Home Town: Clifton Park, New York
Activities: Skiing, Cycling, Climbing, Working Out (especially enjoy box jumping, tire flipping, gymnastic rings, obstacle course and agility stuff)
Goal: Complete a marathon and help amputees become strong, confident, highly active individuals
I am 52 years old, a husband and father of three. Nine years ago a MRI revealed a rare fracture in my talus (small cartilage covered bone in the ankle). The bone around the fracture had died and the cartilage in the ankle joint had collapsed. My ankle joint was destroyed. From there I endured six surgeries in an attempt to create a stable structure to stand and walk on. With each of the surgeries there were complications that led to the next surgery, and the pain only got worse. After six unsuccessful surgeries, six years of pain, and loss of the use of my lower left leg, amputation was the only hope for ending the pain and rebuilding my life.
Within weeks of the amputation, I decided to take on the challenge of becoming a strong, fit and capable guy – who also happened to be an amputee. I soon found that the more I challenged myself in the gym, the easier my daily life as an amputee became. I discovered that while I had lost a physical and very visible part of my body, I had not lost my physical capabilities. This was very powerful, and I became a man on a mission with no excuses and no limits.
Since becoming an amputee, I have completed cycling events riding 30-mile routes, become a finisher of the St. Jude’s Warrior Dash, a Tough Mudder, and returned to the thing I love to do the most – ski. After four months post-op I became certified to teach TRX Suspension Training. I then got my personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Through sports and physical fitness I lost my disability and took back full control of my life. I now work full time as a personal trainer so I can motivate, guide, and push others to overcome whatever challenges them and to live strong, healthy, active lives. I have also helped people all over the world through their amputations and in adapting to their new way of life through my website lifebeyond4limbs.com.
While I pushed the limits and never held back, I was constantly struggling with prosthetics that weren’t designed for my activity level. With my highly active job and the high level of activities, I was constantly losing suction, experiencing bruising/irritations from the socket, and making constant adjustment throughout the day. Not to mention the foot I had was eating up all my energy. Running was something I kept forcing myself to go out to do, but without a proper running leg it was painful and exhausting. I needed a prosthetist who would listen to my needs and understand my determination to live my life without limitations. I also needed prosthetics designed for sports and running, the kind insurance doesn’t pay for. ABR provided me with the legs and support I was in need of. Since receiving my legs from ABR in September 2016, I spend far less time fighting with my prosthetic and more time running, jumping, training and doing the things that make me a strong, confident athlete. As a full-time BKA personal trainer, I can now put all my focus on my clients and my performance, not my leg. I rock and roll all day long on my leg from ABR.
Becoming a part of Amputee Blade Runners has been an incredible experience and the ultimate recognition of what I have accomplished. Running in the 2017 Ragnar with the ABR team was among one of the best experiences I have had. I hope to continue to use this opportunity as another platform to give back and help other amputees find the power that being highly physically active can have on living healthy and productive lives.
“Start with a great attitude, build a strong body, add a great socket, a great foot, and make yourself unstoppable.” Darryl Partridge