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Posts Tagged ‘Adaptive Action Sports’

milestone

March 7, 2011 3 comments

my dream captured in a screenshot

One of today’s events was the culmination of nearly four years of work, many thousands of hours of networking, and many people not fully understanding what I was trying to do. (I can’t take all the credit, I can only say I had a dream and that through connections, it is coming true) Today’s event was simple; get Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to partner with my friends at Adaptive Action Sports. Well, it finally happened in the form of an all veteran’s snowboard camp being hosted by AAS in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

IAVA uses a reward’s site called the Rucksack to give veterans opportunities that most people could never dream of. These opportunities are given by our gracious sponsors in the hopes that they are showing support to veterans how fought for their country. If you read my ramblings, you know that I have been the recipient of many amazing good times, from doing a stint as a Joseph Abboud model, to sideline/box tickets to an NY Giants game, Yankees playoff tickets, and IAVA’s Heroes Gala. Others have won trips to Vegas and even to the Super Bowl. But today, we offered up three all expense paid trips to AAS’s Learn to Ride pipeline event in CO. This event is made possible by Disabled Sports USA, United States of America Snowboarding Association, and Challenged Athletes Foundation with AAS hosting. This pipeline camp is designed as a feeder for AAS’s ultimate goal of having America sweep the podiums in snowboarding at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia (I have my fingers crossed that I am making this trip as well!). Read more…

x games day 4

January 31, 2011 1 comment

last run to the top

After what turned out to be an EPIC night, the last day of X was going to top it. We (AAS) had our two events that day, Adaptive Snowcross (snowmobile) and Adaptive Snowboarder X (down the same course as the pros), and were full of energy going in.

It almost seems a blur now, trying to recall the days events because they came so quickly and it was jammed into such a small window of time. Snowcross was the first event and Daniel Gale announced the action as it went off. This was the third year for this event in X Games so many of the racers had been there before. What’s even better is that there was a purse this time for the athletes, just one more incentive to go out there and kick butt. I wish I could have watched but I was needed up at the starting gate for Snowboarder X. Up the mountain, snowboard down, film some of the athletes, then pack up the camera, snowboard down, fight with security because they didnt let me through, act LIKE A BOSS and make it into the finish line anyway, film the race, mess up the finish of the race by whiting it out in the sun, film some more, and done.

The day was so fast paced. Like I said a blur. Seemed like it went by too fast. I loved to see the smiles on Amy and Daniel’s faces as we all came together for a hug and our signature double handed high ten, “Live! Beyond! Limits!” is the motto and part of our handshake. Loved every second of this. Read more…

“top of the world” party

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment

welcome to the top

If you don’t run in the action sports crowd, you may think that these types of parties are for amateurs, but you would be seriously mistaken. Between Monster Energy and RedBull, you just don’t get in to these parties. There is no amount of schmooze that you can accomplish at the door to just waltz in. I know, because we have whiffed on plenty of opportunities to get into these venues, but were lucky enough to get the invite here in Aspen.

“Top of the World” party was aptly named because it was a 20 minute gondola ride to the top of Aspen where the party was being held in the main lodge. The gondola ride in itself was fun because we were all amped at the night ahead of us, but also because the stars were out shining bright over the whole city. 20 minutes seems like forever when there are 6 “kids” packed into a sardine can waiting for their surprise. As we reached the top, we shared a collective deep breath and prepped ourselves for a night under the green lights.

have you seen my face? I think I danced it off, so its gotta be around here somewhere...

We were a little early but wanted to establish ourselves. VIP bracelets and all access granted. We talked to some top athletes like Nate Holland and others while bumping to good beats and just marveling at the week were having. It was all smiles from the gondola on and only got better when the act 51Fifty came on. (I linked to their FB page because their site takes a while to load. If you wanna sample their stuff, check it out here.) 51Fifty (police code for a lunatic) is comprised of a DJ and Drummer combo like I have never seen live before. Their drummer was absolutely lights out amazing. I have never seen Travis Barker in person, but I know his skills and this guy was approaching rock star status with his beats. He absolutely shred apart those drums. The DJ was just as good, scratching and mixing rhymes that would have made my friend WalkStar proud. It was only topped off by the tatted go-go girl dancing her face off. I don’t know how she did it when I could barely breathe after dancing around for five minutes. She crushed it for two 45 minute sets without breaking a sweat. I just could not adjust to the soupy, altitudey air like she did. Maybe I needed to wear a Monster swimsuit and tiny booty skirt to breath easier. Next time. Read more…

x games day 3

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Last night was interesting to say the least, but 3.5 hours of sleep doesn’t do well for being on the hill at 8a. 615 wake up on the couch and yell “it’s too damn early for this!” To the mountain by 7a for our meeting and then up the lift. The mountain is amazing any part of the day, but in the morning, it’s just perfect. Especially when there are only 15 people on the mountain with you. It felt like I was riding my own private run. Pretty sick.

I filmed the adaptive snowboarder X this morning and got to see all the athletes killing it. It’s so awesome to be on the course where the top athletes in the world compete. I got to ride a portion of the course the first day, but tomorrow I am absolutely rolling the entire course. It’ll be easy goes it, but at least I will have that under my belt. Read more…

x games day 2

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

good morning Aspen.

The second day in Aspen was just as beautiful as the first. Bright sunny skies and just cold enough to keep the snow rideable without icing. We finally got to hit a couple runs and I was lucky enough to slide down half the mountain on my ass. Ok not really half the mountain, but enough of it that my ego was bruised several times yesterday and my shoulder is sore today from picking myself up. I just can’t judge this heelside carve as well as my toeside, guess that’s what I’m working on again today.

Oh and apparently I ride like a surfer down the hill, so says three ladies that crush me on snowboards. I can’t even claim surfer style since I am not really a surfer either, but these fine ladies told me that is how I roll. I’m not against ladies giving me advice, especially since they charge harder than I do right now…oh and then have prosthetics legs on. Yeah, they are that sick and I need all the help I can get.

I only got two runs in yesterday so that equals three times on the mountain this year, it can only go up from here. Hopefully I can get 3-4 in today if our timing permits. I really need to get more comfortable on the board before Sunday when all our events go off. Cant be falling all over the place if snow bunnies and pro athletes are around. I’m a grown ass man, I need to snowboard like one! Read more…

winter x day 1

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Creds and a pass to all 4 mountains. Sweet

Sleep didn’t come easy last night. I wasnt quite sure why that was until I checked the thermostat in my room and it said 80! No wonder I didn’t sleep, I hung out in a sauna all night. Cant complain though because I got to see yet another sunrise and this time it was over the mountains of Aspen. I could barely see them as we rolled into town the night prior, but in the daylight these mountains are simply awe-inspiring. We are literally at the base of the mountain and within 10 minutes of the other four mountains that make up Aspen. The sun was shining yet again, lets call it bluebird and there couldn’t have been a better start for us at X.

Weather nice, credentials in hand, athletes organized, and schmooze mode on blast. We all are in agreement that there is no time for being starstruck here, this is the time to be able to reach out to these incredible athletes and spread the word of what Adaptive is up to. It started today with Sal Masekela of Stoked Mentoring and ESPN announcing fame. Amy announced with him at a previous X Games and Daniel had spoken to him several other times, but this was my first time meeting him. We talked about Stoked and then introduced him to AAS’s mission again and he seemed genuinely interested even recapping when KJ jumped the last booter on a mono-ski two years ago. He said that many people around the world felt that moment was the best at that particular X Games. That’s a bold statement when you have to consider the source and the insane athletic accomplishments that go on at each X Games like Shaun White’s domination of pipe.

Im in the back, can you see me?

Speaking of the Flying Tomato/Tomoto…we once again stepped up and introduced ourselves. I had met him at previous Games, but never really any conversation that amounted to anything until today. Amy spoke of AAS and the mission and Shaun smiled from ear to ear. You can tell why he is a fan favorite, its in his style, its in his flair. Cool kid. (I’ll apologize to my mom for not getting a pic AGAIN because she asks about him every time I come home from X. I’ll get a pic mom so you can have the Tomato in your house. And Chaz, my mini mato, thank God you are only 4 years old so you can’t read that I missed a chance for your autograph today. I’ll make it happen.) After that it was meeting Curt who founded Skate the Lake and then Barrett Christy, a pioneer in women’s snowboarding. A pretty amazing opening day for all I would have to say. Read more…

a little place called…assssssspen!

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

road tripping!

About four hours of driving from Crested Butte to Aspen because the pass isnt maintained during the winter, but the travel was simply amazing. Through the little town of Gunnison where Daniel and Amy lived at one time, into the Black Canyon pass on a sketchy road, to a town straight out of the midwest called Crawford, on towards Paonia, through Redstone where the mountains are red, and into Aspen where the snow is falling.

The scenery is like nothing I have ever seen before. I have flown over the Hindu Kush mountains, a 500-mile mountain range stretching between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan which climb to 25,289 ft, but this was different. The Hindu Kush was incredible to see from the air, but driving these four hours through the heart of the Rocky Mountains was so much more intimate and exciting. We spotted two bald eagles and several deer along the way, which is something that you can’t really find in Manhattan. I took so many pictures but I know that these pics wont do the mountains true justice.

daddy fat sacks

A quick pit stop in a tiny town that I can’t even remember the name to grab some gas, some snacks, and a potty break. The thing I love most about road tripping is the fun things you get to do together. One of the things I love the most is eating out of the back of a vehicle. I know that seems random, but I don’t know how many times I have done this and all of them standout to me. Sandwiches leaning on the trunk of my Civic with my old man on our way from MD to AZ. Drinks and snacks in the bed of Cody’s truck from AZ to MD on I-10. Sandwiches with IAVA in a gas station parking lot before getting into the ESPN campus for a taping of SportsNation. And once again today, turkey sandies out the back of the Traverse. No cheese because we forgot it so cream cheese had to do, some stolen condiments from Western Colorado University and some salt and vinegar chips. Sweet deal.

On the road again, the snow started to lay just outside of Redstone, but not too bad. It was nice to have a clear drive without weather today or four hours could easily have been doubled. We passed the Winter X Games half-pipe at Buttermilk, just a couple of miles before Aspen and then rolled into Aspen proper where the snow was coating the streets. Upon crossing the city line there is a banner welcoming everyone filtering into the city for the X Games, but to our surprise as we blasted Big Boi, that mofo is playing here at a free concert on Saturday night. Ironic and awesome. I took my brother to see Outkast for his 16th birthday with Kevin and they were out of this world. Outkast played for more than three hours that day with Ludacris and Goodie Mob. Out of sight! Cant wait to see him on Saturday night, if our schedule permits. Read more…