Welcome to Adaptive Outdoorz – I'm Zac, nice to meet you! I am going to walk you through some of the most life changing events of my life and share how Adaptive Outdoorz came to be.
Adaptive Outdoorz is more than just a blog or a brand - it is a lifestyle – and one I never could have imagined or prepared for. My goal for Adaptive Outdoorz is to bring the disabled community together to share their unique stories of overcoming obstacles and being active outdoors, as well as to help others that are struggling to find the inner strength to move forward. Everyone adapts to their own situation differently and by sharing our stories we can learn from one another. After my injury, I struggled to find help on adaptive equipment and what would work specifically for me. This blog will also be a hub for disabled people to share information about the adaptive equipment that they use to assist them through their lives. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and I mean ANYTHING – keep reading to hear what I mean.
On July 3, 2011 when I was 19, my life was forever changed in the blink of an eye. I was in a tragic car accident which resulted in a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I woke up face down in the middle of the road unable to move any of my limbs- Talk about being scared! While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, a million thoughts ran through my head, and damn, was that a long five minutes. A person can never prepare for a moment like that. I had been rushed to the hospital and life flighted to the nearest trauma center where I shortly after found out how serious my injury was. I suffered from severe whiplash leaving me classified as a quadriplegic. I was completely speechless and the thoughts that passed through my head were even worse, “what am I going to do with my life?” ..."How will I continue to do the things I love?"
A week later, I was in rehab and had a lot of time to think and even more work to get done. I am generally a very motivated and driven person and therefore had two choices: one was to sit around and feel sorry for myself and the other was to get out of my head and into “fighter” mode where I would do everything in my power to make the best of this situation. I was raised a fighter and knew giving up was absolutely not an option.
How did I have this drive and determination during one of the hardest times in my life? I give my thanks to Wrestling – this is what saved me. I wrestled throughout my grade school and high school years and this is what gave me the strength to overcome and push through the toughest parts of this situation. Did I struggle? Hell yeah! I struggled every damn day, but guess what? I put my mind to it and I succeeded in anything life threw at me. It wasn’t always easy but I gave it my all. When it comes down to it, it is a mind game - do you believe in yourself? The answer should be and from there you can do just about anything, just like myself.
Everyone has bad days, some worse than others – Every day is not going to go your way, that’s life! Everyone has good and bad days, struggles and successes, but it is all about pushing through the tough times and moving forward, I know easier said than done…. but I believe that I am living proof! Don’t ever be afraid to ask for advice or help! I believe in you! I now know that life is worth fighting for and those bad days are just a minimal portion. Adapt,Overcome,Explore!