the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), a strong partner of the National Ability Center, whose mission is to honor and empower injured servicemen and women. For the participating Warriors, the Summit Challenge is also a Soldier Ride, one of a series of cycling opportunities sponsored by the WWP to raise awareness and support for America’s injured service members.
“The Summit Challenge is more than a ride — it’s an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to come together as a community to share in each other’s challenges and accomplishments,” said Gail Loveland, the organization’s executive director. “The awareness and funds raised during the event enable the National Ability Center to continue to provide programs that get people of all abilities out, active and engaged in sports and in life.”
Also joining in the ride this year is highly decorated Paralympic medalist and champion for adaptive recreation Chris Waddell. Chris is the first paraplegic to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, a feat that was documented in the film 1 Revolution. He will be taking on the 52-mile route on a hand cycle.
The Summit Challenge is a community cycling event for cyclists of all ages and abilities. This event directly supports adaptive recreational programs at the National Ability Center. The National Ability Center is committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment.
Registration costs for this event allow NAC to meet the needs of cyclists with a disability participating in Summit Challenge at no cost to them. The event has once again been chosen as a Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride. More than 30 Wounded Warriors and 100 local riders with a disability will be taking part in this year’s Summit Challenge.
A Race Day Village will be set up in the National Ability Center’s main parking lot to for the entire community to come together and celebrate the participants. There will be live entertainment, a meet and great with Chris Waddell, food provided by El Chubasco, beverages by Swire Coca-Cola and Uinta Brewing, an awards ceremony, a little tykes race and more.
I don’t mind admitting that I found the sight of turkey vultures disconcerting and ominous as I began the first few switchbacks up Royal Street. With weighty bodies perched on skeleton trees their death gaze fell on me and I wondered if they knew something that I didn’t. Reasoning that I still had two gears in reserve I pedaled on. The Royal Street climb is approximately 5.4 kilometers in distance and 900 feet of vertical. Hills are my nemesis right now probably due to a diminishing strength to weight ratio, so I thought that it would be a good idea to up the ante.
The yellow sign with the hairpin turn signal and 10 mph sounds sarcastic especially since I’m going 4.5 mph. I’m still at 4.5 for the next one, but it’s more damaging because it says 20 mph. My cycling friends have used Royal Street for a time trial. I didn’t even bother to time myself the first time. I’m already almost fourteen miles into my ride at the bottom and I just want to make it to the top. Maintaining cadence the whole time I feel like I’ve reached my Tour de France mountaintop finish when Royal Street flattens at Silver Lake. As I loop around the parking circle I choose to thumb my nose at those turkey vultures. All my efforts had been measured for this climb, but I remembered something that Dave Penney had done when I was preparing for Kilimanjaro.
One day in Moab I’d done a big climb in high heat and just barely made it back to the truck. Dave shattered my relief in making it to the truck by saying, “I’ll pick you up in five miles.” I didn’t want to do another five miles, but I did, preparing me for those moments when the finish line is always further than I think it will be. I’ve already decided that I need to get better at hills for our Who’s Your Hero Tour ride. Realizing that there will be another hill after the seemingly last one, I thumb my nose at those turkey vultures going down briefly before making a left turn toward the Empire Lodge at about 8300 feet.
A cyclist on his way down says to his buddy about me, “That looks painful.” He couldn’t have paid me a higher compliment or been more correct. I assume the people in the comfort of their air-conditioned cars say the same about him. Usually I hate it when cyclists say something to me, but as the guys in the University of Utah cycling kits and their friends pass I don’t mind when one of them says, “How’s going?” and I respond, “Hurts.” His buddy says, “It’s hurting all of us.” I like that. They move ahead of me, but not out of sight. I know they’re not going as fast as they can, but still it’s encouraging.
My body responds well to stress. After three weeks in the hospital prior to the Kilimanjaro climb I never thought that I would regain my form until I climbed the snow covered race course in Vail in my four-wheeled off-road vehicle. That one day broke open new possibilities as I went and broke my record on Shafer Trail in Moab the next day. I hope that my decision to tempt those turkey vultures brings that same kind of breakthrough. On the way home I flew by a cyclist on the uphill by the Catholic Church never dropping below 13 miles an hour, so maybe…
Remember those things that your parents used to make you do that embarrassed you so much? I’m here to say they were good. It wasn’t so much that my parents made me join the swim team or the band, or that my brother and I never really had exactly the cool thing or clothes. We always had a close facsimile that was made more conspicuous by trying to be the real thing. It’s not the swim team or the band or the clothes in particular. They’re just things. It was the experience of being uncomfortable that was the takeaway. In One Revolution’s educational program Nametags, I tell the students, “The greatest risk that you can take is taking no risk at all.”
So I made myself do open mic night at Wise Guys at Trolley Square in the Sugar House section of Salt Lake. I’d put together the elements of my three-minute set months ago. When I scribbled it on my computer paper I was convinced that it was funny, maybe even really funny, but when I went back to it the day of I realized that I lacked transitions. I couldn’t figure out how to get from one point to another. IN my office I went through it a couple of times. It seemed to work, but the closer the time came the more nervous I became. The last couple of years I’ve done about 200 speaking presentations a year. I get nervous before each one, but this is different. This was that achy I don’t want to do it nervousness.
My nervousness rose as I took two laps around the block to find a parking space and rose even more when I couldn’t find the comedy club amongst the stores. Finally I saw a line of 20-40 year old white guys looking somewhat hip and somewhat disheveled. Returning to my days as the new kid in school I forced myself to ask if this was the line for open mic night knowing fully well that by asking them I not only told them that I wanted to perform, but also that I thought I was funny and that I’d secretly been thinking that maybe these guys would hire me to do comedy, which was a whole to admit to group of guys that I’d never met. Of course like in school there was the guy who dominated the conversation with everyone he knew and how everything worked. I’m sure I’ve been that guy at times, but when you know that you don’t know anyone or anything there’s nothing that makes you feel more uncomfortable.
This was not my first time at open mic. I’ve done it three or four times before, but this was the first time that I had decided to share more personal stories. Our mission with One Revolution is to turn perception of disability upside down. I could easily have hid behind “Have you noticed…” but that felt disingenuous. I had committed myself to parking spaces and big toilet stalls for better or worse. And for my honesty I felt far more nervous than I had before. I wondered if people would get.
When I talk about speaking I draw an analogy to ski racing. Starting a speech is like starting a downhill. To give a little background, skiing downhill panicked me. I had to approach the race in a way that my mind and soul could understand, so I told myself that the race was to the first gate. I had to commit myself to going as fast as I could and when I did for some strange reason things started to slow down. The faster I tried to go the slower it felt like I was going. Speaking this means that I have to be totally committed to the first thing that I say and I have to say something worth hearing.
My first line was, “We will cure you,” as I wanted to tell a story about being at an event in New York City where in the elevator at the end of the night a woman said that to me. I replied thank you, but in my head I’m thinking awesome…because I have problems with commitment, and sometimes when I eat I feel bloated, and really I probably worry too much, but in the white light that blocked my view of the audience I couldn’t remember what to say. I couldn’t remember where to start. The other voice in my head said, “You need to get going,” (like I didn’t know that) and I stumbled through my first joke. Three minutes seemed like an eternity. My internal clock had gone Dali on me, and my mouth picked up speed. I rushed through my grand finale that was supposed to tie it all together and said, “That’s it. Where’s the guy that I give the microphone to?” I had no ownership of the stage. I didn’t connect with the audience. And I was so tired from the adrenaline crash that I thought I might actually crash on my way home. I’m going back the next chance I get.
I started this blog thinking that it was about getting back in shape. I called it “Not Showing Off. Just Showing Up,” but the more that I wrote the more I realized that it was about getting fit while getting older. The last couple of years I’ve struggled to get back in shape not just because I’d taken a lot of time off—one of the great parts of being an athlete was the luxury of getting out of shape in between seasons. The last couple years when I started getting back into shape my left shoulder stood in the way.
It hurt consistently, but I thought that was just the pain return on years of abuse. I didn’t think anything was wrong. Last June after six straight days on airplane and two 6am departures my shoulders and neck felt like they had barbed wire below the skin so I headed to the gym to smooth the sharp edges. My shoulder popped on the first rep of my third set of bench press. The pop, I figured was because I’d stopped doing my shoulder exercises as I’d also stopped going to the gym for the most part, but I didn’t bother to get my shoulder checked out until after it gave out on me as I walked hand over hand on the armrests dragging my feet behind me to exit yet another plane. It gave out, I fell onto my knee and rocked backwards breaking my femur. When I saw an orthodpedic surgeon friend he said that I’d torn my rotator cuff and that he didn’t want to do anything. “You’re getting older and this might be as good as it gets,” he said.
Getting older isn’t much fun. I now have to wear reading glasses, which are a mortal blow to my immortality, but I didn’t want my shoulder to stand between me and what I loved. I only skied once this winter despite living ten minutes from three ski areas. Each time I lifted myself to get on the lift my arm felt like it was going to fall off. Not being able to ski diminished my quality of life far more than the reading glasses, which just diminish my ego, ever will, so I resigned myself to surgery and the three to six months of one-armed, going round in circles rehab with no guarantee of success, but a huge guarantee of pain, when a buddy told me to check out this doctor who was doing PRP therapy, so I sent an email to Dr Ibrahim in Georgetown. I was heartened to learn that he’d done his initial research with quadriplegic athletes.
At our first meeting he diagnosed that not only did I have a tear in my rotator cuff, but also tears in the bicep tendon, anterior and posterior labrum, and the deltoid, the last of which he said would heal on its own. He also said that he could repair the damage. He drew forty milliliters of my blood and spun it down to four milliliters of platelets, which he injected into the tears in my shoulder. I’ve had three injections: one in the end of February, another in the beginning of March and one more in the in the middle of May.
For the first time in a long time I move my arm expecting it to hurt and it doesn’t. I might be getting older, but I don’t want to stop living and being active is part of that. Yes, I believe that part of being in shape is just showing up, but it also is about removing the impediments to fitness. Getting older I also realize that I don’t have the luxury of getting out of shape anymore. One time at the gym, I heard a guy tell his buddy, “The best way to be in shape is not to get out of shape.” Obvious advice, yet hard to follow. When I retired from competitive sport I said that I wanted to train to play and make my playing training. Somewhere along the way I lost the thread of that motto. Now that I’ve eliminated the shoulder pain and weakness I’m determined not to lose it again. I just wish that getting back in shape didn’t hurt so much, but it’s a lot better than the alternative.1 comment
During Chris Waddell’s historic climb to the roof of Africa, the One Revolution team had sixty-one African porters and guides to help guide, carry gear, cook meals, lay boards to bridge gaps, and provide general good cheer. One of those porters named Tajiri, had worked on the mountain before a rockslide took his leg. One Revolution bought him a light prosthesis in 2009. With his new leg, Tajiri made the climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro with Chris.
When Tajiri returned to the mountain he said to the other porters, “You never thought you’d see me here again. Well I’m back.” He’d recovered from a shell of a man to become complete. One Revolution changed one person’s life, and hopes to empower others to live fully through stories of resilience, integrity and community.
Four years later, the prosthetic leg is worn out from the rough conditions. One Revolution is bringing Tajiri to Utah late July, to be fitted with a quality prosthetic leg at the Hanger Clinic as a Mobility Revolution outreach initiative. “This effort is to ensure Tajiris’s mobility in order to participate in commerce in Africa and provide for his family,” said Jodi Holmgren, Executive Director. This is Tajiri’s first trip to the United States.
SPECIAL SCREENING OF 1 REVOLUTION SLATED FOR JULY 31 IN SLC
1 Revolution, the award-winning film which documents the climb, will be presented on July 31 at Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 South 200 West, in Salt Lake City. The screening will take place during the week that the Outdoor Retailer Convention consumes Salt Lake City with thousands of buyers and outdoor specific products, apparel and outdoor innovations. Sponsored by Hanger Clinic, the general public as well outdoor enthusiasts from the convention are invited to attend.
The film will be introduced by Chris Waddell 13x Paralympic medalist, along with a special guest Tajiri, the mountain porter from Tanzania who also appears in the film. Amanda Stoddard, Director of 1 Revolution, will also be on hand to discuss the film. Doors will open at 5:00 PM and the film will run from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Tickets for this exciting event are available for a $5 donation per person. Tickets are either available in advance at http://1revolution.eventbrite.com/ or at the door. Limited seating is available and you must be 21 years or older to enter. Call (801) 510-9684 for more information.
About the Film
1 Revolution cinematically captures Chris Waddell’s very human journey to dare greatly and ultimately to live fully. This film chronicles the heart and spirit behind an extraordinary achievement as it documents the first almost entirely unassisted paraplegic ascent of 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. The film is now available on ITunes and iNDemand. DVD’s available in the online store www.one-revolution.org
About Hanger Clinic
With a network of over 700+ Patient Care Clinics nationwide and hundreds of certified specialists and technicians who customize and fit prosthetic and orthotic devices, Hanger is by far the largest and most experienced P&O provider in the nation. They help amputees and individuals with musculoskeletal disabilities and injuries improve their quality of life and regain their self-confidence. From artificial limbs to braces to orthotic shoes, Hanger Clinic offers a complete range of products and services to get patients back on their feet again.
I started One Revolution because I have a big mouth. When I was a Paralympic athlete, like many athletes, I couldn’t see beyond my own nose so I blamed the organizers and sponsors for failing to introduce the world to our amazing sport. The lack of visibility failed the athletes’ ability to continue as athletes and it failed the 1.1 billion people with disabilities in this world who lead nearly invisible existences. I’m one of those people and when my resume isn’t readily available, people on the street often just see the wheelchair and the perceived limitations. I started One Revolution because I thought I could do better and that we, as an organization, could turn that street perception upside down. Our mission is to turn perception of disability upside down.
My motivation is both as personal as it gets and as general. I want to change perception for myself and I want to change it for people like me who don’t have the opportunities that I do. As an athlete I had two jobs. One was to compete and win. The other was to stretch the imagination of the people who saw me. The perception of a monoskier going 70 miles an hour is far different than that of someone in a wheelchair. The two images don’t fit, hopefully encouraging viewers to reflect on the nature of disability, his/her interactions with people with disabilities and the unchallenged bias that he/she has taken to those interactions.
It was more difficult for me to retire from competitive sport than it was to break my back because I lost my platform to affect change. In an effort to regain that platform I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and documented the effort. The mountain and its myriad challenges served as a great metaphor for the struggles we all experience. Telling the story in a documentary meant that we could bring the experience to a wider range of people, and in larger terms, prove that we not invisible.
If I hadn’t broken my back in 1988 I doubt that I would have started a foundation to turn perception of disability upside down. All of us put our passion and resources into things that affect us personally. One Revolution’s motto is, “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you,” because disability affects all of us. Our real limitations and our perceived limitations prevent us from living fully and our inability to see the individual robs us of lessons and inspiration to push through our own barriers. Please join me in fighting for all of us.
Beyond Sport has announced the initial speaker line-up for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards 2013, the premier global gathering in the field of sport and development, which will be staged in Philadelphia from September 9th-11th 2013.
Chris Waddell, 13X Paralympic medalist and the first man to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in a handcycle; Mayor Michael Nutter; Philadelphia Eagles hero Brian Dawkins; Olympic legend Michael Johnson; and numerous other inspirational speakers and experts in their fields will take part in the September event.
“I am honored to be included in the line-up,” said Waddell.
The global organization has also unveiled the Beyond Sport Awards 2013 Official Shortlist of nominated projects. These organizations will receive flights to and accommodation at the Philadelphia event, where the winners will be rewarded with a comprehensive package of funding and business support.
Beyond Sport Founder Nick Keller commented: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards to Philadelphia. This city places sport at the center of its identity and has long experience of using sport to enrich the community. Our warmest congratulations go to the projects and organizations shortlisted for a Beyond Sport Award – their work is inspirational and we look forward to learning from them all in Philadelphia.”
“Sports bring people together, and bringing people together is what the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection is all about,” said Mayor Nutter. “The reason Philadelphia and its professional sports franchises worked so hard to bring Beyond Sport here is our belief that athletics has a tremendously positive influence on communities, and we want to play a role in that. Philadelphia is honored to be among some of the most vibrant cities in the world by playing host to this prestigious event.”
Chris will travel from Beyond Sport Summit directly to Seattle, WA, where he will kick-off the One Revolution 2013 Who’s Your Hero Tour. The tour will connect communities and celebrate stories of resilience and integrity as the One Revolution team rides 1,500 miles to San Diego making presentations at schools.
Beyond Sport’s Global Partners are Barclays, TIME International and UNICEF.
The 2013 Who’s Your Hero Tour is right around the corner! To follow is a preliminary schedule of our ride from Seattle to San Diego. Nametags TM presentations are being scheduled along the route, and we would love to visit a school near you! Please call 801.510.9684 for more information.
Guest rider slots are available if you would like to ride along with Chris and the One Revolution team! Your donation for a full-day ride includes a great looking cycling jersey, lunch and a ride back to your starting point. Join us for the Wine Country Weekend Ride! Watch for more details.
Sat Sept. 7 Kelly Brush Foundation Ride Middleburry, VA
Wed Sept. 11 Beyond Sport Event Philadelphia, PA
Thurs Sept. 12 Arrive in Seattle, WA
Fri Sept. 13 Nametags Presentations TBD Seattle, WA
Sat Sept. 14 *Kick-off Event in Seattle Gas Works Park
Seattle, WA Tacoma, WA
Mon Sept. 16 Nametags Presentations TBD Tacoma, WA
Tue Sept. 17 Nametags Presentations TBD
Wed Sept. 18 Tacoma, WA Centralia, WA
Thurs Sept. 19 Centralia, WA Castle Rock, WA
Fri Sept. 20 Castle Rock, WA Hillsboro, OR
Sun Sept. 22 Hillsboro, OR McMinnville
Mon Sept. 23 McMinnville, OR Lincoln City, OR
Tues Sept. 24 Lincoln City, OR Florence, OR
Wed Sept. 25 Florence, OR North Bend, OR
Thurs Sept. 26 North Bend, OR Gold Beach, CA
Fri Sept. 27 Gold Beach, OR Brookings, OR
Nametags – Azalea Middle School
Sat Sept. 28 Brookings, OR Crescent City, CA
Sun Sept. 29 Crescent City, CA McKinleyville, CA
Mon Sept. 30 McKinleyville, CA Garberville, CA
Wed Oct. 2 Garberville, CA Willits, CA
Thurs Oct. 3 Willits, CA Cloverdale, CA
Fri Oct. 4 Cloverdale, CA Santa Rosa, CA
Nametags – Montgomery High School
Wine Country Weekend Ride Reception
Sat Oct. 5 Calistoga, CA Napa, CA
Sun Oct. 6 Napa, CA Sonoma, CA
Mon Oct .7 Sonoma, CA San Francisco, CA
M-F Oct. 7 – 11 Nametags Presentations San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct.7 San Francisco VA Hospital Visit
Screening – Cathedral Boys School
Tues Oct.8 Nametags – Cathedral Boys School
Wed Oct.9 Nametags – Marin Country Day School
Fri Oct. 11 Challenged Athletes Foundation – Million Dollar Challenge
Sat Oct. 12 San Francisco, CA Santa Cruz, CA
Sun Oct. 13 Santa Cruz, CA Big Sur, CA
Mon Oct. 14 Big Sur, CA Pismo Beach , CA
Tues Oct. 15 Pismo Beach, CA Santa Barbara , CA
Wed Oct. 16 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Monica, CA
Thurs Oct. 17 Santa Monica, CA Dana Point, CA
Fri Oct. 18 Dana Point, CA La Jolla, CA
M-W Oct. 21-25 Nametags Presentations TBD San Diego, CA
Tues Oct. 22 Screening – San Diego Film Society
Wed Oct.23 Visit to SD VA Hospital
One Revolution is grateful to Joe Bieganek Orthotist, ATP, and the entire team at Ride Designs for taking care of Chris’s behind!
In preparation for One Revolution’s upcoming Who’s Your Hero Tour, Chris recently visited Ride Designs in Sheridan, CO, and was interfaced for his handcycle for the ride from Seattle to San Diego. Thanks to Ride Designs, Chris can count on skin safe, stable core, and greater efficiency for the ride.
After working with Chris on his handcycle, Ride Designs interfaced a new monoski with a shell, back rest and custom insert for Chris (all belts included). Using a Ride Designs custom ski Insert, they were able to get Chris dialed into his skiing posture, and again apply Ride Designs patented offloading that they use in their everyday application to keep his skin safe. Last, same application for Chris’ Nordic ski frame. Now Chris is ready to rock with three products: Alpine; Nordic; and Bike!Ride Designs is a Wheelchair Seating Manufacturing Company which uses Orthotic and Prosthetic Science to design and manufacture configured products that have been tested and proven in the Aspen Seating LLC clinic. Aspen Seating is about everyday seating, and they are able to apply what they learn from everyday seating to sports interfacing for Ride Designs. They apply the same safe skin and postural stability in everyday seating as is in highly visible sports application. Aspen Seating LLC works with all kinds of Paralympic and weekend athletes and it is a big advantage to have Ride Designs technology in their corner for archery, kayaking, biathlon, surfing, sailing, trap shooting, and more.
… with Boys & Girls Club of Weber/Davis and Utah Olympic Park
Event one of 700+ nationwide events celebrating the birth of the modern Olympic Games
The spirit of the Olympic Movement will roll into Utah in celebration of Olympic Day this month, and 13X Paralympic medalist and hall of famer Chris Waddell will participate in events in Ogden and Park City, Utah.
“We are excited to take part in Olympic Day and inspire kids in the Ogden and Park City communities,” said Chris Waddell. “We’re proud to support the Olympic Movement and encourage children to lead healthy, active lives.” This event compliments the motto of Chris Waddell’s foundation, One Revolution: It’s not what happens to you; It’s what you do with what happens to you.
More than 700 events taking place nationwide between June 21 and 30. The events, designed to engage youth and promote the ideals of the Olympic movement, feature athlete appearances, family-friendly activities and interactive learning experiences.
On June 28th, Boys & Girls Club of Weber/Davis will host activities for its club members and their families at Odyssey Elementary in Ogden. Children will participate in Olympic track and field events from noon until three. Chris Waddell will present medals to participants at the end of the event.
Olympic Day at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, June 30. Chris Waddell will join the festivities as one of the featured local athletes. The day’s activities include The Flying Aces All-Stars Freestyle Show, the debut of the new museum exhibit featuring Women’s Ski Jumping, and a meet & greet for guests to meet some of the athletes, along with live music and activities for kids. Below is a schedule of the day’s events.
Olympic Park – Olympic Day Schedule:
Noon – Unveiling of the Women’s Ski Jumping Exhibit at the Alf Engen Ski Museum
12:45 pm – Gather the athletes
1 pm – Reading of the Proclamation with Flying Ace All-Stars on the Aerials Pool Deck and brief presentation by Women’s Ski Jumping Team Members and attending Olympians/Paralympians
1:15 pm Flying Ace All-Stars Show (1/2 hour)
2 pm – Free family activities; athlete meet & greet
Around the world, more than 160 countries take part in the annual celebration. Olympic Day, created in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, focuses on the Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. In the U.S., Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.
For more information, please contact One Revolution at (801) 510-9684