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colorado in 4 days!

BOOMTOWN!! This is my first trip out west for real powder on a real mountain. To be honest I am slightly intimidated, especially since I didn’t get to snowboard all last season because of a knee injury I sustained trying to skate in a pool that Tony Hawk skated in. He doesn’t get knee injuries, but I do. He’s a professional and the godfather of the sport, I just think I look good carrying a skateboard.

Im next out the door 14k feet over Oahu, yikes! (circa 2006)

Eight days ago I booked my ticket and now I am starting to get butterflies. Not because I am truly nervous, but because this is my first time being out in real deal snow conditions. Its my first Winter X Games too! it’s my first time hanging out with Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) since they formally asked me to join the AAS team. A lot of firsts here and this anxious excitement is starting to really get me pumped. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. I don’t even know what to compare it to. Kind of like looking down out of a small airplane that you are about to hurl yourself out of. That’s what I would liken it to. Not the jump itself, but the anticipation before you plummet 14,000 feet towards Oahu’s North Shore. I think I really hit the nail on the head with that one.

I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that I am ready for whatever lies ahead. I am ready to mark some of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains off my life map. I ready to get the ball rolling with AAS and connect them with the more than 40,000 wounded service members linked to these wars. I know that this year is shaping up to be the greatest of my life and its only 18 days into 2011. I never would have guessed that my 31st year would already be on track to being the most incredible 365 I have ever had. I know it’s too early to speculate, but something tells me this feeling is real.

Winter X Games is going to be bonkers! I think that is the only true way of describing it. Bananas is overused and I don’t know any other “B” words that evoke emotion like Bonkers. Bonkers it is. I land in Denver on Saturday at 605p. From there I think Daniel Gale, co-founder of AAS, and I are heading to Crested Butte to meet our boy Koeppe. CB for a night or two and then back to Denver I think to pick up Amy Purdy, co-founder of AAS, then on to Aspen. As Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber” would put it, “I’ll tell ya where we’ll go. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talkin’ bout a little place called… (silently) As-pen.”

It feels like this is the beginning of a long friendship. I knew that from the second I met Daniel and Amy almost four years ago. I organized a charity event through Bustin Boards that benefited AAS. I found them on MySpace, yes that’s how long ago, and Daniel flew out for the party. It went off without a hitch, we raised $3,000, and Daniel and I became friends. When I finally met Amy a couple of months later, it seemed like we were all friends from back in the day. Even though I only get to see them once or twice a year, it still feels the same. We get to chat on the phone more now and hopefully that once or twice a year thing is through. I’m ready to have more responsibility inside AAS and I’m ready to hang out with these amazing people more often. I mean coming to both Summer and Winter X Games is cool, but let’s go further with this. Most importantly, I’m ready to help build a new sister nonprofit to AAS that helps wounded vets.

It all starts this year with AAS’s Learn to Ride and Race camps which are being geared specifically toward wounded vets. The ultimate goal here is to have riders ready to compete in Adaptive Snowboarding at the 2014 Paralympics in Russia! From there AAS will be in Aspen, obviously, for ESPN’s Winter X Games to showcase Adaptive Snowboarder X and Adaptive Snowcross. The year only gets better with more camps and clinics of all types AND with the start of AAS’s rally car division being held at Team O’Neil in New Hampshire. Guess who will be heading that clinic up? Yours truly!! (Along with other AAS crew)

Winter X is the start of my year with AAS and hopefully the start of what becomes the thing I do for the rest of my life. I dreamed about this collaboration 4 years ago. I dreamed that one day Adaptive Action Sports would use its niche to create opportunities for disabled individuals to learn how to snowboard, motocross, and skate for veterans. That dream is finally becoming a reality and I am lucky enough to be a part of it. I pitched the idea of a veteran’s division of AAS two summers ago to Amy when we had a long drive back to the hotel. Her excitement fueled my desire for this even more and now it is all coming to life.

Thanks Amy and Daniel for creating a platform where people of all abilities have a level playing field. Thank you for your continued dedication and hard work to keep this group growing. Thank you for touching the lives of so many, including mine. I am most humbly thankful for the opportunity you are giving me to be a part of the creation of something I have long since dreamed of. If you can’t tell, I am smiling from ear to ear. Thank you.

  1. January 20, 2011 at 10:29

    lol 🙂

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