Invictus Games

ln 2014, 2015, 2016, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to compete in the Invictus Games championed by a man with much better vision than mine, Prince Harry.  And with the generous support of the Royal Foundation’s Endeavor Fund these games inspired many and impact the lives of all involved by having injured military service members from 15 nations compete on an international stage.  These games gave us the opportunity to showcase the determination and unity of our wounded military.

After my injuries, I was determined to battle back and with the support of my family, friends and command, I was able to return to active duty. Although, I had physically recovered and returned to work, I was still left with a life that was unrecognizable. It was the familiarity of sport and the vitality of competition that provided me with hope that my blindness may somehow be manageable.   Ultimately, it was the power of sport, specifically, the challenge of running a marathon one year after my injury that had the most impact on my recovery, both physically and mentally.

Today, I continue to challenge myself, so that I may show others that there is truly ability is disability.  Programs, like the Invictus Games, globally impact other injured service members by reminding them life as they know it may have changed, but there is still a life out there to be fully lived and enjoyed.

Training for these games allowed me to remain focused on new goals such as competing in Tandem Cycling and Indoor rowing.  In tandem cycling, as you may know, I have a sighted pilot.  I like this sport, because if we win, I credit my strength in pushing my pilot to the finish.  Of course, no matter how hard I try, I always seem come in second.  Now this rowing competition is something entirely different.  It is one of the few events that allow me to compete on my own, without a guide.  Win or lose, I have done so independently and when you are blind, moments of independence are something to be cherished.  It’s these moments that remind all of us that there are no limits in what can be achieved if given the right support, resources, and opportunities.

The familiarity of sport and competition create an environment where lives that seemed unimaginable quickly become realizations of lives that are possible.  So, no matter the obstacle you’re facing, I urge you to get out there and move.  Movement is medicine.

Keep Moving Forward!!!