Sure, everything is harder but that’s no reason to complain. That’s just the way it is. Given my situation of having one arm, half my left lung, scoliosis, and type 1 diabetes, I have the opportunity to inspire and motivate people to better themselves, and I feel obligated to do so. Taking full advantage of my health and wellbeing and all the other blessings I've been given, I work to better myself in hopes of becoming a strong role model and inspiration that people can look up to.
My friend Andrew Rizer is a talented videographer who has generously agreed to donate filming time and use of his equipment, saving the project thousands of dollars. We also have had a number of corporate sponsors come onboard with generous financial gifts. There are still unavoidable costs that need to be covered though, and we'd love to have you join us a partner! For our budget breakdown, look below.
I’ve seen the effect that my story, and other adaptive athletes' stories, can have on people’s lives and attitudes. It started off with one or two people, then at my first competition it was hundreds, and now thousands. Every day I get messages and letters about how my story has inspired and encouraged others to push through their own barriers and get their lives back on track. I get stopped by people at the gym who want to let me know that because they saw me, they were able to finish that last set, or didn’t quit their workout early and go home. When I go hiking I get stopped for photos and handshakes by people who express how they are going to push aside their excuses because they saw me pushing aside mine. And, I'm constantly contacted by other physically disabled individuals who thought, "They thought they were the only one."
That’s why I do this. That’s why I keep pushing. For the people whose lives I can make even a small difference in, I do it for them. And the production of this video documentary will help me continue to do that. This video will reach hundreds of thousands of people with my story, and that of all adaptive athletes. There are only so many people I can talk to and meet by myself, but this video will help me reach out to the sponsors and organizations that have a larger influence than I have on my own. I’ve been supported by friends, family, and strangers, but in order to grow further, I'm depending on your help.
I was born without my left arm and missing half of my left lung, and I later developed scoliosis and type 1 diabetes. As a child I had always insisted on doing everything myself and never taking the easy way out. I’ve never seen any reason why I couldn’t do something myself, anything you can think of- swimming, surfing, rock-climbing, or Crossfit. If I want something bad enough, I’ll find a way to make it happen.
I’ve been training for a while now, and I started doing Crossfit workouts less than two years ago. I had to do a lot of things differently though, scaling down the weights and modifying the movements so that I could do them all with one arm. In the last year I decided to stop putting limits on myself, and started to work towards working out at the same level as everyone else. I often get weird looks when I set down the dumbbell and walk over to the barbell to attempt a power clean, deadlift, or backsquat. But, I never let those looks hold me back.
I competed in the Working Wounded Crossfit Competition in early November, and afterwards I experienced an explosion in publicity. My photos and videos were shared/liked over 300,000 times, people like Ludacris and Frank Medrano shared my story on their social media pages, and one video that I was part of garnered over 1,000,000 views. With the Wodapalooza Fitness Festival being a three day event with over 1,100 athletes from 8 countries and 24 states, to include 2 Crossfit Games champions, 12 adaptive athletes and 15,000 spectators, we feel the opportunity is ripe to make a major impact with this adaptive athlete story.
My friend and videographer Andrew Rizer will travel to Hawaii on January 4 to film me training in Hawaii for nine days. The filming will include me working out in my backyard, but also living an active lifestyle in Hawaii: hiking, rock climbing, swimming, sailing, running, etc. Among the rest of our gear, we're excited to use our DJI Phantom 2 drone to get some especially unique shots of me in Hawaii. Andrew will then travel to Miami with me to film as I compete in Wodapalooza from January 16-18. The documentary he'll produce will be about 10 minutes in length, and will allow me to share my story on a much broader scale. We can't wait to see how this video can help positively impact those around the world.
We're excited to have a number of sponsors who've come onboard as partners!
- The Crossroads Adaptive Athlete Alliance has very generously given me a travel grant to cover the costs of flying from Hawaii to Miami, as well as lodging costs.
- I Am Adaptive has donated gear for me to use, as well as t-shirts and wristbands to be given away as our rewards.
- GLP Fitness has donated financially to our videographer's travel costs, as well as donated gear for me to use as I train for Wodapalooza.
While many of our costs have been covered, we've compiled a list of the specific things we still need help with. Every dollar counts, and we can't wait to put together a documentary you can be proud of.
Extra Sound Equipment: $300
Light Equipment: $300
Music Licensing: $300
Software Upgrades: $100
Camera Body Rental : $250
Lens Rentals: $250
Videographer Plane Ticket & Lodging: $1000
Minimum Needed: $2,500
Risks and challenges
The largest obstacle for this project is the time constraint we are working with. We start filming on January 4th, and it was only in late November that this project became a reality. Although we didn't have much time to prepare, an amazing team of sponsors, friends, and family, came together to help make this documentary happen. As we sit now, we're on schedule to start shooting on January 4th!
Another risk would be the possibility of damaging our gear. Many of our shots will require us to shoot in strenuous situations : difficult trails, beaches, rain, etc. There will always be the risk of damaging gear, but we have backups of everything we need outside of a second DJI drone.
Lastly, like any athlete, the risk of injury is always a possibility. While the documentary will involve the normal risks of working out and living an active lifestyle, our team is dedicated above all to the safety of everyone involved.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)