Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with top athletes, CEO’s and celebrities, gaining insight into what drives top performance. The number one critical factor in their success is attitude.
We all have to go through life’s challenges and some people may have more troubles than others, but at the end the day we all face adversity.
Two years ago, I attended a dinner party to honor a group of young men who were blinded in the Iraq War. This event was held to raise funds and awareness for our wounded Veterans with an organization called the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports and their Higher Ground program.
Still recovering from my fifth knee replacement surgery (15 total surgeries to the same knee, due to an old college football injury), I was feeling a little sorry for myself as I limped into the event. But soon, my personal traumas were dwarfed by the stories shared by the room full of heroes who sacrificed so much for our country and our freedom.
After spending an inspirational evening with these young men who have returned from war with injuries and challenges that none of us could imagine, it really made me realize that no matter what my challenges might be, I need to be filled with gratitude. These heroes changed the way I look at my own physical challenges.
- Sun Valley Adaptive Sports focuses on enriching the lives of children, teens, adults and Veterans thru outdoor sports and recreation. Their programs are designed and led by a staff of certified therapists and dedicated professionals.
- Higher Ground Higher Ground (HG) is a nationally recognized veteran rehabilitation program that combines sports, family and coping therapies to restore and rehabilitate men and women of the armed forces who have been severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These two organizations work hand in hand in the Sun Valley area helping returning veterans from across the country heal both physically and emotionally.
Thru a variety of specially adapted equipment and techniques, veterans often for the first time, enjoy activities such as skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, paragliding, golf, cycling, rock climbing, fishing, white water rafting and other water sports. I am passionate about the incredible healing power of nature and recreation in the great outdoors, both in my life, and in the lives of these heroes.
As in nature, things blossom and change, erode, evolve and are reborn with a new sense of being alive. With this spirit in mind, I’m happy to report that for the first time in almost 20 years, I feel once again healthy, alive and pain free.
My love for the great outdoors carried me thru this, as well as the loving support and care of those around me.
The powerful experiences led thru the fantastic organizations, Sun Valley Adaptive Sports and Higher Ground, share the joy and healing powers of the great outdoors with others. This is also my passion that drives me each day. ~Chris
***For those who can, please consider if there is anything you can do to support these two fine organizations and our veteran community. Please consider any size donation to either or both groups, and remember always that a friendly chat, a handshake, a hug, or a deeply said thank you is of equal value to those whom have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
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