It didn't take me long to make up my mind and say Yes, though. Some of the reasons are selfish. I just want to climb more, harder etc and enjoy the camaraderie of climbers. It is also a nice ego-boost when people think you are bad-ass for even climbing at all. I'm still insecure/un-confident enough that I sometimes need such external reinforcement. But I'm also motivated by the idea that I can perhaps show others that they do not need to be defined or limited by a disability. How kick-ass would it be if someone learned of my story, saw me climb and decided they could take on whatever challenge (physical or otherwise) they wanted to?
Since I am a pre-med student these days, I'm not rolling in money. I am trying to raise money to fly to ABS Nationals in Colorado Springs next February 2014, and I would also love to take part at the GoPro Games in Vail next June. If I place in the top-3 at ABS Nationals I will be able to represent the US at the International Para-climbing Championships in Spain next September. At the ABS Nationals I will be competing alongside able-bodied folks, but will be in the "Neurological" category.
I feel kind of douchey asking for donations, but if you feel like supporting me and this cause, please donate via the PayPal link located on the right hand side of this page. The money will go towards flights, accommodation and entry fees for these competitions. Don't worry, it isn't going towards a new rack or anything like that.
While the event in February is a bouldering comp the para-climbing championships will be sport-climbing (leading). I posted a video of me leading indoors last week in a previous post, but I'll put it here again.