Ambassadors For The Community
Every day, something amazing happens. These are the people that do amazing things in a world that needs to see to believe. These are their stories, their organizations, and their impact on the world that needs it more than it knows.
Arizona native, Jeremy Ogle, survived a deadly motorcycle accident in 2015 which resulted in the paralysis of his left arm. He battled depression, pain medication and poor nutrition until three months later, his daughter was born. Becoming a father opened his eyes and helped him to changed his mindset. He had to figure out how to take control of his life not just for himself but his daughter as well. He chose to amputate part of his left arm so that he could do more without his limitations getting in the way. He had to learn how to do many simple tasks over that now were difficult. From tying his shoes and making a sandwich, to jump roping and lifting weights. He now does it successfully with less than before. He is passionate about the Brachial Plexus community and coaches each year at a camp for children with the same injury. Jeremy has since become a leading adaptive athlete winning several competitions across multiple sports, all with his daughter at his side. His life motto has become “When life presents you with a challenge, You Adapt.”
Meet Alex. He has been defying the odds since birth. A rare bone disorder, that resulted in his lower legs failing to form entirely, caused his parents to face an emotional decision. They would either have to amputate both of his legs below the knee, or leave him with two virtually useless limbs that would restrict his mobility to a wheelchair. At only age 1, they elected to amputate both legs and hoped for the best. Through years of adversity, he continues to face each challenge head-on. Educating millions about life with limb difference is his passion. His YouTube channel, appearances on multiple TV shows, and speaking engagements help him to positively impact the community and follow that passion. Alex brings an unmatched energy to any room he enters. His dedication and zest for life are immediately palpable, and his witty storytelling will leave any audience in fits of laughter. What initially left his parents at a loss has become everyone's gain. He is the definition of mettle.
Follow his YouTube channel here
Born in an environment that didn’t have knowledge about his disability, Steven had to learn to make the most of life. Without knowing it, he had been pushing himself to rise above challenges and society’s limitations daily. Growing up he played sports in school and even more in college but mostly for fun. Competition was always intimidating and the fear of getting hurt or failing was real. However, in 2017 he found the world of CrossFit and that changed. Underbox became his CrossFit family and he soon began to meet other adaptive athletes doing the sport. Competitions like Wodapalooza and WheelWod helped him to rise in his adaptive category. He is now gunning for the world championships at the Para-Elite Spartan race.
“I am honored to have Be More Adaptive in my corner in supporting me on my ventures, from sponsoring my first ever Para-Spartan Training Heat and being the support for all of my future ventures but most importantly bringing people together in search of knowledge and awareness of the adaptive community. I’m a certified personal trainer looking to reach out and help people take control of their health and fitness. As well as get certified to coach CrossFit one day in hopes to travel and coach/train. Through this platform I believe we can make a big difference in the world and show everyone that anyone can always Be more Adaptive.” -Steven Walker
Justin is a 32 year old Skateboarder, who happens to be blind. At a young age, he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition causing him to progressively lose his vision. He has been working with Zappos and Not Impossible Labs to help create technology that can be used for blind athletes. Using this technology helps them better understand and maneuver through their environment. Justin’s goal is to enhance accessibility for the blind and visually impaired in sports and the everyday life. Justin also works as an ABA therapist, teaching children on the spectrum social and motor skills through sports. Through skateboarding and ABA therapy, Justin drives for inclusion to be an important aspect in everyones life.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Wesley Hamilton suffered a spinal cord injury due to being shot multiple times just after his 24th birthday. He went into a deep depression. Found himself a single father in a wheelchair, adjusting to a completely new and difficult lifestyle. Hamilton was also dangerously overweight. Because of his daughter, he began a weight loss journey with a fitness and nutrition regiment. The physical and mental transformation helped him find his purpose: to motivate the disabled community. Hamilton does this through his non-profit organization The Disabled but not Really Foundation. Hamilton wanted the disabled community to know that they are not alone and that they can achieve anything. Hamilton has since gone on to give keynote lectures speaking on self love, positivity, and change. He has also won a number of adaptive crossfit competitions, and establish community programming.
Living out of New Jersey, Megan Grannan is a 26 year old with a rare form of dwarfism called Metatropic Dysplasia that causes the body to always change. She grew up with a twin sister who does not have dwarfism and her mother raised her no different, pushing her to work hard and follow her dreams. The only thing she wasn’t allowed to do was contact sports, including soccer which she really wanted to do. Growing up, she missed a lot of school to have several surgeries and they placed her into the special education system. She didn’t let that stop her though. She danced, ice skated, and even rode horseback. In the 6th grade, she fought to hard to get out of the special education system and succeeded. She later went to community college to pursue an education degree. Megan endured even more surgeries throughout her continued education, yet still transferred to Stockton University, received her Bachelors in Elementary Education May 2017 and went on the grad school for Special Education at Drexel University. After an immense amount of pain and surgeries, including two hip replacements, she aims to inspire her students to continue to push towards their goals and overcome adversity.
Scott entered the adaptive world at birth, born with “severe clubfoot" (both legs). He had to adapt to reality and only had access to archaic corrective surgeries. His feet were hit the hardest and he adapts from the knee down. Though his legs look and function different he found ways to thrive against the harsh views of society. He created Living Adaptive to build, empower, and unify the adaptive tribe. The Living Adaptive Podcast is focused on all things adaptive, and air the stories of personalities and noble supporting organizations that proved to be remarkably adaptive. He believes that we can all adapt and thrive despite the challenges we encounter.
Born and raised in North Patte, Nebraska, Rustin decided he wanted to serve for his country. He joined the Army as an M1A1 Armor crewman, or tanker, after he completed high school. After being stationed in Germany and deployed to the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, he honorably discharged in 1997. He briefly returned to his home state of Nebraska before moving to Colorado where he currently resides. In 2003 he was married to a woman named Brandy who had battled brain cancer for over ten years and never questioned why or complained. Sadly, Brandy passed away the summer of 2012. After Brandy’s passing, Rustin decided to pursue his passion in culinary arts and began training at the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder Colorado. Shortly after coming back from his internship, he had a pain in his right leg that progressively got worse. Everything reached a climax when Rustin and his girlfriend attended a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in the summer of 2014. He was struggling to walk from the parking lot to their seats. The walk back to the car following the concert proved even worse and they immediately went to the emergency room. Tests showed a large blood clot in the femoral artery in Rustin’s right leg, which had been cutting off circulation below his knee. The doctor told them that there was a good probability he would lose his leg and would be on blood thinners for the rest of his life. After several attempts to save his leg, Rustin finally said “If I’m going to have to go through it (the amputation) let’s get it over with now.” On August 21 2014 the doctors performed a below the knee amputation. He was in so much pain but thought it was just a part of having amputation. The pain continued to intensify and the physicians told him his leg wasn’t healing properly and planned to do a debridement. They said in the worst-case scenario they may have to take the amputation above his knee. He then had the second surgery on September 11, 2014. The day he woke up after his second surgery alone and facing the elevator door may have been one of the worst days of his life, but it was also the day his life began to change. He was at a crossroads and wasn’t really a religious person but he began to pray and said “What do you want from me?” He said “You need to show me a path.” That’s when he got the idea for B-Bold, a veteran owned and operated nonprofit to help individuals with disabilities through adaptive sports. He named the business after his late wife, Brandy. Brandy was bold. That was her motto, be bold. She was strong and Rustin needed to witness that strength so when it was his time to be strong he had an amazing example. Since the amputation, he started to compete nationally and internationally in para Jiu Jitsu, having competed in Los Angeles, London, Abu Dhabi and last November in the JJIF World Para Jiu Jitsu championships in Malmo,Sweden. He also trains at Trials Mixed Martial Arts in Fort Collins, where he helps with boxing clinics for those who have Parkinson’s disease. He married his girlfriend in September 2018 and continues to spread the strength and boldness he too had to learn.
Erin Ball is a circus artist and coach based in Kingston, Ontario and she is the owner of Kingston Circus Arts. She is mainly an aerialist but also does some hand balancing and ground acrobatics. She took a year off in March 2014 due to life changing events that resulted in the loss of her lower legs. She has since returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing. She loves adapting and creating new/different ways of executing skills. Erin loves to move and to connect with others through movement. She has worked with many diverse groups of people. She developed a workshop and manual in 2017, called Flying Footless, a course for aerial coaches working with amputees and aimed at increasing accessibility in circus arts in general. She travels internationally to teach workshops to the Disability community and to coaches who want to work adaptively. Erin also hosts yearly amputee circus camps in Kingston, Ontario. Erin has many current artistic projects, including her company LEGacy Circus with Vanessa Furlong, various aerial and ground works, and experimental audio description projects (to make circus more accessible to the blind community). Erin regularly collaborates with artists from across Canada and the US, including Femmes du Feu, Heidi Latsky Dance, Anandam Dance, Alex Bulmer, Michele Frances, and many more. Find out more about Erin’s classes and performances at https://kingstoncircusarts.com and https://www.legacycircus.com.
Ashley Eisenmenger is an endurance coach and elite paratriathlete. She is a national champion both as an individual and as part of a collegiate varsity program. She holds an ITU silver medal and has run a Boston Marathon qualifying time. Ashley has had four years of experience with adaptive triathlon and eight years of experience with adaptive running. She has been blind her entire life and understands the importance of equal access in sport for all.
Elizabeth McTernan only started adaptive sport five years after she had a spinal cord injury accident, which happened in 2005. She lives in a very rural part of the UK without many opportunities for sport for people with disabilities, but a Lifeguard at her local pool suggested she try Triathlon, as she was already a good swimmer. She attended a Talent Day for Paratriathlon, and represented GBR at both European and World Elite level for two years, winning medals at all of her events. She switched to Para-Cycling in 2012, as Paratriathlon was not yet a Paralympic sport. She became overall champion in the European Handcycle Circuit race series for 2015 and set a Guinness World Record Holder for the IHPV Associations Women’s Arms-Only World Speed Trials at Battle Mountain, Nevada in 2015. In 2016 she was a double bronze medalist at the UCI Bilbao World Cup and was ranked sixth in the world, but was sadly not selected for the Rio Paralympics. In 2017 she turned to long course Triathlon to fulfil a personal ambition to complete an Ironman as an adaptive athlete. She qualified for the Ironman World Championships in 2017, but missed the combined Swim/Bike Cut-off by 1:51 mins during the race. Six weeks later, determined to prove that she could complete an Ironman, she competed at Ironman Cozumel, setting a world record of 13:01:16 for the fastest female Ironman Hand cyclist . In 2018 she returned to Kona and not only completed the race, but set a new course record. Elizabeth is now setting her sights on qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics in the Sprint Paratriathlon!