"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
- Philippians 4:13
Before pursuing a career as a Para triathlete, I was a Marine who served in Marjah, Afghanistan right out of high school. I had wanted to make a difference and serving in the military seemed like the way to do just that. I went to boot camp in Parris Island four days after my eighteenth birthday.
What would be my first and last deployment is what would also change the course of my life forever. I stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) four months into my deployment. The blast sent me flying through the air and resulted in the loss of both of my legs above the knee, some fingers and countless internal injuries. Through this, I was given new life.
I spent two years living in hospitals with my wife and during that time, our first child was born. Our family had been uprooted and changed forever but the best part of being knocked down like this is that there is only up.
During the time I spent being an outpatient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda (WRNMMC) I competed in my first marathon in 2012. I found that I had no interest in continuing with the sport. We moved on with life in search of what ever it was I was going to do with the rest of my life.
My family and I returned home in 2012, I did a few internships for the government and began to study gunsmithing. I spent a lot of my time traveling to hunt and somewhere a long the line I began to get more involved with handcycling. I would compete sometimes and with my traveling I would have to miss some races. I had become involved with Achillies Freedom Team. These weekend races provided me time away with my family, to include our now second child, and interaction with others like our family.
In 2016, I began racing a little more and found myself coming in the top 10 with no training or real effort. As this began happening more consistently, I quickly realized that I had a natural gift. What would this look like if I began training? If I took this serious, would I have a chance at winning?
I have since joined Team Semper Fi and continue to race with Achillies Freedom Team. My family and I work together as a team, traveling both domestically and internationally to chase down my next goal of competing in the Paralympics. I want to use my God-given talents and gifts to motivate others and encourage them to overcome obstacles in their life.
I was given a second chance at life and a talent for racing and I will use both to serve Jesus Christ.