Welcome to 2010

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Well, it has been a while since I have updated my blog. There have been several exciting things happening in my life since attending the Hartford Ski Spectacular. After the event, I came back to Illinois for a few days and wrapped up the toughest, craziest, busiest semester of my life. I am happy to report I successfully completed 5 doctorate courses, my early research project (basically like a masters thesis and oral defense), being a teaching assistant for two courses, training 5-6 days a week and the occasional speaking event and on rare occasions, sleeping. But, the good news is, the end is in sight of my schooling. A very scary thought: approximately 1 year from now I will be done with my doctorate degree.

I then did something nearly unthinkable; unplugged, and checked out of all school and work obligations. I joked with folks about how weird it was to receive my google calendar morning email and to see it say, “you have no events scheduled for today”. Anybody who really knows me understands this was short-lived before I got stir crazy and started looking for adventures. These adventures ranged from impromptu shopping trips with my teammates, family time in Seattle for the holidays to random roadtrip with friends from my department at school to Detroit to see Lady Gaga. Wow, what a show!!

Some people laughed at my randomness and my impulsivity that went into this trip to see Lady Gaga. I admit, it was an impulsive decision and we all sat back after the 5-minutes that it took to decide we were going, the purchasing of the tickets wondering if that just happened. But, why not? When you don’t have a good answer to that question, it’s a good decision. Also, people like Lady Gaga remind us to be our own person, express yourself and to live your dream. I support that 100% and believe in her message, and it was well worth it.

And currently, I am on an airplane headed to Bermuda for the next 6 days to participate in the Bermuda International Race Weekend and to spend time with my friends affiliated with the Windreach Adaptive Sport organization who I met last June. I am so excited for this trip. There are so many exciting things happening in Bermuda as they are building their Paralympic program. The two wheelchair racers have new racing wheelchairs, are working with the Bermuda National Olympic Coach for training and potentially will be coming to the states for some competitions this upcoming season!! I hope they will also make it to Illinois for our track and/or basketball camps too. There is so much potential in all of the athletes down there, the organization and the country itself, I am truly honored to have the opportunity to go back down to work with them. Change is slow, but if there’s anything life has taught me, every little bit DOES help. The positive energy of relationships and combined talent can lead to wondrous things, I can’t wait to see what the next 6 days bring!

Other exciting news includes several potential speaking engagements and trips planned for the next few months. I am going to help my brother run a Paralympic Awareness Day for foster children in the St. Louis Area. I am likely going back to Waterville Valley in March for an event with The Hartford, and possibly some others in the Maryland area with another organization. These are mostly school/outreach visits with kids.

Then, the big exciting news I can’t even believe is here, the launch of the prototype of my coloring book!!!!!! The “official” prototype will be available next week, please let me know if you, your organization or anybody you know is interested in potentially purchasing some and we can work it out. Everything is very flexible and adaptable, it can be tailored to an event you are running, your organization etc. and it is designed to educate kids about disabled sports and the Paralympic movement. This has been a project in the works for quite some time, and I am super psyched to FINALLY be able to announce this. Look for an e-version of the prototype on here next week!

Catch me if you can. 2010 is here, and I’m off and running!!

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