Thursday, December 6, 2007

Want some inspiration?

I ran the Park City Marathon last year. It was quite the weekend. Actually it was quite the 23 hours. From the time I touched down until I left again I was not even in Utah for a full day. The trip was punctuated with a challenging but very nice marathon, a wonderful race director and staff and a great pasta dinner.

At the dinner, I was surprised to be asked to give an impromptu speech about Fiddy2. I graciously accepted even though my task was unenviable. You see, I had to follow the planned speaker of the night who was not only an Olympian, but also good-looking, witty and charming. I might be one of those things and “Olympian” it ain’t.

Chris Waddell was his name and he wasn’t just an “ordinary” Olympian, if there is such a term. You see, in 1988 as a freshman ski racer at Middlebury College Chris broke his back in a freak accident on the hill. Two months later he returned to school and three days short of the accident's one-year anniversary he started skiing in a monoski. Less than two years after learning to monoski he was named to the US Disabled Ski Team. Chris remained a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team all four years, and captained the team his senior year.

Well, in speaking with Chris recently, I learned that he is tackling a new challenge. He plans to become the first paraplegic to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. You read that correctly.

Rather than have me describe it, check out the video here about Chris and enjoy.

And yes, I do rather enjoy writing blogs about people that make you feel like a whiner.

p.s. My current running streak has ended because I forgot my running shoes in my last hotel. Crap.


Bryon Powell said...

Chris is awesome. On a few ocassions when I lived out in Park City I saw him on the trails. He was off-road arm biking. Pretty ridiculous. Plus, any local I was with when we ran into Chris always had great things to say about him - he is a well respected member of the community to say the least.

Anne C said...

Best of luck to Chris. That is incredible.

Sorry about your shoes, but just think of it as part of your continued effort to "pair" down. Ha! Get it? Because now you're one pair down!

Man, I didn't think it was possible, but Loperamide makes me even funnier.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring for sure!

Yellow Scuba said...

Chris is, indeed, an inspiration. Thanks for sharing his story. I look forward to hearing about his climb!